Robert MacPherson

(Australia 1937 – )

"Mayfair: four signs, 4 paintings (Jonagold) for B.H. & J.W."

Not on display
Further information

This work, "Mayfair: four signs, 4 paintings (Jonagold) for B.H. & J.W.", belongs to Robert MacPherson's celebrated 'Mayfair' series (instigated in 1983, and resumed again in 2013), which encompasses text, sculpture and installation pieces, and monochromatic paintings featuring imagery and lettering appropriated from signage found in suburbia and regional towns throughout Australia. The 'Mayfair' paintings combine MacPherson's abiding interest in pop art and post-painterly abstraction with his aesthetic appreciation of work perceived to be menial, specifically signwriting. In his own words: 'The sign painters do most of the things a traditional high-art painter would do. Their signs have superior position to mine their works have a purpose – like the bison or kangaroo painters, 'Paint one today, kill it tomorrow'. My intent pulls it into a world of no function. I take that purpose away and by elevating it to the context of art, I legitimise what they do, it's good fun doing it' [1].

1. Robert MacPherson quoted in interview with Ewen McDonald, The painter's reach, QAGOMA, Brisbane, 2015, pp 81-82

Place of origin
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Dulux weathershield acrylic on masonite
four panels: 122 x 91 cm each :
a - panel 1, 122 x 91 cm
b - panel 2, 122 x 91 cm
c - panel 3, 122 x 91 cm
d - panel 4, 122 x 91 cm
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r. verso [part a], black fibre-tipped pen ".../ .../ 1999-2001/ R. MACPHERSON .../ .../ .../ .../ .../ .../ .../ .../ ...".

Anonymous gift 2018. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number
© Robert MacPherson