UNTITLED 20040504, 2004

Important Australian + International Fine Art
20 April 2011


born 1958
UNTITLED 20040504, 2004

oil on canvas

182.0 x 162.0 cm

signed and inscribed verso: Maguire / Untitled 20040504

$60,000 - 80,000

Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney
Private collection, Sydney


Tim Maguire: CMY, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney, 30 June – 25 July 2004 (label attached verso)

Catalogue text

'Fiercely blazing, openly blooming and baroque, Tim Maguire's painting is an exultation of seduction and luxuriance...

We are, one must admit, a long way from the usual subjects of contemporary art and its penchant for putting childhood, the grotesque, the human-body, derision or again the dissolution of shapes at the heart of its concerns. Countercurrent, these spring-like flowerings and snowy grains flash-lit in the night, are offered up with a luxuriance of detail and an infinity of graduations. Far from any naturalistic illusions, this apprehension of the object imposes its artifices via the sugary poison of its very substance. These are images that are perfectly intellectual and sensual, at once aesthetically disturbing and clearly arrested in time. They are vanities, certainly, but in which the elements of prior times, the candle, skull, tempting food-stuffs or velvety fruits, have disappeared to the advantage of an over-fill of colour, an effacement of volume almost to the point of an optical malaise. Tim Maguire's painting assumes the very essence of a century that has transformed nausea into an alternative form of neurotic wisdom, be it with no little ambivalence. Its insistence on the documentary renders it almost iconic. It flirts with decorative enthusiasm to the point of degenerescence. Even at the very moment of its designation, barely yet revealed, it surrenders up its soul. All seems to dissolve and dilate, self-destructing in the very light of day...

Ultra-sensitive, Tim Maguire's paintings, with their heightened sense of abundance, bear no seeds of any future degenerescence nor of a lessening of the pictorial flame. On the contrary, time here seems perfectly accorded to a fullness, even if we well know that on the other side of the looking-glass, according to the natural cycle of things, time heralds the lessening of days, the dissipation of the vital sap. One might hazard an explanation: Tim Maguire's painting is one of high fidelity that attains an absolute apotheosis while implying the very impossibility of contentment. Herein lies the ambiguity of the very subject, which is not perhaps a flower after all, nor a landscape, but the exposure of a painted rendering of a fragile Eden on the verge of demise.'1

1. Boudier, L., 'High Fidelity: The Art of Time Maguire', essay, September 2008, reproduced on the artist's website at http://www.tim-maguire.com/essays.html