John BRACK, Third daughter. Enlarge 1 /1


East Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia 1920 – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 1999

Third daughter. 1954 Place made: Swinburne Technical College, John Street, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Materials & Technique: prints, ink; paper drypoint, printed in black ink with plate-tone, from one copper plate Support: cream laid Michallet paper
Manufacturer's Mark: watermark: 'MICHALLET FRANCE'
Edition State: published state
Impression: 9/11
Edition: edition of 11

Primary Insc: Signed and dated lower right below plate-mark in black pencil, 'John Brack 54'. Inscribed lower left below plate-mark in black pencil, '9/11'.
Dimensions: plate-mark 17.5 h x 12.3 w cm sheet 24.0 h x 21.4 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1977
Accession No: NGA 77.728
Image rights: © Helen Brack
  • Purchased by the Australian National Gallery, from the artist, Melbourne, November 1977.

John Brack was a Melbourne artist who in his work engaged with an urban reality, one which the great majority of Australians experience in their daily life.

In 1954, he began to explore the techniques of printmaking and created a series of four small, intimate images in drypoint, one of each of his daughters. Third daughter is a little gem in characterisation, where the stark frontality, the clenched fists and the scowling expression denote defiance. This is accentuated by the rigid geometry of the setting, contrasted with the chaotic cross-hatching around the feet of the child. The lines have a lightly scratched crisp quality which is set against the soft velvety surface textures.

Sasha Grishin, 2002.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Anne Gray (ed), Australian art in the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2002