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Born in Melbourne, Australia. He studied sculpture from 1958 to 1960 at the Prahran Technical College, Melbourne, and painting in 1961 and 1962 at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (now RMIT University).
In 1966 he had his first solo exhibition at Gallery A, Melbourne from which a work was purchased for the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria. In 1968, he participated in ‘The Field’ an extremely influential exhibition at the new National Gallery of Victoria, which effectively launched color field abstraction in Australia.
The winner of many art awards and prizes, he has exhibited consistently in Australia since 1966 in more than 50 solo exhibitions, including retrospectives.
His mature work, while emerging out of the international abstract 'color field' movement of the late '60s, retains an ambiguous link to the representation of appearances, especially of objects in space.
"I think my work has always been minimal and abstract because when I was being taught sculpture, it was expressed in abstract terms. Form in space, mass and volume - that sort of thing. Painting, for me, is an extension of sculptural ideas."
- John McDonald (1997) Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 15 March.
- Ken McGregor & Robert Jacks (2001) Robert Jacks: Past Unfolded, Fine Art Publishing
- David Thomas (2003) 'Underwater garden', Metro 5 Gallery, exhibition catalogue
- Patrick McCaughey (2001) 'Gallery notes', Australian Book Review, September.
- Grant, Rozentals and Anderson (2014)'Robert Jacks - Order and Variation' NGV Exhibition
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