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Australian art

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Fragment in space



Vaclovas Ratas

Australia, Lithuania

25 Feb 1910 - 03 Jan 1973


Vaclovas Ratas (Rataiskas) was born in Paliepsis, Lithuania. After graduating from the Kaunas School of Art in 1935, he studied in Italy. He worked as a curator at the M K Ciurlionis Gallery, Kaunas 1937-44, and from 1945-49 headed an art school in Augsberg, Germany. His wood engravings were used to illustrate books in Lithuania and Germany. He emigrated to Australia as a displaced person in 1949, arriving in Perth. He moved to Sydney in 1954. He was a foundation member of the Sydney Printmakers with Eva Kubbos, Henry Salkauskas and critic Laurie Thomas, and a member of the Contemporary Art Society. His work grew more experimental over these years - for example, in 1959 he began making relief prints from carved blocks of plaster. His work was included in the 1963-64 'Australian Print Survey'.

'Fragment in space' was exhibited with the Sydney Printmakers in 1967 (Sydney Printmakers, 1967 Farmer's Blaxland Gallery, Sydney, 12-23 September 1967, (27)). He described the technique he used in a letter to the Gallery in 1967; "metal graphic ... made by building up the printing surface with metal. It was rubbed from the back. No pressure marks because the print was made on dry thin paper".

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'Australian prints from the Gallery's collection', AGNSW, 1998


Place where the work was made

North Sydney Sydney New South Wales Australia



Media category


Materials used

collagraph, printed in black ink on ivory wove paper


artist's proof edition 1/5


60.3 x 100.4 cm image/sheet

Signature & date

Signed l.r., pencil "V Ratas". Dated l.l., pencil "... 1966".


Purchased 1967


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Vaclovas Ratas

Works in the collection


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 2 publications


Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 95 (illus.). 79

Anne Ryan (Curator), Sydney prints: 45 years of the Sydney Printmakers, Sydney, 2006. List of works.