Judy Millar

Untitled 2005

“Untitled, 2005, is both an extraordinary painting in its own right and a key pivotal work in Millar’s œuvre. Alternatively celestial or oceanic, it marks a critical juncture in her practice coincident with the consolidation of her on-going commitment to presence in both Aotearoa New Zealand and Germany and Europe. While pronounced now, this wasn’t necessarily quite so marked when it was first shown in an expansive and experimental exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery “I willcanmustmay, would like to express”from September to November that year. It was the most difficult painting in the exhibition, a building site painting or work in construction as Millar described it in an accompanying exhibition brochure. Certainly unruly, anarchic, even within an exhibition that challenged assumptions as to what painting might entail, it escalated the core motivations of her practice at that time. In an exhibition filled with actual and potential jumping off points, this painting was the most extreme, the most risk-taking and, in a very precise sense given it is such an important concern for the artist, in retrospect it seems to have been the most present.”

P. Shand 2019