September 29, 2023


Arts Eternal

Understanding the work of Robert MacPherson

Understanding the work of Robert MacPherson

There is all kinds of methods to approach and engage with the contemporary artwork of our instances. It can be beneficial to start with an artwork’s physical kind, its measurement, the products from which it’s manufactured, or even how the a variety of aspects relate to each and every other.

Brisbane-born painter Robert MacPherson (1937–2021) was a single of Australia’s most considerable artists and uncovered inspiration in day to day everyday living, which includes in the slang text and scientific terms that we typically take for granted.

Samantha Littley, Curator Australian Artwork at QAGOMA explores a considerably-loved artwork by MacPherson in our Selection, Mayfair: (Swamp rats) ninety-7 indications for C.P., J.P., B.W., G.W. & R.W. 1994–95, in which MacPherson riffs on the hand-painted indicators that look on the verges of our nation’s byroads and highways.

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Robert MacPherson ‘Mayfair: (Swamp rats) Ninety-7 indications for C.P., J.P., B.W., G.W. & R.W.’ 1994-95

MacPherson’s Mayfair: (Swamp rats) Ninety-seven indicators for C.P., J.P., B.W., G.W. & R.W. is composed of 75 masonite panels painted in the manner of house-designed roadside ads. The artist explores elementary facets of the meaning and making of art, his method to producing art just about constantly will involve the use of multiples, a sequence of very similar or identical objects, in this instance repeating a solitary normal-sized device with distinct inscriptions and variations of background tone, arranged as a grid.

As a conceptual artist, MacPherson has dedicated his vocation to questioning what it is, primarily, that makes a function of art. In this frustrating block of painted language, indicating is fractured, and you may possibly just interpret it visually as an abstract picture, nonetheless this monumental portray is dedicated to a group of persons (recognized in the title by their initials: C.P., J.P., B.W., G.W. & R.W.) who are fishermen, or ‘swamp rats’, inhabiting the marshy zone around the mouth of the Brisbane River.

Robert MacPherson, Australia 1937-2021 / Mayfair: (Swamp rats) Ninety-7 indications for C.P., J.P., B.W., G.W. & R.W. (and details) 1994-95 / Acrylic on masonite / 97 panels: 92 x 61cm (just about every) 370 x 1573cm or 556 x 1069cm (set up) / Acquired 1998 with a distinctive allocation from the Queensland Authorities. Celebrating the Queensland Artwork Gallery’s Centenary 1895-1995 / Collection: Queensland Artwork Gallery | Gallery of Present day Art / © Robert MacPherson

Watch Robert MacPherson’s Mayfair: (Swamp rats) Ninety-7 indications for C.P., J.P., B.W., G.W. & R.W. in the Queensland Art Gallery Lobby until eventually 27 November 2022.