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Jan Senbergs

b. 1939

Jan Senbergs (b. 1939) came to Australia from Latvia in 1950. He studied at the Melbourne School of Printing and Graphic Arts, where he was influenced by Leonard French. In 1964 he joined the stable of artists associated with the Rudy Komon Art Gallery in Sydney, and he taught throughout the 1960s at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Senbergs has developed a vocabulary of seemingly sinister images of the modern industrial city, which have often been interpreted - for instance, by Bernard Smith - as ' dreary emblems of humankind polluted materially and spiritually by the advanced technological society'. Keith Looby and other commentators have observed, however, that Senbergs sees himself as an 'image maker', whose method is to paint abstract shapes, with little preconception, then unite elements from printmaking and photography with the outlines he has made. Between 1977 and 1980 Senbergs made a huge anodised aluminium six-panel mural for the 'Constitution Wall' of the public hall of the High Court. Here he began a friendship with the architect Colin Madigan, which resulted in a collaborative exhibition documenting the sinking of the HMAS Armidale, Armidale '42 Memory and Imagination, exhibited at the National Gallery in 2000.

Updated 2018