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Milan Mrkusich

(1925 )
MRKUSICH Milan Achromatic, Dark I

Webb's /Mar 27, 2013
35,564.19 - 48,496.62
Not disclosed

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Artworks in Arcadja
59

Some works of Milan Mrkusich

Extracted between 59 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Milan Mrkusich - Achromatic Dark I

Milan Mrkusich - Achromatic Dark I

Original 1977
Estimate:

Price: Not disclosed
Lot number: 34
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Milan Mrkusich Achromatic Dark I acrylic on canvas signed Mrkusich, dated '77 and inscribed Achromatic, Dark I verso; inscribed Show Bg. One Man Show 1980, view 5 21 st April - 1st May on label affixed verso 1760mm x 1430mm ILLUSTRATED: Wright, Alan, Edward Hanfling, Mrkusich: the Art of Transformation, Auckland, Auckland University Press, 2009, plate 67. (Click image to see full size) Back Achromatic, Dark I belongs to a period spanning the years of 1977-78, where Mrkusich’’’’s investigations into the grid were refined and contrasted against the artist’’’’s other formalist concern: the surface of the work itself. Delicate lines appear embedded on the surface of the work, creating a band in the lower third of the work comprised of miniature squares. These squares echo the four lines of the frame, and indeed the four edges of the work itself. Mrkusich’’’’s concern here is to manifest the essence and power of the hue, which fills the viewer’’’’s field of vision alongside the materiality of the painted surface. By creating the surface with a paint roller Mrkusich has removed the traditional mark of the artist’’’’s brush, which characterised his earlier works, in an effort to distill his working methodology to only the most essential components. While this technique at first detaches the work from the hand of the artist, the grid lines in the lower part of the work betray this by alluding to Mrkusich’’’’ s meticulous precision and concentration in their application onto the canvas. The viewer is confronted not just with a monochromatic palette but also an abstract geometric form, where formalist concerns have been elegantly intertwined with aesthetic values. ALEKSANDRA PETROVIC
Milan Mrkusich - Painting (meta Grey)

Milan Mrkusich - Painting (meta Grey)

Original 1974
Estimate:

Price: Not disclosed
Lot number: 28
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Milan Mrkusich Painting (Meta Grey) 1974 acrylic on canvas signed Mrkusich, dated ’’’’74 and inscribed Painting (Meta Grey) 1974 in ink verso 1720mm x 1720mm ILLUSTRATED: Wright, Alan, Edward Hanfling, Mrkusich: the art of transformation, Auckland: Auckland Univeristy Press, plate 65. Milan Mrkusich’’s Meta Grey series, started in 1969, is a natural evolution from the artist’’s Corner Paintings. Both share a concern with the exploration of the relationship among hue, saturation and brightness, rather than space or form, with a perverse emphasis on the periphery of the canvas, rather than the centre. When Painting (Meta Grey) 1974 was painted, the artist had already been the subject of a major retrospective at Auckland City Art Gallery two years earlier and had become a well-established figure in New Zealand art, easily the equal of the American colour field painters in his absolute mastery of flatness to bring out the autonomy of colour and to reject, once and for all, the idea of a painting as simply an illusory window through which to look. This work is from the earlier part of the series in which fields of ambiguous, achromatic grey predominate. Later, Mrkusich would darken the grey to the extreme of black (grey is only a lighter shade of black anyway) and heighten the counterpointing colour elements. In this earlier work, however, the artist creates a kind of grisaille geometric abstract, which invites viewers to examine the optical and tonal values of a shade of grey as it metamorphoses across the surface of the canvas, contrasted to two lighter and two darker greys daintily dipped in the corners, like in a black-and-white photograph in an old-fashioned album. A clinically rational philosophical essay in surface, the colour grey in (or rather, on) the painting ceases to be merely a compositional element, the desaturation of a hue or the mixing of two complementary ones. Instead, it becomes both the subject and object en soi, like the ‘little patch of yellow wall’’ in Vermeer’’s View of Delft that consumes Bergotte’’s final moments in Proust. In addition to the avant-garde experimentalism of selecting grey to indulge with a monochrome field, there also seems to be a particular kind of painter’’s humour at work in giving a little love to such an unloved colour. In the West, grey has since the twentieth century been associated with boredom, depression, old age, ambiguity, sterility, conformity and other negative values. Indeed, as Eva Heller points out in her 2009 Psychologie de la Couleur—Effets et Symboliques, only a measly 1% polled in surveys conducted in Europe and North America gave grey as their favourite colour. The painting causes viewers to rethink their prejudices about this anti-colour in a bravura act rarely seen outside Josef Albers’’ Grey Instrumentation paintings from the same time and other historical figurative novelties by Corot, Whistler and Caspar David Friedrich. Friedrich is not mentioned randomly. In all abstract paintings, there is an echo of the Romantic in the artist’’s hankering after the Sublime. ‘Meta’’, after all, is Greek for ‘above’’ or ‘beyond’’, a code for transcendence and the rarefied superlunary realms to which abstraction aspires. In Mrkusich’’s case, that Sublime is an infinite depth captured in an absolute flatness.
Milan Mrkusich - Meta Grey No.1

