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JOHN OLSEN NEW WORKS


JOHN OLSEN NEW WORKS 15 MARCH – 23 APRIL 2017 This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Katharine Olsen

Cover image: John Olsen Landscape Approaching a Void I 2017 Oil and acrylic on canvas 92 x 76cm $85,000


Adversity often centres us to work from our core. This exhibition represents a particularly difficult and emotional time for John with the decline and eventual passing of his wife Katharine. A day to day concern, he grappled with being present for her and maintaining his studio practice. One would thereby assume that John would entertain a lugubrious theme encompassing dark palettes and reflective metaphors of mortality. Paradoxically we see him taking refuge in the joyous genres of his life’s work. This exhibition is a celebration of both John and Katharine’s lives. It is a rare privilege to grow from infancy to maturity within this vast body of work. In many ways, John’s paintings have the ability to distort and play with time. The joyful immediacy of his mark conceals the gravitas that forms the bedrock of six decades of painting. Watching the work at firsthand, I can say that the iconic fluidity of his line, his seamless pleasure (and success) in life, and what seemed like a rolling cavalcade of great and major works of art took tremendous drive and concentration. Its smudged, cadmium yellow face keeps reinventing itself in the forms of giant paella pans, ponds, inland lakes, swollen valleys and the adventurous line that could never draw a perfect circle. As he often described it, ‘The line that takes itself for a walk’.


It is well known that my father likes to traverse the Australian interior from above. On my first aerial journey with him to Lake Eyre / Kati Thander, in my thirties, I saw the land through a different eye. Here was supposed desolate isolation, teeming with life. Here, as the intricate map, the delicate palette, I saw the winding sensuality of the pink salt flats, the energy of perpetually lapping waves. All that apprehension about the dry interior dissolved and here was a haiku and a hurrah. Such a flat land can only be accurately described from above and yet I feel John Olsen has done so much more than evolve a convex picture plane in macrocosmic detail. What he manages is the simultaneous experience of vast space: you’ve got to look at it all and that’s tough painting and it is contemporary. John Olsen is not an abstract artist; he is one of the great evocative painters. His link to poetry is his other great strength. I feel he has been gifted in his ability to understand beauty and still praise the ugly, the uneven, the dificult. His work also spans and masters many disciplines. A passionate collector once hailed him ‘the Picasso of Australia’, a patently throwaway remark, and yet effectively like Picasso he has mastered and never faltered in any of his chosen mediums. Even ceramics. The idiosyncrasy of his mark is inherent everywhere.


People see pain as profound and pleasure as mildly suspicious, yet both are present in equal measure in the work of John Olsen, you just need to excavate a bit deeper. Everything my father touches is full of passion, intensity, truth and curiosity. The child is always alive. All my life he’s been watching, absorbing and doing much more than just taking notes. So often he has been known by his motto, ‘I am in the landscape and the landscape is in me’. That line, over time, became indivisible with his artistic identity and in the process he changed the face of how we see this terrain. He changed the very essence of what modern landscape painting is by shrinking the sky, turning his back on conventional geometry, speaking his own language and always returning to the egg-yolk magnetic energy of the sun. In death brings new life. This work is a celebration of human life and nature. Through the melancholy there is subsequent rebirth and

its

Tim Olsen

reward

is

truth

and

substance

in

joy.


Lily Pond 2016-17 Oil and acrylic on canvas 140 x 150cm $240,000


Low Tide 2017 Oil and acrylic on canvas 140 x 150cm $240,000


Animal Country 2016 Oil and acrylic on canvas 150 x 250cm $320,000


The BBQ 2010-17 Oil on canvas 168 x 183cm $280,000


Dingo Country 2016 Oil and acrylic on canvas 140 x 150cm $240,000


Journey into Murrumbidgee Country 2014 Oil on canvas 140 x 152cm $240,000


Simpson Desert 2007-17 Oil on canvas 137 x 152cm $240,000


Kangaroo Country 2016 Oil and acrylic on canvas 90 x 120cm $120,000


Life Approaching a Void 2017 Oil and acrylic on canvas 92 x 76cm $85,000


A Child’s Xmas Morning 2017 Oil and acrylic on canvas 92 x 76cm $85,000 Seafood Risotto 2017 (opposite top) Oil and acrylic on canvas 76 x 92cm $85,000 Bush Xmas 2015-17 (opposite bottom) Oil and acrylic on canvas 76 x 92cm $85,000


