Roy Jackson: Retrospective 1963-2013

Dates & times

Fri 27 September — Sun 3 November 2013

Image: Roy Jackson
Far seen
2010, mixed media collage on paper, 29.6 x 21 cm. Collection of the artist.


This exhibition spans fifty years of painting and drawing by one of the most distinctive abstract painters in Australia. Roy Jackson’s early days coincided with the impact of American abstract expressionism in Australia but unusually for an artist of his generation, he was more affected by Europeans such as Dubuffet, Klee and the Cobra painters, and by the Australians Ian Fairweather and Tony Tuckson.

From the very beginning, his art has been characterised by a feeling of openness that retains the pulse of its making. In an era when ecological awareness has become paramount, his most sensitive and poetic response to the observed environment  – which unfolds through a marvellously variegated and fluid graphic language (abstracted “writing”, textures, patterns, rhythms and the shifting depths and intervals between marks) – has come to seem crucially relevant, not to say authoritative because of its elemental beauty. For him, a drawing or painting is a vibrating field of energy and the pursuit of wholeness is a constant preoccupation. The realisation of this goal serves to acknowledge the indivisibility of the natural world, the continuum of human experience spanning all times and cultures, and the permeability of nature and culture.

Just as Jackson’s imagination shuttles between the micro into the macro, so the hundred or so works in this exhibition vary in scale from large paintings to intimate notations in sketchbooks. This retrospective is curated by Terence Maloon and Sioux Garside.

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Updated:  8 November 2013/ Responsible Officer:  DHG Director/ Page Contact:  Drill Hall Gallery