Jurgis Kęstutis Račkus (Račkauskas) was born in Lithuania. He was brought to Canada by his parents at the age of 6 in 1934. He studied art at Wayne State University in Detroit, the Ontario College in Toronto, and the Ecole des Beaux Arts inParis. From 1952 to 1955 he had the opportunity to study with L’Hote, at the Academie de Andre L’Hote in Paris, who later assisted him with mural work. Through this outstanding art teacher Račkus gained greater insight into the logistics of colour and developed more flexibility with both colour and form. After completion of his studies Račkus created works of art at various times in Canada, United States, England, France, Spain, Brazil, and Mexico. His teaching experience includes Mcmaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Brock University; St. Catherines, Ontario and many others. He has taught art at all levels and implemented and conducted art programs for various institutions and associations. He has also lectured extensively on various aspects of contemporary art. Račkus is a painter, printmaker, watercolourist, muralist. Račkus exhibited his works in France, Spain, Canada, England, Belgium, Luxembourg, Brazil, USA, Lithuania, Australia, Mexico, Poland, Japan, the Azores. Public collections that have Račkus work include: the National Gallerie of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Lithuanian Art Museum in Vilnius, the Contemporary Museum in San Paulo, Brazil.
Jurgis Račkus' early works on canvas, dated from 1952 to 1955, remained essentially figurative.It was not until he had left the academy that he put aside all semblance of realistic content and with great intensity launched into a series of non-objective works. These works were expressionistic, although colour was reduced to a minimum, with black dominating. These works were first introduced in Paris in 1959 in a solo show at the Galerie Foyer des Artistesin Montparnasse.
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