Imants Tillers, Pure Beauty, 1991-97

synthetic polymer paints on canvas boards

The painting Pure Beauty (1991-97), which hangs in the MCA’s previous Circular Quay entrance foyer, was commissioned by the Museum to acknowledge its founding donors. Tillers painted the names of donors onto the individual panels that together constitute the work. The need to include a large volume of text in the painting – whilst keeping it legible and distinct – was a challenge for Tillers. To solve the problem, he painted both the donors’ names and the tessellating panels of Pure Beauty in a palette of differentiated colours. A large number of names had been added to the work prior to its installation in October 1991 (the MCA opened in November), but Tillers also agreed to add the names of new donors in the years that followed. He made regular trips to Sydney for this purpose until 1997: Pure Beauty therefore represents a commitment to the MCA from the artist himself, as well as its earliest supporters.

Lucy Moore, Curatorial Assistant

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Pure Beauty  1991-97

Image courtesy and © the artist