Richard Killeen

Black crawlers

Black crawlers by Richard Killeen

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Escaping from the frame, and refusing to speak with a painting's traditional 'square mouth', Richard Killeen's cut-out paintings are scatterings of images, the relationship of the parts decided by the person who hangs them on the wall. Viewers are invited to create their own narratives from the works: these are stories which may change each time they are seen. Although never dictatorial or pedantic - his installation practice precludes this - Killeen registers the shifts in contemporary political, economic and aesthetic debates, a witty and engaged participant. His images may be figurative, abstract or geometric: sharply delineated or softly scumbled; painted, stencilled, or photocopied; their supports cut-out aluminium shapes or tiny paper tags. Killeen's sources are legion, and his paintings deliver a surprising compendium of images. 'Collecting groups of images together is very like being a visual James Joyce - it's stream of consciousness, and that is, I think, a very Celtic thing. The cut-outs are like a story without a narrative. They're also like a never-ending knot, a Celtic knot'. In this early cut-out the black crawlers work their way steadily up the wall, bringing to mind silhouettes of undesirable creatures printed on the sides of spray cans of insecticide, or museum cases of insects and spiders in repetitive array - it is a tale perhaps of the doomed human attempt to classify, to name and to control the natural world, and hence to pin down its stories. (from The Guide, 2001)

Title
Black crawlers
Artist/creator
Production date
1978
Medium
acrylic lacquer on aluminium
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
1981/29./1-30
Copyright
Copying restrictions apply
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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