• Richard van der Aa

Richard van der Aa‘s exhibition Before you know it is a series of  reductive paintings that examine the point of tension between painting and sculpture, as well as object and image. The title of the show relates both to the way an image might communicate information before a viewer thinks about it – as well as the role the subconscious plays in the painting process, in bringing prior sentiments to the surface uninvited:

“The paintings I have produced here are very much a response to the place. (Karaka, South Auckland.) They speak of a specific location. New Zealand is my birthplace, but I have not lived here since 1989. The question: “Where is home?” became quite potent to me during my time working in Karaka. I think that it played into the paintings as well. They are in part my reaction to the physical (and spiritual) nature of a land which is at once familiar and yet now – strangely foreign to me.

Though I’m using a paired down visual vocabulary which could be read simply as geometric abstraction, I am also allowing myself to be more open to direct quotation from life. Hence the palette really does come from situations observed: Weather and light conditions over the land. Differing times of day. Textures of earth, sea, and sky. The horizontal division is the horizon. One could say I am painting landscapes. (!) The angled or cut off corners suggest to me photographs held in albums by paper corners. These could be snapshots. Moments captured. Things remembered. All there, all the time”. - Richard van der Aa 2023

Richard van der Aa lives and works in Paris, France. He was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1963. Richard graduated from University of Canterbury and graduating in 1985, presenting his first solo exhibition – at the C.S.A. Gallery in Christchurch – the same year. Since then his work has since been exhibited extensively in Australia and New Zealand, and in recent years, in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Poland, the UK and the USA.

Gallery Hours

  • Tues-Fri: 10am-6pm
  • Sat: 10am-4pm


  • 455 Mount Eden Road
  • Mount Eden
  • Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland