reviews

  • Robert MacPherson, Scale from the Tool, 1976, acrylic on nineteen canvases, each 69 × 8 1/4 × 1 1/2". From the series “Scale from the Tool,” 1976–77.

    Robert MacPherson

    Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art

    At the opening of “Robert MacPherson: The Painter’s Reach” (curated by Ingrid Periz with QAGOMA’s former curator of Australian art Angela Goddard), the eminent retired museum director Daniel Thomas described the artist’s work as “humorous.” It’s not the first word most of us would initially apply to MacPherson’s oeuvre—even to the austere wordplay in his most recent projects based on street signs and biological classification, let alone his early reflections on painterly mark-making. But Thomas had a point. MacPherson’s art is leavened by a humor we might ultimately want to call “Australian”:

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