Order and Variation: Robert Jacks
National Gallery of Victoria, $29.95 pb, 195 pp, 9780724103935
It was the great American Conceptual artist Sol LeWitt who organised Melbourne artist Robert Jacks’s first show in Manhattan. This was held at the New York Cultural Centre in 1971, part of a program where each exhibited artist nominated his successor. Jacks had been enjoying a stellar rise since his début solo exhibition at Gallery A in Melbourne in 1966, when he was twenty-three years old. All twenty-five abstract paintings in that show sold. Each one had a title referencing James Joyce’s Ulysses, such as Mr Bloom with his stick gently vexed (1965). The largest, Timbrel and harp soothe (1965), was bought by the National Gallery of Victoria even before the show opened.