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40th Anniversary Tuesday Talks - Helen Brack on John Brack’s The Queen

BY The Ian Potter Museum of Art | 18-Jun-2012
Artist and teacher Helen Brack, will speak on John Brack’s The Queen (1988), a recent donation to the University of Melbourne Art Collection by Helen Brack. The Potter presents a series of 40th Anniversary free talks to celebrate the rich and diverse exhibition program to be presented on the third Tuesday of the month until November 2012.

The Potter presents a series of 40th Anniversary free talks to celebrate the rich and diverse exhibition program to be presented on the third Tuesday of the month until November 2012. Tomorrow, artist and teacher Helen Brack will speak on John Brack's The Queen (1988). A recent donation to the University of Melbourne Art Collection by Helen Brack, the painting forms a major addition to the collection.

Tuesday talks will focus on a key work within each exhibition, presented by Potter curatorial staff, university academics and special guest speakers.

Tues 17 July: Anthony White on Inner worlds.
Tues 21 August: Amanda Burritt on Ceramic art of ancient Cyprus.
Tues 18 September: Chris McAuliffe on the Basil Sellers Art Prize 2012.
Tues 16 October: Jenny Long with Sally Smart on The Anatomy lesson.
Tues 20 November: Joanna Bosse on the Leonhard Adam Collection.

NO BOOKINGS REQUIRED Contact: potter-events@unimelb.edu.au or phone 03 8344 0327

BACKGROUND: The Queen

The Queen, with its intriguing arrangement of cut up post cards of the portrait of Elizabeth I, presents many of the themes that feature in Brack’s paintings. There is the ambiguous use of space, of which Brack is a master, and a visual puzzle – of the balanced scissors that support the cards. How do the reflections in the mirror relate to the post cards? There is an inter-play of forms: between the ovals of the mirror and the marble table and between the rectangular shapes of the cards and their reflections. Brack uses the different material qualities of paper card, marble, steel and glass to great effect.

The Queen forms a major addition to the University of Melbourne Art Collection. It complements the Potter’s existing holdings of works by John Brack of prints and drawings, an oil study and one oil painting, A face in the mirror, 1965. With the addition of this later work The Potter now represent the artist with works spanning his entire career, from the 1940s to the 1980s. The Queen has been included in several exhibitions and featured in the 2009 retrospective exhibition, John Brack, staged by the National Gallery of Victoria.