Robert MacPherson: Reductive logic

The reductive logic that Robert MacPherson applied to his painting practice in the 1970s is applied here to his tool, the standard house painter’s brush. Examining it closely and considering its history, MacPherson traces a backwards path from use, to purchase, to manufacture and sees that the paintbrush is already a painted object. He relinquishes…

Robert MacPherson: A simplistic view of a national art

Robert MacPherson’s work is often positioned against the historically pervasive national traditions in Australian art of landscape painting and heroic narrative. His works evoking landscape and important figures are tinged with irony, and attempt to look beyond stereotype and jingoism. Yet still they suggest something specifically Australian – whether it is language, food or cultural…

Robert MacPherson: Returning to colour

In the Mayfair (Peerless) series MacPherson returns to colour after thinking it inessential, and generally maintaining a monochromatic palette for his paintings of the 1970s. Taking their name from MacPherson’s drycleaner, the Peerless works use a drycleaner’s receipt with its sequence of named colours as a plan for making suites of single-colour paintings. In this…

Obsessive-Creatives

The Peter Tyndall and Robert MacPherson Correspondence Archive 1979–2014 in the QAGOMA Research Library is the result of 35 years of exchange between these celebrated Australian artists. They began corresponding after their first meeting at Ray Hughes Gallery in Brisbane in 1979 when the artworks for Tyndall’s exhibition at the gallery were stuck in transit due…

Robert MacPherson: Exploring painterly possibilities

Robert MacPherson produced several groups of work titled Scale From the Tool in the late 1970s, mostly on canvas, in order to explore the painterly possibilities of standard house painting brushes. Taking his title from the name of the chosen brush brand (South Australian Brush Company), MacPherson does something different here. He retains the proportions…

Watch as we install Robert MacPherson’s Boss Drovers

Watch as we install Robert MacPherson’s ‘Boss Drovers’ containing 2400 individual drawings 1000 FROG POEMS: 1000 BOSS DROVERS (“YELLOW LEAF FALLING”) FOR H.S. 1996–2014 comprises 2400 individual drawings, all deliberately executed as if by the hand of a ten-year-old. Over a 20-year period, Robert MacPherson made these in the guise of his alter ego, Robert…