John Murphy
An Indefinable Odour of Flowers Forever Cut 1982–4

Artwork details

John Murphy born 1945
An Indefinable Odour of Flowers Forever Cut
Date 1982–4
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Unconfirmed: 2130 x 1855 mm
Acquisition Presented by Charles Saatchi 1992
Not on display

Display caption

In his paintings of this time Murphy was setting identifiable objects against indefinable grounds. This reflects his preoccupation with the impossibility of perceiving the work of art as something complete in itself. The objects depicted remain, to a large degree, incomplete and illusory. This work reflects the poetic yearning for the unity and order we seek in the fragments that comprise our experience of time, sensations and objects. It has been described as 'a painting of regret for the irreversibility of time' with the fallen blossom below the vase 'an emblem of mortality'.

September 2004