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Australian art

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The good looking print or Harry was right



Jan Senbergs

Australia, Latvia

29 Oct 1939 -


"When I was doing these prints and as I was coming to a conclusion to them, I also realized that I was handling it in a more sophisticated way. The prints were becoming more refined, more in control, in a way they were cooler, so I started this print as a cooler, more decorative, floating kind of print, with these images in the middle. I was sending myself up in the title, saying, 'this is a good looking print. It's getting too good looking.' 'Harry was right' was simply a literary sort of thing. I was sitting in a train and there was a couple talking (I was reading a book) and then somebody emphasized in their conversation 'Harry was right'. [laughter] That was the trigger. It's as simple as that. The name ‘Harry’ itself sounds absurd. It was like a postscript. Totally absurd, slightly surreal, partly self-mocking … I was confident, it's nice to be confident because most of the time you are full of self doubt. But it was a period when I was getting too confident. That print is almost a summation – it's time I left this more detached way of working. It was time to leave it alone, go back to the mark."

Jan Senbergs
[Hendrik Kolenberg, Jan Senbergs complete screenprints 1960-88, pg 69]




Media category


Materials used

colour screenprint on Fabriano paper




55.5 x 81.3 cm image; 69.2 x 98.6 cm sheet

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., pencil ".... J. Senbergs '75 ..."


Gift of the artist 2008


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Jan Senbergs

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

Referenced in 8 publications


Art Gallery of Ballarat, Outlines of Australian printmaking: prints of Australia from the last third of the 18th century until the present time, Ballarat, 1976, (illus.). 283; Collection of Ballarat Fine Art Gallery

Rowena Clark, Tapestry and the Australian painter: two years of work by the Victorian Tapestry Workshop, Victoria, 1978. 23; Collection of Ballarat Fine Art Gallery

Hendrik Kolenberg, Jan Senbergs: Complete screenprints 1960-88, Sydney, 2008, 69 (colour illus.). 56

Rudy Komon Art Gallery, Jan Senbergs: Paintings and silkscreen prints (1976), Sydney, 1976. NOTE: Impression unknown.

Tasmanian School of Art Gallery, Seven printmakers, Hobart, 1978. 31; NOTE: Impression unknown.

The Crossley Gallery, Jan Senbergs silkscreen prints (1975), Melbourne, 1975. 13; NOTE: Impression unknown.

Lilian Wood (Editor), Contemporary Australian printmakers I, Melbourne, 1979. 53; NOTE: Impression unknown.

Jenny Zimmer, Artisan, 'Harry was right! On seeing satire and visual plums in the paintings of Jan Senbergs', pg. 81-98, Melbourne, 1984, 81 (illus.). NOTE: Impression unknown.