Victor Rubin

Biography

Victor Rubin is a prolific artist who has challenged Western traditions of representation for over four decades with metaphysical work on the self and the environment.

Using visual language like a literary master Rubin explores the most universally complex questions of existence through allegorical visions referencing the apocalypse, mass migration, world wars, utopia and love with equal amounts of seriousness and ambiguity. Rubin’s ever-evolving approach is the result of a life dedicated to aesthetic inquiry, with reference to Picasso, Grosz, Boyd, Ernst, Van Gogh, Bacon and others. As Rubin put it, “The history of art is in my work.”

Born in Sydney in 1950, Victor Rubin studied under John Olsen at the Bakery Art School before completing studies at the National Art School and Alexander Mackie in 1973. Since then he has worked as a teacher and lecturer at the Canberra School of Art and Victorian College of the Arts. Before relocating to Melbourne Rubin lived in London from 1988 to 1990, was an artist in residence at the Cite Internationale Des Arts, Paris and worked at the Beverley Springs Station in North West Kimberley, WA from 1992 to 1993.

Rubin won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 1996 and has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize, the Sir John Sulman Prize, the Blake Prize and others. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions including the 6th Biennial of Sydney in 1986, and is held in the collections of the Australian National Gallery, Canberra, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Queensland Art Gallery and many more, including private collections in Australia, Asia, the US, UK and Europe.

John Olsen said, “At my Bakery Art School, Victor had an immense capacity for work… Thirty five years afterwards the compulsiveness has remained, the emphasis on creative attitudes mutated… He gives us works of significant diversity and originality. His work macro and micro continues to captivate, amuse and disturb. From cocoon to butterfly in his long journey he is surviving as an important artist of his generation.”

AWARDS

2010 Finalist, Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

2009 Finalist, Sir John Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

2006 Finalist, Blake Prize

2006 Finalist, Sir John Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

2004 Finalist, Sir John Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

2004 Finalist, Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, Moran Arts Foundation, Sydney

1996 Winner, Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, Moran Arts Foundation, Sydney

1994 Winner, The John McCaughey Memorial Art Prize, National Gallery of Victoria

1990 Artist in Residence, Cite Internationale Des Arts, Paris

1987 Arts Board of the Australia Council

1986 Half Standard Grant awarded by the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council

1974 Finalist, Sir John Sulman Prize, Sydney

SELECTED RECENT SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017 Fellia Melas Gallery, Sydney

2015 Fellia Melas Gallery, Sydney

2012 Eva Breuer Art Dealer, Sydney

2011 Eva Breuer Art Dealer, Sydney

2010 Chapman & Bailey Gallery, Melbourne

SELECTED RECENT GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2010 Archibald Prize, AGNSW, Sydney

2009 Sir John Sulman Prize, AGNSW, Sydney

2006 Blake Prize Finalist, Sydney

2006 Sir John Sulman Prize, AGNSW, Sydney

2005 After Van Gogh: Australian Artists in Homage to Vincent, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery

Full CV

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