Robert Jacks

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Robert Jacks
Nationality Australian
Education RMIT University
Known for Painting
Movement Abstract

Robert Jacks AO (born 1943) is an Australian painter, sculptor and printmaker.

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.

He taught at Rochedale College, Toronto before moving to New York City in 1969. He returned to Melbourne in 1978 to be artist-in-residence at the University of Melbourne.

The winner of many art awards and prizes, he has exhibited consistently in Australia since 1966 in more than 50 solo exhibitions, including retrospectives.

In 2001 the Bendigo Art Gallery established the Robert Jacks Drawing Prize. In 2006, he was named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

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

Further reading[edit]

  • Patrick McCaughey (2001) 'Gallery notes', Australian Book Review, September.
  • Grant, Rozentals and Anderson (2014)'Robert Jacks - Order and Variation' NGV Exhibition

External links[edit]