About Nikolette Jakovac
About The Artist
Nikolette Jakovac is a painter and printmaker. A strong attachment to the
natural world is a thread that runs through all her work. Her paintings speak
of colour and atmosphere yet she feels an equal affinity for the world of black
and white, the simple line and shape.
She is drawn to the work of Bonnard, Van Gogh, Charles Burchfield. An original member of the Toronto's
Open Studio, her etchings were widely exhibited in joint exhibitions. The power
and simplicity of the woodcut medium is strongly represented in her work, from
"The Puckett Farm" series to "The Mr. Donut Blues."
Nikolette has a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and
her work is in many private collections including the Royal Bank of Canada. Her
prints were included in juried shows -- Philadelphia Print Club and others --
and in Open Studio international shows.
|"Landscape, the Lasting
||Praxis Gallery, hon. Mention
||Laurier Gallery, 2003
||Two person show at Laurier Gallery, 2002
||Blackwood Gallery, Erindale College, University of
||Solo show at The Latcham Gallery, Stouffville 1996
|"Looking Out/Looking In"
||Two person show at Del Bello Gallery, Toronto 1993
|"Monoprints and Pastels"
||Solo show at Meramec College at St. Louis 1981
||Zacks Gallery, York University 1986
||Zacks Gallery, York University 1985
Selected Group & Juried Shows at:
The Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris
Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant,
The Station Gallery, Whitby
Grimsby Public Art Gallery
Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto
Zacks Gallery, Stong College, York
Philadelphia Print Club
Art Gallery of Hamilton
Art Gallery of Peel
Museum Rudnik-Takovo, Yugoslavia
Meramec College, St. Louis, Missouri
Every summer I go to the park just as if I were a
visiting artist doing my first painting there. I don't know in advance if I'll
draw, or use gouache or oil. Sometimes I'll use all of the materials one after
another. It's wonderful just to be there and my part in that wonder is to find
my "work". Hah! Once I've started in a spot the rhythm develops and I keep
working in that spot, returning at the same time every day until I have done as
much as I could on the picture. Photographs are useless for this kind of work.
They are another kind of eye. I can take wonderful photographs in the park but
I can't take a photograph of a tree or scene I am painting that would help me
finish my painting in the studio. The paintings are usually completed on the
spot. I guess there are different levels of 'success' in the paintings that
come out. I don't think of that very much. But every year I find there is more
to see than ever and I feel that I can do more too. (An artist's delusion!)
I painted flowers to give me a little of that sensation I have
when painting outside -- the flowers are more fragile and they die as I paint.
That also comes into the painting. As the flowers wither and droop in places,
the nerves are more revealed.
I like woodcut for its simplicity, the warmth of cutting
into wood and burnishing the back of the page with a wooden spoon. There's no
turning back and many surprises along the way to a print. I have made a turn
into printmaking several times along the way and know I'll do more.
The Mr. Donut Blues
The Mr. Donut Blues is a portfolio of 11 prints made during the
year after I had heard the Goldenrod Jazz Band play the song by trumpet player
and band member Brian Casserly on the riverfront in St. Louis, Missouri.
I had heard the song only once and it took my breath away. Every
phrase went to my heart. I wanted to do a print based on the Mr. Donut Blues.
Back in Toronto, I leafed through my drawings of the band. It also happens that
I spend a lot of time in donut shops. I telephoned St. Louis several times to
ask Brian for the words to the song.
"It changes every time we play it."
"It isn't finished."
"I can't remember the words unless I'm playing."
Each time I called I got another verse or another version of a
verse, so I was working on the woodcuts, not "a print." I didn't know how many
prints I would need to make the story complete.
The song is something special. It's funny and full of images.
Friends joked that my hours in donut shops had had a purpose after all. Now
there are eleven prints in "The Mr. Donut Blues" portfolio and I see the
melancholy in the song, but I didn't think about it as I worked.
Show at The Samuel J. Zacks Gallery
By Merlin Homer
Nikolette Jakovac's woodcuts of landscape and domestic interior are warm
evocations of their subject matter as well as expressions of steadiness and
craft. They are personal works, conveying a comfortable affection for every
aspect of Jakovac's environment, including such domestic details as particular
chairs, tables, houseplants and Jakovac's cat, Henry.
But although Jakovac's vision is gentle, this gentleness is fed by a seemingly
inexhaustible wellspring of deep emotion and passionate connection to her
environment. In the landscapes, for instance, the trees emerge as individual
beings that have the beauty of living souls with their own histories. Yet the
patience and steadiness implicit in Jakovac's woodcutting craft move the viewer
towards an almost physical ability to comfortably embrace these landscapes.
This intimate quality might by suspected to derive from Jakovac's ability to
meditate unwaveringly on the theme and her artistic response through a process
that sometimes involves ten separate wood blocks for the completed effect. In
order to provide more understanding of this process a stage-by-stage
presentation of one print, "Room for Everything," is included in this
Nikolette Jakovac has been a professional painter and printmaker for 22 years.
Her first solo show of paintings and woodcuts was held at the Cheekwood Art
Museum in Nashville, Tennessee in 1970. From 1970-76 she was an important
figure at Toronto's major art printmaking centre, the Open Studio. Her work has
been exhibited in numerous Toronto locations as well as at Mt. Allison
University in New Brunswick, the Glenbow Alberta Institute, Old Dominion
University in Norfolk, Virginia, The Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, Meramec
College in St. Louis, Missouri, the Kitchener Waterloo Gallery, and the Art
Gallery of Hamilton.
From Article "Jakovac, Markiewicz inaugurate"