Good Weekend Art Column

Tim Maguire – Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne

Published May 11, 2019
Tim Maguire 'AU526-551-312' (2018)

Artist: Tim Maguire

Lives: Tarn-et-Garonne, Southwest France & Rosebery, Sydney

Age: 60

Represented by:Tolarno Galleries Sydney (Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney; Galerie Andreas Binder, Munich)

His thing.A dazzling series of one-off abstract digital prints composed by a roll of the dice, along with painting and video.

Our take.Tim Maguire has always been keen to experiment with different styles and techniques, but when he hit on the idea of painting vast blow-ups of fragments of Dutch still lifes, the art market wouldn’t let him stop. He is still best known for these works that continue to fetch high prices at the auction houses but has moved on to a new series of eye-popping abstract, digital prints made with the assistance of French master printer, Franck Bordas.

As the title suggests, the Dice Abstracts have been made by rolling dice in a three-stage process that has determined choice of motif, format and tonality. The results look like Pop versions of Mark Rothko paintings, but the underlying motifs hark back to a series of charcoal drawings Maguire made 30 years ago. Some will look at these new works and remember those earlier pieces, which had Australian landscape associations.

Maguire has worked out that his method of using the dice allows for 13,824 possible combinations. Each image is unique, but depending on the artist’s patience it may be a very long series.

Can I afford it?

Although the Dice Abstracts are the stars of this show, the most expensive item is Untitled 20190301 (2019), an oil painting of tree branches with autumnal leaves, at $88,000 for a canvas of 180cm by 160cm. The least expensive item is a 105-minute video, Dice Abstracts ($900.00, ed. 60), which brings together numerous variations on a theme. All the prints are 112cm by 112cm, and sell for $6,000 each; except for 24 Consecutive Dice Abstracts – a compilation of images, each 55cm by 55 cm, priced at $40,000.

This is a very long way from Maguire’s record price of $420,000, set at auction in 2007.

Where can I have a squiz?

Tolarno Galleries, Level 4, 104 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, 4 May – 1 June, 2019.


Published in The Good Weekend, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 May, 2019