Sculpture at RMIT during the Jomantas years (1961-1987)
21 Jul 2003 -
13 Sep 2003
Suzanne Davies, Peter Wilson
This group exhibition celebrates the life and work of one of Australia’s finest émigré European sculptors Vincas Jomantas, and the work of 16 esteemed artists associated with him during his 27 years at RMIT.
The exhibition provides an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of Melbourne’s established generation of artists, many of whom have devoted their entire lives to art making and exercised enormous influence on the way we understand and value the arts. The exhibition presents a local history of sculpture and demonstrates the talent and imagination that thrives at RMIT.
Born in Lithuania, Vincas Jomantas came to Australia in 1949. He worked from a modest studio in Cheltenham, making elegant and powerful works from wood and metal. He began teaching at RMIT in 1961, becoming head of the Sculpture Department in 1966 where he remained until 1987. This exhibition demonstrates the inclusiveness of Jomantas’ teaching and thinking through the diversity of works produced by his students, colleagues and creative associates.
Many other artists who feature in the exhibition have created works that exist in the public domain. Bruce Armstrong is the artist behind the giant bird called the Bunjil that sits on Wurundjeri Way. Inge King made the large steel waves known as Forward Purge outside the Victorian Arts Centre.
This exhibition acknowledges the remarkable contribution of Vincas Jomantas in the context of the artworks by Bruce Armstrong, George Baldessin, Geoffrey Bartlett, Jock Clutterbuck, Peter Cripps, Augustine Dall’Ava, Donald Gore, Anton Hasell, Inge King, Gunther Kopietz, Penelope Lee, Kevin Mortensen, Lenton Parr and Anthony Pryor.