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‘Keepers of the Flame’ - Cherishing the Art of Arthur Murch and Jurgis Miksevicius

Source: Northern Beaches Council
Posted: 28 Apr 2019
Manly Art Gallery & Museum is to host a joint exhibition featuring the works of two of the most important figures in Australian art over the last 100 years.

Arthur Murch (1902-1989) is among the most recognised Australian painters of the 20th Century and Jurgis Miksevicius (1923-2014) is an unsung hero of art who intentionally withdrew from the art world.

‘Keepers of The Flame: The Legacy of Murch & Miksevicius’ explores their art through the eyes of their daughters Michelle Murch and Carolyn Leigh, who manage their fathers’ archives and artworks.

MAGAM Senior Curator Katherine Roberts said the “exhibition is an absorbing - and at times emotional - voyage through the practicalities of managing the artistic legacies of their artist-fathers”.

“The artists’ daughters are bound to the artworks through love, respect and duty.

“Central to this exhibition are the personal and compelling stories told about these two fascinating artists by their daughters.

“The stories are conveyed through a carefully curated selection of drawings, paintings, photographs, memorabilia and a specially commissioned documentary film.”

Arthur Murch was born in Sydney, studied under Antonio Dattilo Rubbo and Rayner Hoff and worked with George Lambert.

A prolific painter, sculptor, designer and teacher, Murch experimented with many styles and materials.

This exhibition features his portrait of Bonar Dunlop which won the Archibald Prize in 1949, his iconic figure study ‘Leda and the Swan’ (1960) and the pointillist masterpiece ‘Fisherman’s Daughter’ (1950).

Jurgis Miksevicius (1923-2014) was a Lithuanian émigré to Australia, arriving here as a refugee in 1948.

His family had fled initially to Germany to escape the Soviet invasion of Lithuania at the end of World War Two. He studied Architecture and Fine Arts in Darmstadt, Germany.

His artistic roots were in European art and Bauhaus principles which formed the foundation of his practice as an artist in Australia and a career spanning across seven decades.

Miksevicius’ work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, the Lithuanian Art Museum and national and international private collections.

Despite years of sustained involvement within the Australian art scene, Miksevicius chose to withdraw from this sphere in the early 1960s.

One consequence of this was that Miksevicius never received the recognition his worth deserved.

‘Keepers of The Flame: The Legacy of Murch & Miksevicius’ will be opened by eminent art critic Christopher Allen at Manly Art Gallery & Museum on Saturday 4 May, 2 - 4pm.

Exhibition dates: 3 May – 9 June 2019

Exhibition times: 10am-5pm Tuesday-Sunday 

Free Entry

For more information, please go to Council’s website

Special Programs:

Living Art Legacies panel discussion

Sunday 19 May, 2 – 3.30pm  

Michelle and Carolyn will be joined by other ‘Keepers of the Flame’, Cassi Plate (Carl Plate) and Meg Stewart (Margaret Coen), in conversation with Katrina Strickland, author of Affairs of the Art and editor of Good Weekend, about living with artists’ legacies.

Exhibition Talk

Sunday 2 June, 3 - 4pm

Michelle Murch and Carolyn Leigh share the stories of Arthur Murch and Jurgis Miksevicius as told through the artworks in the exhibition and archives.

 
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