John Robinson



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John Robinson was born in Melbourne in 1940 and graduated from RMIT with a Diploma of Art in 1962. On completion of his studies Robinson began exhibiting in both solo and group exhibitions, with his first major exhibition of paintings and woodcuts held at Argus Gallery, Melbourne and subsequently at Realities Gallery, Melbourne. In the late 1970s Robinson and others established a lithographic print workshop, Druckma Press, which he managed from 1978 to 1983; he subsequently founded his own press, Lithos Press, which printed editions for many established Australian artists, including John Brack and Fred Williams.

Robinson is perhaps most recognised for his work as a printmaker, although his earliest exhibitions were comprised primarily of photo-realist paintings. By the mid-1970s, however, the imagery in his work had become more abstracted. This exhibition presents a selection of works created in other media – drawing in oilstick and painting. Robinson considered that drawing, painting and printmaking were integral components of his artistic oeuvre, believing these three elements to be inextricably linked and that each cannot exist in art without reference to the other. [Bendigo Art Gallery, 2009].

Using (a) repertoire of symbolic and expressive elements, John Robinson’s paintings and prints develop richly evocative responses to the nature of the land, of life and of our experience.

Although they possess considerable visual appeal, they are never purely decorative. There is always a departure point, a cue to suggest further contemplation, an invitation to speculate on and to consider the issues that have generated these images and that, embodied in symbol and emotional evocation, are contained within them.

Energy as the ever present, always changing, all embracing factor, to be pursued in a search for truth and meaning, locates these works within the domain of philosophy, a visual parallel to one of the eternal quests, an understanding of the nature of the universe.

- Bernard Hoffert 1988


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