Milan Mrkusich

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1925, d.2018

Painting 1972

  • Gift of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Wellington, 2004
  • Reproduced with permission
  • Acrylic on canvas
  • 1785 x 1780mm
  • 2005/078
  • 1972

For the exhibition Untitled #1050 (25 November 2017 – 14 October 2018) this work was displayed with the following label:

“The surface density comes about from the artist’s touch, and the touch is, to my mind, the most important thing in art. It provides the identity of the work and the identity of the artist. The surfaces […] and their uniqueness, I think, is my own uniqueness, which has been brought about from the painting I’ve done over a number of years and arriving at a solution to all the problems I’ve had. “I think all art, if it’s to have values, has to have universal values. And what these universal values are is difficult to put into words. I think maybe that the work of art gives us some inklings as to a sublime feeling, and it’s a romantic thing. It’s the idea that God is in nature, because even though these works are not like nature, they are like nature.”

—Milan Mrkusich, 1976

See some photographs of this work as it appeared in the exhibition Untitled #1050 (25 November 2017 – 14 October 2018) 

earlier labels about this work
  • In Painting 1972 Milan Mrkusich has placed four triangles of colour in each corner of the canvas to provide a frame of reference for the central palette of rust-orange and atmospheric purples. This work is part of the artist’s Corner series of the late 1960s to mid 1970s, in which he explored the formal links between carefully placed geometric forms and visually evocative fields of colour.

    Mrkusich was born in Dargaville in 1925. His parents came to New Zealand from Podgora, Dalmatia. He began painting in 1946 and held his first solo exhibition in 1949. During the 1950s he was a partner in an architectural and design firm in Auckland, and worked on a number of architectural commissions. In 1982 he was included in the 48th Carnegie International exhibition in Pittsburgh. Mrkusich was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand in 1997 for his services to painting.