Midas Finds His Soul

Mervyn Williams, Artist

This is one of the prints in our collection. It was made in 1969. The place where it was made is unknown.
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Abstraction is Mervyn Williams’ interest, but here he has combined an image of an object at the centre of his pattern, like the body of a spider surrounded by legs. It is a detailed technical drawing of a compressive mechanical device to symbolise pressure and stress,
surrounded by optical patterns. In Greek myth, Dionysus granted King Midas his wish that all he touched would turn to gold, but Midas let his
greed blind him to the consequences. Soon (to his regret) Midas’s food, drink and even his lovely daughter were irrevocably golden. Williams’ title is redemptive: Midas finds his Soul, but the artist has written that he thinks of the image as cautionary: “It symbolises certain ill-considered tendencies in our society…[which] endlessly exploit both physical and social environments to render them ultimately unsuitable for human habitation.”
- http://www.creative.auckland.ac.nz/webdav/site/nicai/shared/about/art-collection-and-galleries/university-art-collection/Mervyn%20Williams,%20Midas%20Finds%20his%20Soul,%201968.pdf
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Purchased, 1983.
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
Dec 1983



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