Passive Element

Mrkusich, Milan
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Object Detail

Artist and graphic designer Milan Mrkusich was considered a pioneer of abstract painting in New Zealand. Influenced by Euopean modernism, his work is known for large blocks of pure colour and his tight, Mondrian-esque compositions.

This work is one of 12 “Barry Lett multiples” published in 1968 by Auckland gallerist Barry Lett. Wellington City Council owns the complete set. Artists are: Don Binney, Colin McCahon, Roberts Ellis, Ralph Hotere, Michael Illingworth, Ross Ritchie, Michael Smither, Gordon Walters, Toss Woollaston, Patrick Lucas, and Mervyn Williams.

Milan Mrkusich (1925-2018, born in Dargaville, of Dalmatian descent) undertook a writing and arts apprenticeship and completed a commercial art course before becoming a partner with architectural designers Brenner Associates, Auckland in 1949. At this firm he designed interiors and furniture. From the 1960s, he completed many murals, stained-glass windows, mosaics and architectural commissions. Retrospective exhibitions of his work were shown at Auckland Art Gallery in 1972 and 1985, and the Gus Fisher Gallery in 2009. A substantial monograph was published by Auckland University Press in 2009.

His best-known work is the large wall of coloured windows on the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand building - a commission Mrkusich won in 1994 amid fierce competition. He was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1997 and received an inaugural Icon Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand in 2003.
Silk screen print, 2 colours
Image: hxw; 550 x 330mm
Frame: hxwxd; 825 x 702 x 35mm
Breadth 35mm
Registration number



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Wellington City Council has permission from the copyright owners to use the images. You may not make copies, reproduce, sell or distribute these images. Apply to the copyright holder directly for permission.


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