20 Aug 1893 - 10 May 1964
This painting is remarkable in its vivacity and vibrancy of colour, depicting a dynamic still life arrangement with skillful resolution of objects. It encapsulates Godfrey Miller's ideological search for unity; the fundamental interconnectedness of all matter in a disparate, fragmented world. Objects are absorbed into the grid system covering the entire picture surface, characteristic of the artist's idiosyncratic cubism. The painting's sparkling patterns, judicious placements and dynamic movement between vibrating spheres of fruit form part of the artist's expression of his life-long interest in spiritual and scientific systems.
Miller was deeply cerebral and philosophical in his quest to create work that accorded with his views on art and life. Trained initally as an architect in New Zealand, he studied and lived around Melbourne during the 1920s, then settled in Sydney in 1939 following extensive travel in Asia and Europe and a decade of study in London.
oil, pen and black ink on canvas
51.6 x 56.8 cm
Signature & date
Signed l.r., black ink "GM". Not dated.
Gift of the H.G. Slater Foundation 1981
© Estate of Godfrey Miller/John Henshaw
Shown in 7 exhibitions
Patrick White's Choice, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Dec 1981–31 Jan 1982
Project 41: The mosaic -The grid (1983), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Mar 1983–24 Apr 1983
Twentieth century Australian masterworks from the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Fred Williams Pilbara series from the collection of CRA Limited, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, 04 Oct 1985–06 Nov 1985
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 15 Mar 1996–05 May 1996
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 15 May 1996–17 Jun 1996
Australian Painters Seeing Cézanne, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 28 Nov 1998–17 Jan 1999
Parallel Visions: Twenty-two artists from the Australian collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Feb 2002–May 2003
Still life, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 Jul 2013–23 Apr 2014
Referenced in 14 publications
Portrait of a Gallery, 'Australian 20th Century Art', pg. 71-89, Sydney, 1984, 77 (colour illus.).
Godfrey Miller, Sydney, 1996, 39 (colour illus.), 121. plate no. 26
Deborah Edwards, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Mosaic and figure', pg. 213-214, Sydney, 2000, 215 (colour illus.), 301.
Sasha Grishin, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'Roger Kemp / Godfrey Miller', pg. 104-115, Sydney, 2002, 110 (colour illus.), 145, 147.
Australian art pack: 1788-21st century still life, Box Hill, (2006), (colour illus.). card 4
Patrick White, painter, manqué: paintings, painters and their influence on his writing, 'Patrick White's choice', pg. 114-119, Carlton, 2002, 118-119.
Bruce James, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'In the shadow of the master', pg. 3, Sydney, 28 Nov 1998, 3 (colour illus.). This appears in the Sprectrum section of the newspaper.
Twentieth century Australian masterworks from the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Fred Williams Pilbara Series, Tokyo, 1985, 23 (colour illus.). cat.no. 7
Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 27.
Barry Pearce, The world of Antiques & Art, 'Exploring hidden treasures in Parallel Visions', pg. 124-126, Bondi Junction, Jul 2002-Dec 2002, 126 (colour illus.).
Ursula Prunster, Look, 'Australian Painters: Seeing Cézanne', pg. 20-21, Heidelberg, Nov 1998, 21 (colour illus.).
Ursula Prunster, Australian painters; Seeing Cézanne, 'An era of staunch individuals: the 1940s to 1960s', pg. 9-12, Sydney, 1998, 10, 14 (colour illus.), 30. cat.no. 10
Patrick White's Choice, Sydney, Dec 1981, (colour illus.). cat.no. 10
Project 41 - the mosaic, the grid, Sydney, 1983. cat.no. 2