Mrkusich: The Art of Transformation

Alan Wright and Edward Hanfling

Format: Hardback
Pages: 256
Published: March 2009
Specs: 29.0cm x 27.0cm
ISBN: 9781869404376

Mrkusich: The Art of Transformation is the first substantial survey of the work of New Zealand’s leading abstract painter, Milan Mrkusich.

At the beginning of his career in the 1940s, Mrkusich faced widespread antagonism towards abstraction and relied on his work for the innovative design firm Brenner Associates in order to make a living. But by the early 1970s, he had established himself at the forefront of modernist developments in New Zealand art, held in the highest esteem by critics and artists alike for his resonant, mesmerising fields of colour. Mrkusich drew on ideas from art theory, alchemy and phenomenology as well as the work of international artists like Kandinsky, Mondrian and Nicholson, and later Poons, Kelly and Mangold, to create his own unique style.

This sumptuously produced book traces Mrkusich’s career over 60 years, from the early gouaches on paper, through the acclaimed ‘Emblems’ and ‘Corner’ series, to his most recent work where he approaches colour as an open field of discovery. Mrkusich: The Art of Transformation illuminates the subtle, painterly power and rich meanings in the work of one of New Zealand’s most significant living artists.


More about Alan Wright and Edward Hanfling


This splendid book reveals the inventiveness of Mrkusich’s art over six decades: his patient, probing investigation of the infinite possibilities of line, shape, surface, space, and above all colour. – Jill Trevelyan, NZ Listener

The book will expand the awareness and understanding of the artist's work significantly. . . . The book is superbly produced with nearly 100 large illustrations of the artists work from the 1940’s to the present. In addition there are a number of other illustrations of the artist, his designs as well as a few gallery installation shots. The text is well crafted and provides an intelligent and straightforward insight into both the artists work as well as the notions of abstract art. – John Daly-Peoples, NBR

...a big, well-packed, well-researched, serious-minded study which I found so informative and interesting I read it almost at a sitting. . . . a handsome, well-designed, well-produced hardback, good value for money. – Peter Simpson, NZ Herald