Don Peebles

Relief construction: yellow and black

Relief construction: yellow and black by Don Peebles

Artwork Detail

The finest of Don Peebles' early constructed paintings, Yellow/black relief is pragmatic art for a 'good keen eye'. Like a road sign, its shiny black-and-yellow diamond has a punchy graphic impact. Its clarity is augmented by gritty physicality, built up and painted by pieces and parts. Space, in the shadow-box tray of Peebles' relief, is felt as a matrix of tension and release, a malleable dynamic of pictorial, tactile and perceptual data. For the particular language of this work Peebles acknowledges a debt to English artist Victor Pasmore. Peebles began a creative emulation of Pasmore's art when he spent two years in London between 1960 and 1962; Pasmore reliefs such as Brown Development No. 2 or No. 3, of 1964-65, look like prototypes for Peebles' Yellow/black relief. Pasmore had been influenced himself by the work and writing of American Constructivist Charles Biederman. To progress, Biederman believed abstract painting must assert itself beyond its framed flatness. Biederman and Pasmore also put emphasis on a semi-machine aesthetic, often relinquishing fabrication to a professional workshop. Peebles retained a hands-on approach although the offcuts, found-materials and paints that he employed at this time - plastic, perspex, dowels, hardboard, plywood, formica, cellulose and enamel - all come from the light-industrial world of the building trades. As Duchamp said of Seurat, Peebles builds his paintings like a carpenter. (from The Guide, 2001)

Relief construction: yellow and black
Don Peebles
Production date
painted wood on panel
1219 x 1219 x 57 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1966
Accession no
Other ID
66/37 Old Accession Number
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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