Robert MACPHERSON, Mayfair: Fresh Cut, 2 Frog Poems and a Rose for William Neaves 1998

Robert MACPHERSON, Mayfair: Fresh Cut, 2 Frog Poems and a Ro...

National Gallery of Australia | Audio Tour | Home Sweet Home

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PF: MacPherson’s work I have looked at for a long, long time. This particular work; I’ve never really looked upon it as being an image of a vase of flowers. To me this is very much a painting about painting. I mean, there’s the whole history of the Black Square. To me this is a painting about mark-making, and what it is that an artist does. So this is about what it is when a painter faces a board, or a canvas, and the way in which a mark is made, or the paint is moved over an area. And there’s no point in this painting that MacPherson lets you get away from the fact that you can see the board through it; you can see the rather clumsy; the rather direct movement of paint — there’s no attempt to follow edges; it’s a very wilful painting. There’s so much movement here, and ideas about what the painting either is becoming. Is it becoming a flower painting, or is it becoming a Black Square? This sort of very tenuous hold, and how an object; a painting, can, at the lick of a brush, change completely. This particular work is, again, at that moment — where there’s at least a double potential of what it might become. So something which is so sort of still, and crude, is to me a very sophisticated; a very intellectual debate about the very nature of the thing that we are looking at, which I think, is one of the things which great art can, and needs to, and does address.
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PF: MacPherson’s work I have looked at for a long, long time. This particular work; I’ve never really looked upon it as being an image of a vase of flowers. To me this is very much a painting about painting. I mean, there’s the whole history of the Black Square. To me this is a painting about mark-making, and what it is that an artist does. So this is about what it is when a painter faces a board, or a canvas, and the way in which a mark is made, or the paint is moved over an area. And there’s no point in this painting that MacPherson lets you get away from the fact that you can see the board through it; you can see the rather clumsy; the rather direct movement of paint — there’s no attempt to follow edges; it’s a very wilful painting. There’s so much movement here, and ideas about what the painting either is becoming. Is it becoming a flower painting, or is it becoming a Black Square? This sort of very tenuous hold, and how an object; a painting, can, at the lick of a brush, change completely. This particular work is, again, at that moment — where there’s at least a double potential of what it might become. So something which is so sort of still, and crude, is to me a very sophisticated; a very intellectual debate about the very nature of the thing that we are looking at, which I think, is one of the things which great art can, and needs to, and does address.
...Read More