CURATORS Allan Wright, Ed Hanfling ORGANISER Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland OTHER VENUES Gus Fisher Gallery, 6 March–2 May 2009
Born in 1925, Milan Mrkusich is a pioneer New Zealand abstract painter. In 1946, he paints New Zealand’s first modernist abstract painting, and he continues to work in an abstract idiom for his entire career. Throughout the 1950s, he’s a partner in Auckland architecture-and-design firm Brenner Associates. In the late 1960s, he makes his breakthrough Corner paintings, where flat and inflected monochrome fields appear to be held in place with differently coloured and hued triangular ‘corners’. Mrkusich enjoys two retrospectives at Auckland City Art Gallery, in 1972 and 1985. In 1982, he’s included in the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, and, in 1992, he’s a key figure in Auckland City Art Gallery's The 1950s Show, where he has a gallery of his own, as well as appearing in the design, architecture, and painting sections. In 1997, he’s made a Member of the Order of New Zealand, and, in 2003, is made an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon. Transform presents examples from each of Mrkusich’s major series since the early 1960s. It coincides with the Auckland University Press’s publication of Allan Wright and Ed Hanfling's monograph, Mrkusich: The Art of Transformation.