About the Artists Database

The NIVAL Artists Database has been compiled in order to improve public access to the Library's extensive information files on 20th century and contemporary Irish artists.  These files contain exhibition catalogues, newspaper cuttings and ephemera on over 3,500 artists born or based in Ireland.

The Artists Database is a reference resource providing basic biographical and work details on each artist abstracted from the information contained in the hard copy files held in the Library.  It is important to realise that the records are a summary of the information held in each artist's file.  A visit to NIVAL is recommended to researchers seeking a comprehensive view of the actual files.

Although we have endeavoured to ensure the information is correct, it is inevitable, given the diverse sources of information, that some inaccuracies may occur.  Changes and updates are made on an ongoing basis and the Library welcomes suggestions, criticism, and donations of relevant material.

Filter Artists:

  • Reference Code:IE/NIVAL AR/1131
  • First Name: Robert
  • Last Name: Janz
  • Gender: Male
  • Date of Birth: 1932
  • Place of Birth: Antrim
  • Nationality: Irish
  • Website: www.driftdiary.com
  • Area Of Practice:
    • Painting
    • Time Based Art
  • Artwork Type Technique:
    • Installation
    • Drawings
    • Mixed Media
    • Performance Art
    • Artists' Books
  • Abstract/Figurative: Abstract
  • Genre:
    • Still Life / Subject
  • Represented By: Oliver Dowling Gallery, Dublin
  • Public Art: No
  • Size: 20+
  • Manuscript Material: No
  • Physical Location: Artist Files Collection

other Info Source:

See books in NIVAL artists' books collection

Conservation Required

photocopy newspaper cuttings drawings and artists' books to be removed from file


Janz was born in Belfast but moved to America at the age of six. The portrayal of time and movement is a central concern in his work. During the 1970s Janz began to make performance drawings, the most famous being the Berlin Wall drawing (1979) when for over twenty days he braved the West German border guards to draw a fist slowly opening to become an open hand. A founder member of group "Continuum" in London, 1967, he now lives and works in New York. File contains an extensive collection of photographs, original drawings and artists' books, including a response to the 9/11 emergency in the US. Photographic documentation of exhibitions involving this artist at The Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast are available in NIVAL. Search online special collections under "Fenderesky Gallery Image Collection" for more information.

There is a file in the digital ephemera related to this artist. If you have a login then click here to access it.