Abstraction and Alcohol, Expressionism and Excess: Jack Jubb

July 24, 2011

Every year, to run alongside its Summer Exhibition, the Royal Academy of Arts hosts an online gallery that showcases the cream of A-Level work by students across the UK. This year’s exhibition contains three works by a young artist called Jack Jubb that immediately grabbed my attention. This piece is not so much a review but a reflection on his work.

Red, Orange, Tan and Purple, 2011

Red, Orange, Tan and Purple, 1954

Jubb’s works engage the art of the Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko, taking three canvases by the celebrated artist and re-imagining them as alcoholic drinks. Aside from the ingenious aesthetic consideration – each drink, recalling the colour composition of a Rothko canvas, is created in the style of a layered cocktail or shooter that one might find in a bar or nightclub – the works, taken collectively, explore alcohol consumption on a deeper level.

Untitled, 2011

Untitled, 1969

Rothko’s art is an exploration of the emotive effect of colour. Often huge in scale, the viewer is immersed in the emotional spectrum of his vast colour fields: sometimes touching, occasionally disturbing; his canvases can range from ecstasy to anger, joy to despair. By re-envisaging Rothko’s oeuvre as alcoholic beverages Jubb acknowledges not only the emotive power of the artist’s work, but also the passionate and often impulsive extremes that are the result of excessive alcohol consumption. It is a highly accomplished triptych, both aesthetically and conceptually; a refreshing reflection of contemporary society that displays a maturity beyond the artist’s young age.

White Centre, 2011

White Centre, 1950

To view the other entries for the Royal Academy’s A-Level Summer Exhibition, 2011 visit their virtual gallery by clicking here.



  1. Very informative another good one

  2. Thanks for the encouraging comments Graham.

  3. Thank you for your comments on my work, especially as you understand the message so well. I hope future work I produce catches your attention also


    • No problem at all fella.
      Full credit to you for coming up with such an engaging and unique series of works. It was a pleasure highlighting such a coherent concept to my readership.

      As an aside, are you also aware that your work features of the art/social media site Artfinder where users can collect your work and the work of other artists? http://www.artfinder.com/artist/jack-jubb/

      I hope you continue your potential by going on to study at uni.


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