UNTITLED 99U51, 1999

Important Australian + International Fine Art
30 April 2014


born 1958
UNTITLED 99U51, 1999

oil on canvas

200.0 x 400.0 cm (diptych)

signed, dated and titled verso: Maguire '99 / Untitled 99U51

Private sale

Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland
Zurich Insurance, Zurich, Switzerland (label attached verso)


Tim Maguire, Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland
Summer Exhibition Part I, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney, 14 November - 8 December 2013


Murray Cree, L., (ed.), Tim Maguire, Piper Press, Sydney, 2007, pp. 170, 172-173 (illus. pp. 172-173, double page)

Catalogue text

Lustrous berries fill the diptych canvas with their finely illuminated forms, created through the accrual of chromatically separated layers deftly painted by Tim Maguire. The present work is exemplary in showing the way a detailed cluster of berries becomes dramatised in unexpected ways under the artist's direction. Shapes loom and hover with filmic radiance. The solvent-flecked canvas seemingly glows with a perplexing translucence. Maguire states, 'My paintings, as much as they expose themselves, their process and so on, are rather flat, shiny and a bit repellent. The imagery is unnatural ... the flowers might be about nature but they're not really natural.'1

Maguire digitally dissolves his photographic source imagery into separate colour fields that he uses as templates for the painting process. The artist resolved this unusual technique in the 1990s, resulting in distinctive and compelling paintings. Tony Godfrey writes, 'The goal for a serious painter today is to make work that is simultaneously embedded in the tradition of painting while engaging with the contemporary world. This Tim Maguire does. His light is unique in that while seeming so contemporary, so scientific, it draws on and deploys the whole range of light - and our responses to it - in Western art.'2

The berries, appearing like the apparition of sunspots across a photograph, are both instantly recognisable yet removed from their fleshy actuality. The almost erotic nature of Maguire's botanical close ups stems from this tantalising aspect; the paintings in both their making and realised state pivot around ideas of desire and distillation. Maguire has received international recognition for his original approach in representing traditional motifs and his work is found in important public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Art Gallery of New South Wales,Sydney, and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Maguire was awarded the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 1989 and the Moet & Chandon Australian Art Fellowship in 1993.

1. Murray Cree, L. (ed.), Tim Maguire, Piper Press, Sydney, 2007, p. 134
2. Godfrey, T., 'Light, Skin and Beauty' in Murray Cree, L., (ed.), Tim Maguire, Piper Press, Sydney, 2007, p. 28


Tim Maguire is represented by Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne