An image of Kitchen at Smacka's

Jan Senbergs

(Australia, Latvia 29 Oct 1939 – )

Kitchen at Smacka's, from the series Kitchen at Smacka's

Not on display
Further information

Drawing did not begin to occupy Jan Senbergs seriously until the late 1970s after he stopped screenprinting and had completed a major sculpture commission for the High Court of Australia. His first exhibition of drawings, 'Port pastels', was in Sydney at the Rudy Komon Art Gallery in 1979. Drawing has since remained central to his practice. 'Kitchen at Smacka’s' is a panoramic view of Senbergs’ studio, a cavernous space in inner Melbourne, occupied in the 1960s and 70s by a nightclub named after its owner, Smacka Fitzgibbon.

The building was a prominent part of Melbourne’s jazz scene before Senbergs occupied it. In the first two sheets of the four-part drawing, the semi-circular dance floor can be seen, which Senbergs has retained; in the fourth sheet, the old bar is visible. Senbergs only submitted the third and fourth sheets of this quartet of drawings to the Dobell Prize. After it was acquired for the Gallery’s collection as the winning work, the artist gifted the first and second sheets of the quartet to the Gallery. A drawing of the interior of his previous studio in Middle Park, 'Studio interior' 1993, is also in the Gallery’s collection.

Place of origin
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
black pastel, on thick white wove paper (third and fourth panels of a quartet)
153.5 x 115.0 cm sheet; 153.5 x 232.0 cm diptych overall; 153.5 x 464.0 cm quartet overall; single frame dimension 165.5 x 126.0 x 5.0 cm
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Gift of the Trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation 1995
Accession number
© Jan Senbergs