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John Coburn
The Spirit of Colour

KLEPAC, LOU

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A great artist may be enabled, late in life, to discover and reveal to himself and to us, the deepest secrets of his art. For over three decades from the late 1950s onwards, John Coburns art impressed...

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A great artist may be enabled, late in life, to discover and reveal to himself and to us, the deepest secrets of his art. For over three decades from the late 1950s onwards, John Coburns art impressed the widest public, both in Australia and overseas. His prolific output of paintings, prints and tapestries expressed an apparently endless artistic imagination. Over much of the same period he was a highly effective art educator. But that brilliant career was abruptly broken into, at the height of success, by personal tragedy and life-threatening illness resulting in serious physical disability. The artists life and work up to that rupture has been the subject of several studies, but his subsequent deepening maturity and the stream of subtle masterpieces of the master of colour call for new recognition and appreciation. To penetrate into Coburns development in these years, the author proceeds through an investigation of the mysterious nature of colour itself; the determining events and influences of the artists life including the early impact of the Australian landscape and his fascination with the work of painters such as Miro, Matisse and Rothko; the culmination of his refined technique and colour experience in the ground-breaking tapestries - and the impact of crisis in the mid-1980s. Returning, now, to the theme of colour and the artist, we are shown how unremitting artistic striving and the impacts of life, coalesce in the creative impulses which release the magnificent late works.

Published: The Beagle Press, Australia, 2006

Item# 8517