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NERAM comes up Jacks

A major artwork by leading artist Robert Jacks was donated to the New England Regional Art Museum by the late artist’s wife at the exhibition opening on the evening of Friday 5 May 2017.

The new exhibition Robert Jacks: Printed Matter was curated by Peter Anderson and presents a wide selection of works by one of Australia’s most prominent artists involved in minimalism in Australia as well as the field of artists’ books.

“We are delighted that Julienne Jacks has decided to donate this key work to the NERAM Collection,” said Robert Heather, Art Museum Director. “ The painting Malagurna (2006) is the centrepiece of our new exhibition which explores Robert Jack’s work in creating artists’ books and multiples, printmaking, sculpture and painting ranging from his time in New York in the early 1970s through to his time in the Goldfields region of Victoria.”

“This beautiful painting references his love of music, especially jazz while also showcasing his use of formal patterns and colours to create a blend that is very striking and appealing.”

Robert Jacks (1943-2014) held his first exhibition in 1966 and was one of the artists selected for inclusion in The Field, the seminal exhibition which opened the new National Gallery of Victoria in 1968. He then moved to New York City where he became involved in the international art scene until his return to Australia in 1978 where he taught in Melbourne and Sydney, eventually establishing a studio in Harcourt. The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne held the critically acclaimed retrospective exhibition Robert Jacks: Order and Variation in October 2014, just months after he passed away.

The NERAM exhibition Robert Jacks: Printed Matter draws attention to his practice in the field of artists’ books and his connection to the art book organisation Printed Matter in New York which he was involved in from its beginnings 40 years ago.

“For Jacks the artists’ book not only offered an ideal site for the exploration of creative ideas, it was a very economic and accessible form that allowed intimate engagement,” said guest curator Peter Anderson. “It was about making art ‘available to everyone’. “

The exhibition has been developed by the New England Regional Art Museum working with the Robert Jacks Estate and has been supported by a grant from the Gordon Darling Foundation, who provided funding for versions of the exhibition to be shown at Printed Matter in 2016 as part of the international New York Art Books Fair and at NERAM in Armidale in 2017.

Robert Jacks: Printed Matter is being shown as part of The Print Room program of exhibitions at New England Regional Art Museum and will be on show until Sunday 2 July 2017.

Image:   Julienne Jacks with Malagurna (2006) at exhibition opening 5 May 2017, New England Regional Art Museum

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