Milan Mrkusich - Meta Grey No.1

Original 1969
Estimate:

Price: Not disclosed
Lot number: 67
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
98 / 133 Lot: Important Paintings and Contemporary Art 13 AUG 2013 6:30PM Lot 67 Milan Mrkusich Meta Grey No.1 acrylic on canvas signed Mrkusich and dated '69 in graphite verso; signed Mrkusich and inscribed Painting; Meta Grey No.1 in stencilled paint verso 715mm x 715mm $25,000 - $35,000 (Click image to see full size) Back This work brilliantly manifests the essence and modernist genius of New Zealand’’s master of abstraction, Milan Mrkusich. Mrkusich has herein synthesised the monochromatic grey of his canvas with abstract, geometric form, constructing a composition whose power lies in its timeless, spaceless resonance. The curvilinear motif of a squared circle was central to many of Mrkusich’’s paintings throughout the 1970s. Though commonly referred to as ‘corner paintings’’, these works do not derive their gravitas from the break in form at the corners of the composition, but rather by virtue of the fact that, in emulating a photographic corner mount, they frame, define and give focus to the viewer’’s exploration of Mrkusich’’s monochromatic expression. The present work, a strong and adroit manipulation of form and colour, also recalls his Bauhausian influence and architectural formation. RACHEL KLEINSMAN Lot 67 Milan Mrkusich Meta Grey No.1 acrylic on canvas signed Mrkusich and dated '69 in graphite verso; signed Mrkusich and inscribed Painting; Meta Grey No.1 in stencilled paint verso 715mm x 715mm $25,000 - $35,000
Milan Mrkusich - Achromatic, Dark I

Milan Mrkusich - Achromatic, Dark I

Original 1977
Estimate:

Price: Not disclosed
Lot number: 42
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Lot 42 Milan Mrkusich Achromatic, Dark I acrylic on canvas signed Mrkusich, dated '77 and inscribed Achromatic, Dark I in brushpoint verso; label verso inscribed Show Bg. One Man Show 1980, view 5 21st April - 1st May 1760mm x 1430mm $55,000 - $75,000 (Click image to see full size) Back
Milan Mrkusich - Four Elements In Combination (crimson), From The Elements Series

Milan Mrkusich - Four Elements In Combination (crimson), From The Elements Series

Original 1966
Estimate:

Price: Not disclosed
Lot number: 117
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Lot 117 Milan Mrkusich Four Elements In Combination (Crimson), From The Elements Series oil and graphite on board signed and dated '66; signed and dated 1966, and inscribed Four Elements in Combination (Crimson) in crayon verso; inscribed A.S.C.M. benefit auction in pencil verso; original Barry Lett Galleries Ltd. invoice, dated 31-5-68, affixed verso 285mm x 510mm $4,500 - $6,000 Note: From the Elements series. Provenance: From the collection of the late Peter and Sylvia Siddell.
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