NOVEMBER 24 – DECEMBER 22
79 Stephenson Street
Cremorne 3121 VIC
Tel: +61 3 9429 0660
Curated by Warren Taylor
Born in Melbourne in 1934, Max Robinson studied for a year at the Melbourne Technical College before joining Clemenger advertising agency in 1952. Whilst his tasks were menial, the appearances of leading designers such as Jimmy Haughton James and Richard Beck on the agency floor sparked an already bright fuse burning inside the aspiring graphic artist.
During that period Peter Clemenger and graphic designer Max Forbes stumbled across a poster Robinson had designed, hanging in Clement Meadmore's model shop. A curiours Forbes asked, "Robinson... Isn't he that kid washing brushes in your studio?" Clemenger acknowledged the hand was that of someone more equipped to use the brush then to clean it and Forbes negotiated to loan Robinson for a year and "make him a designer".
Max Robinson has forged a reputation within the Australian graphic design industry as one of it's leading figures and personalities. For 12 years he worked with the Reserve Bank of Australia on the design for polymer notes –and in particular the $10 bill.
In the 1950s and 60s Robinson provided artwork for 3 Melbourne Film Festivals and a catalogue of striking LP covers for the World Record Club before shifting his practice to London. He was one of a select group of Australian artists to show in the Recent Australian Painting exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1961 after his first solo exhibition in Australia the previous year.
In London he worked for JWT on accounts for transport companies Ford and Avis, whilst keeping company with expatriates such as Mick Johnson, Tony McGillick, Leon Fink, Mary Talbot and Barry Humphries. His affection for abstract art and Swiss graphic design during this period set a tone for his commercial practice, which after ten years, made it's way back to Melbourne.
This exhibition features archival material, graphic work and art from Robinson's recently closed studio in Fitzroy.