Tim Maguire

Untitled 99U44, 1999
oil on polyester canvas
220.0 x 180.0 cm
signed, dated and titled (on the reverse)

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Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1999

Tim Maguire, John Curtin University Gallery, Perth, Western Australia

'At first glance Tim Maguire’s recent ‘abstract’ paintings resemble photographs. There is little evidence of human creation or even mediation: no
recognizable trace of the artist’s hand; no reference to the world negotiated daily by the naked eye. Numbered and dated, and of varying dimensions, the patterns could belong to something infinitesimally small – an object seen through an electron microscope perhaps – or equally, something awesomely vast, like a distant galaxy viewed through a powerful telescope. One has the sense of looking at, or rather through, air, water, fire, porous earth, corroded metal, or an infinity of stars. By way of a meaningful frame of reference, one might speak of ‘elemental’ or ‘galactic’ landscapes – although land is already too familiar and solid a term. ‘Spacescape’ is perhaps more appropriate, in its suggestion both of unbounded depth and cosmic indifference.

These are not places a viewer might confidently examine or comfortably inhabit. They prompt an awareness of one’s limits: spatial, bodily, conceptual, existential. At this level – at once macroscopic and microscopic – there is no longer any distinction between animate and inanimate; organic and inorganic. There is a touch, here, of the abstract sublime: sublime in the sense of the implacable forces and raw stuff of nature.' (S Biernoff, Tim Maguire, April 1999, John Curtin Gallery exhibition 
catalogue, unpaginated)

  • Untitled 99U44

Image courtesy of the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne

View artist profile

Tim Maguire was born in Chertsey, England in 1958 and came to Australia the following year with his family. He studied at the National Art School, East Sydney from 1980-1982, the City Art Institute to 1983, Sydney College of the Arts to 1984 and, the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf to 1985. He lives and works in France and England.

Maguire came to international prominence after winning the Moet and Chandon Fellowship in 1993. His extensive exhibition history includes 'New Psychedelia', University of Queensland Art Museum, 2011; 'Optimism', Queensland Art Gallery GoMA, Brisbane, 2008; 'Place Made, Prints from the Australian Print Workshop', National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2006; 'Spirit & Place: Art in Australia 1861-1996', Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1996; the 1990 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide and, 'Australian Perspecta 1989', Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, 1989.

Maguire was also included in major surveys for works on paper in the 1980s 'Drawings in Australia: Drawings, Watercolours and Pastels from the 1770s to the 1980s', National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 1988; 'Backlash: The Australian Drawing Revival 1976-1986', National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1987 and, 'Attitudes to Drawing', Ivan Dougherty Gallery, UNSW, Sydney and touring, 1983. All preceded Maguire being awarded the 1989 Dobell Prize for drawing by the Art Gallery of NSW.

Tim Maguire is represented by Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney, and Von Lintel Gallery, LA, USA.