John Brack

Study for Nude on a Black Bed, 1957
pencil on paper
35 x 37.4 cm (sight); 60 x 61.4 cm (frame)
signed and dated ‘John Brack 57’ (lower right) and with typed details on an Australian Galleries label and stock number handwritten on an Australian Galleries label (R1989/23851) (all on the reverse)

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Private collection
Australian Galleries, Melbourne (R1989/239851)
Acquired by the present owner from the above in 1999

John Brack, Australian Galleries, Melbourne, November 1957, cat.18
John Brack Drawings 1945-1979, Monash University Exhibition Gallery, Melbourne 9 June -10 July 1981, cat.22
John Brack, A Retrospective Exhibition, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 10 December 1987-31 January 1988, cat. 148

Ronald Miller, John Brack, Lansdowne Press, Melbourne, 1971, listed under 1957 exhibition
Robert Lindsay, Ursula Hoff & Patrick McCaughey, John Brack A Retrospective Exhibition, 1987, p. 142 
Sasha Grishin, The Art of John Brack, Volume II, Catalogue Raisonne, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1990, cat p72 on p.49.

Related work
Nude on the Black Bed, 1957 is held in the Sussan Corporation Collection

In 1957, John Brack held an exhibition of his Nude paintings and works on paper at Australian Galleries in Melbourne. The exhibition included 9 paintings and 16 drawings including The Boucher Nude, Nude on the Black Bed (Sussan Corporation collection), Nude in an Armchair (National Gallery of Victoria collection), Nude with Two Chairs (Art Gallery of NSW collection) and the iconic The Bathroom (National Gallery of Australia collection). 

"One surprising and unexpected factor was to be the model. The only one who responded to Brack's advertisement was a middle-aged woman, not particularly attractive, with short cropped hair and of very slender build, who looked decidedly out of place naked in the artist's North Balwyn suburban living room. It was difficult to imagine a greater contrast to the voluptuous erotic nudes of art history. For Brack it presented a challenge to de-eroticise the nude, to present his artistic invention in the face of audience anticipation. It was also an attempt to achieve a high degree of eloquence through the restraint of sensuousness." (Sasha Grishin, The Art of John Brack Volume 1, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1990, p.59)

  • Study for Nude on a Black Bed

Photograph by Geoff Boccalatte.

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