Jim Barr and Mary Barr have written beautifully on Don Driver, who died today.
I never met Don Driver. It makes me sad. Over the last few years I've become a fervent admirer, seeking out as many shows and opportunities to see the work as possible (and opportunities to mention him here and when on the radio).
Driver's work holds the room. It squawks and it growls and it sings (and occasionally it's quite trippy) but it's impossible to look past. It grabs your eyeballs and it makes you think.
I owe five people real credit for my love of Driver's work: Jim and Mary, William McAloon, Julian Dashper and Hamish McKay. It's a delight to see curators my age (or thereabouts) taking up his work as well - Aaron Kreisler in Dunedin (a NP kid himself), Aaron Lister in his sculpture show at City Gallery next year. People have been saying today that Driver is sadly overlooked. Me, I think he was loved and admired where it mattered.
(Having said that - a dirty great survey show would not go amiss.)
UPDATE: That first 'Aaron' should have been Kreisler - sorry, both. And Sarah Farrar has written a nice short piece about Driver and her own discovery of his work (another one of those young curators) on the Te Papa blog. And Roger Taberner has written a lengthy and insightful piece on the Auckland Art Gallery blog.