John Brack (1920 – 1999)

Considered to be an artist of rare excellence, John Brack became renowned within the Australian art world for his graphically abstract style of painting in which he achieved a perfect synthesis of line, colour and tone.

Born in Melbourne in 1920, Brack received a formal education in the arts at the Melbourne National Gallery School from 1938-1949. Having been introduced to the fundamentals of construction in the art of Seurat, it was during this time that Brack’s work attained its distinct satirical character before moving onto a softer, more abstract style.

John Brack’s style soon evolved to reveal simplified colours and forms in what came to be iconic images of contemporary Australian culture. Such images include his series of highly stylised works, Collins Street, Melbourne, 5 O’clock, which featured simple objects in complex patterns and The Bar which acted as a parody of Manet’s A Bar at the Folie’s Begere. In April 2006, this work of Brack’s broke records when it was sold at auction $3.1 million.

As he achieved a sense of purity in his art between colour, line and shape and effectively created space by producing flat and long perspective lines, Brack continued to produce a steady amount of consistently good images throughout his career.

Brack also became well-known in art circles for his active campaigning for the cause of Australian art. He joined the Antipodeans Group in the 1950s which protested against abstract expressionism and was art master at the Melbourne Church of England Grammar School until 1962 where he became temporary head before moving onto a position as head of the Melbourne National Gallery School. Under Brack’s authority, the school was modernised and its status improved greatly.

In 1999 an exhibition of Brack’s work was held at the National Gallery of Australia, RMIT and Monash University in Melbourne.

Today John Brack is a highly sought after artist by art collectors looking for a wise art investment. See: Art Investment Galleries, Art Auctions or John Brack Exhibitions. His work is represented in all state galleries and collections in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

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