Information about work, life and play in Regional Australia

Monday, June 25, 2007

John Brack - an Australian Regional Artist

Photo: John Brack, Menswear, 1953.

It amy seem odd to include a story on John Brack, a Melbourne resident and one of Australia's most famous painters, in a blog focused on life outside Australia's metro centres. Yet Brack was also first and foremost a regional artist, if one focused on the life and suburbs of Melbourne.

In the words of Australia's National Gallery:

John Brack was one of Australia's most outstanding artists. He was born in Melbourne in 1920, and his work first achieved prominence in the 1950s. For over forty years he was at the forefront of Australian art and produced some of our most iconic images. More than any other Australian artist of his generation, Brack was a painter of modern life - its starkness, its shadows and its brooding self-reflection. His work is characterised by a kind of caustic realism and a strong sense of alienation, undercut with dry, sardonic humour.

Nearly all of Australia's artists are in fact regional artists in that their work reflects and is influenced by local conditions. We need to understand this if we are to understand their life and work.

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