UNTITLED 20051202, 2005

Important Australian + International Fine Art
2 May 2012


born 1958
UNTITLED 20051202, 2005

oil on canvas

160.0 x 200.0 cm

signed, dated and inscribed verso: Maguire 05 / Untitled 20051202

$70,000 - 90,000

Private collection, Melbourne

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

Catalogue text

As though poised at the moment of extreme beauty, of life at its fullest and juiciest moment, Tim Maguire's floral bloom paintings are both seductive and evasive. Immersive in their cinematic scale and technical achievement, Cate Blanchett described Maguire's subject as 'unabashedly revelling in its own beauty yet charged with the promise of decay and death'.1

Resolutely contemporary, Maguire's paintings are embedded within the history of painting with a particular reference to 17th century Flemish still-life painting. Like the vanitas themes which preoccupied the Dutch, here nature has concurrently a real and metaphysical value. Maguire beguiles and seduces us whilst simultaneously generating meaning beyond the exact realism of the subject.

Addressing themes of transience, mortality and the fleeting beauty of this earthly life, the vanitas theme in its historical form contained myriad layers of symbolism. Some motifs bear accepted meanings such as grapes alluding to the Eucharist and red cherries for the Fruits of Paradise. However, it would be an oversimplification to address Maguire's work purely as an extension of the Flemish tradition. Such as in this painting, Maguire's luscious subjects are so forcefully, hyper-realistically alive that we cannot but reflect on their, and indeed our own, impending demise. Thus the extraordinary tension in Maguire's work is maintained; between our physical desire for beauty and our simmering death anxiety.

1. Murray Cree, L., Tim Maguire, Piper Press, Sydney, 2007, p. 9