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James Joyce has been a life-long inspiration for Robert Jacks. In 1966 Jacks staged his first solo exhibition, from which the National Gallery of Victoria bought ‘Timbrel and harpsoothe’, a work informed by Joyce’s modernist masterpiece ‘Ulysses’.
This affinity culminated in 2004 when Jacks was anointed the official artist for Bloomsday, an annual festival that celebrates ‘Ulysses’. Occurring on the 16th of June, Bloomsday sees city and novel fuse: participants retrace Leopard Bloom’s meander through Dublin, while others dress in Edwardian garb and gather for live readings.
In his role Jacks developed ‘The James Joyce House of the Dead’, a suite of nine original etchings presented here in full. Each work takes its title from the final paragraph of Joyce’s long short story, ‘The Dead’. In his own words:
“The first etching is a drawing of an eye seeing the language; the last - in heavy brush work - is an ear, hearing the language.”
For Jacks, Joyce was a literary collagist; just as he connects seemingly disparate ideas, so does Jacks, creating an abstract yet poetic universe. Reaching across the cosmic and mundane, he draws visual connections that like constellations, are at once imagined and compelling.
Jacks is the subject of a monograph, represented in most public collections and in 2014, was honoured with a major retrospective at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. He was also included in the landmark 1968 exhibition ‘The Field’. ‘The James Joyce House of the Dead’ suite is represented at the British Museum.
This highly collectible suite will illuminate collections of abstract, minimal and cerebral art. It is for fans of Jacks, Joyce and the crossovers between literature, art and ideas. Robert JACKS (1943 - 2014)'The James Joyce House of the Dead' 2004Complete set of nine etchings on paperEdition of 30Image Size: 26 x 28 cm Dimensions: 38 x 28 cm Signed: Each print is signed Jacks, editioned and titled in margin. Comes with Letter of ProvenanceThis is a complete set of nine original etchings: Fall Obliquely Against the Lamplight; Time Had Come; Drifted on the Crooked Crosses; Heard the Snow Falling; Soul Swooned Slowly; On the Barren Thorns; Through the Universe and Faintly Falling; Last End Upon All; and Living and the Dead. This set is represented at the British Museum, London. Accession no.: 2006,0730.25.1-9. Availability: in stock
© Robert Jacks / Copyright Agency 2022
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