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Robert Tombs: Graphic Works Exhibition Essay


On December 3, 2015, a new exhibition opened at the Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery (“Robert Tombs” n. pag.). The exhibition bears the name “Robert Tombs: Index. Graphic Works 1985–2015.” As it is apparent from the name, it shows the works of Robert Tombs, a famous contemporary Canadian artist, and designer. The exhibition allows the viewers to personally experience the works of the artist and lets them build a rather clear picture of his artistic activity.

The exhibition presents a collection of works by Robert Tombs. It is noteworthy that the pieces of art created by the artist mainly consist of photography, installations, as well as of works of graphic design. The exhibition is comprised of more than a hundred of exhibits; it is worth pointing out that not only the mentioned types of art are demonstrated but also the books of Robert Tombs, his posters, sketches (which include drawing, offset printing, and xerographic images), as well as catalogs of his other works of art.

The curator of this exhibition at the MSVU Art Gallery is Ingrid Jenkner, who is also the Director of this gallery. It is noted that Ms. Jenkner has rather much experience of collaborating with Robert Tombs; she did so since the mid-1990s. According to her own confession, this mutual work provided the current MSVU Art Gallery Director with a number of insights regarding the modernist art (Jenkner par. 4). Today, Ingrid Jenkner had the opportunity to exhibit the artist’s works in the gallery that she is the head of.

It should be apparent that one of the main purposes of the exhibition is to provide an overview of the works created by famous artists. In order to do so, the curator collected not only the photographs taken by Robert Tombs but also the catalogs of his work. In addition, such a collection of exhibits allows the viewers to create a clear picture of what the professional life of the artist looks like. Jenkner stresses that Tombs pays much attention to collaborating with his customers, reading the whole texts of publications that he is to illustrate, proposing copy-editing improvements, and, clearly, discussing the works of art that he is to produce with the client (par. 3).

It is possible to argue that the fact that the collection of Tombs’ works was exhibited at the MSVU Art Gallery complies with the aims and purposes of the Gallery’s functioning. It is stated that some of its goals are to provide the viewers with the opportunity to get acquainted with both historical and contemporary art and to nurture informed, critical reactions and approaches to this art (“About MSVU Art Gallery” par. 3). Clearly, exhibiting the works of a contemporary artist such as Robert Tombs supplies the visitors with the chance to personally appreciate these pieces of art.

It is our opinion that the pieces of art exhibited at the Gallery allow the visitors not only to attain some experience of beholding the works of Robert Tombs but also to grant them the chance to create a broader picture of his whole artistic creation. It is important that the viewers also achieve the opportunity to peer more deeply into the professional life of the famous artist.

To sum up, it should be highlighted that the exhibition provides the Gallery’s visitors with an overview of Tombs’ works. It contains not only the photographs and pictures created by the artist but also the posters, sketches, and catalogs of his work. The exhibition allows the viewers to imagine Tombs’ artistic activity rather clearly.

Works Cited

About MSVU Art Gallery. n.d. Web.

Jenkner, Ingrid. Collaborating with Robert Tombs. n.d. Web.

Robert Tombs: Index. Graphic Works 1985-2015. n.d. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Robert Tombs: Graphic Works Exhibition." July 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/robert-tombs-graphic-works-exhibition/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Robert Tombs: Graphic Works Exhibition." July 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/robert-tombs-graphic-works-exhibition/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Robert Tombs: Graphic Works Exhibition'. 8 July.

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