Barcelona: Squid Ink 2016 Oil and acrylic on canvas 76 x 92cm $85,000 Child’s Xmas Morning II 2017 (opposite top) Oil and acrylic on canvas 46 x 46cm $48,500 Animal Landscape II 2017 (opposite bottom) Oil and acrylic on canvas 41 x 40cm $44,000


(clockwise from top left) Squid Ink Risotto II 2017 (opposite bottom) 46 x 46cm $48,500 Xmas Bowl 2017 25 x 25cm $25,000 Dancing Squid 2017 20 x 20cm $20,000 Lunch at Barcelona 2017 20 x 26cm $22,000


Frog Jumping 2017 Bronze 162cm height $120,000


John Olsen Biography Born in Newcastle, 1928. Dr John Olsen received an Order of Australia (A.O.) in 2001. In 1977 he was awarded the O.B.E. for services to the Arts and in 1993 he was awarded an Australian Creative Fellowship. He was also awarded the Wynne Prize in 1969 and 1985 and the Archibald Prize in 2005 amongst many other awards throughout his career. He has also received an honorary doctorate of letters from both the University of NSW (2003) and the University of Newcastle (2011). SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS: 2017

2016

2015 2014 2013-14 2013 2012 2011

2010 Gallery 2009 2007 2006

John Olsen: New Works, Olsen Gallery, Sydney John Olsen: You Beaut Country, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney John Olsen: The City’s Son, Newcastle Regional Art Gallery John Olsen, Olsen Irwin, Sydney John Olsen: The You Beaut Country, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Destination Sydney, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane Myself and other Animals, Metro Gallery, Melbourne John Olsen: New Work, Olsen Irwin, Sydney John Olsen: An Exhibition of New Work, Osborne Samuel, London in conjunction with Olsen Irwin, Sydney Lake Eyre: The Desert Sea. Metro Gallery, Melbourne John Olsen, Lake Eyre – The Desert Sea, Ruminations on an empty landscape, Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney John Olsen, Lake Eyre – The Desert Sea, Ruminations on an empty landscape, Tim Olsen Gallery at the Hong Kong Art Fair John Olsen, Culinaria; The Cuisine of the Sun, Tim Olsen Olsen: Paintings & Drawings, Metro Gallery, Melbourne John Olsen, A Salute to Sydney, Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney The Coorong: Unfinished Journey, Metro 5 Gallery, Melbourne Selected works, Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney John Olsen: His Complete Graphics, Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney John Olsen, Selection of Graphics, Eastgate and Holst Gallery, Melbourne


2005

2004 2003

2002 2001 2000 1998

1995 1994 1993 Sydney 1992

1991 1990 1989

1988 1987-8 1986

The Flight to Broome, Tim Olsen Gallery Annex, Sydney. Pulse, Tarrawarra Museum of Art, Victoria Teeming with Life, His Complete Graphics 1957-2005, Book launch and exhibition of selected etchings, Cosa Gallery, London The Coorong Suite, New Releases, Print Survey. Port Jackson Press Gallery, Melbourne A selection of recent etchings by John Olsen, Impressions on Paper Gallery, Canberra John Olsen, Recent Works, Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney John Olsen, Metro 5 Gallery, Melbourne Sydney Harbour, Seaport of Desire, a survey of prints and drawings, Port Jackson Press, Melbourne Seaport of Desire, Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney Recent works on paper, Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney John Olsen: Past & Present, Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney John Olsen: Recent Paintings 1995 - 1998, Olsen Carr Art Dealers, Sydney 'New York Nowhere', recent paintings and works on paper, Olsen Carr Art Dealers, Sydney John Olsen: Recent Works, Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane John Olsen: Recent Work 1992-1994, Deutscher Fine Art, Melbourne John Olsen: Recent Works, Sherman Galleries Goodhope, John Olsen: Recent Etchings, Olsen Carr Art Dealers, Sydney John Olsen Retrospective, Art Gallery of New South Wales, John Olsen Retrospective, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne John Olsen, Australian Galleries, Melbourne John Olsen, Australian Galleries, Sydney John Olsen, Greenhill Gallery, Perth The Land Beyond Time, works from the Christensen Fund Collection, touring exhibition Manly Art Gallery, Sydney; Nolan Gallery, Canberra; The Centre Gallery, Gold Coast John Olsen - Encounters with Drawing, Australian Galleries, Melbourne John Olsen - Encounters with Drawing, Wollongong City Gallery Paintings and Drawings by John Olsen from the permanent collection, John Olsen - In Search of the Open Country 1961-1986, Heide, Melbourne John Olsen: Gold, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney


1985 1984 1983

1982

1981 1980

1979 1978 1977 1976

1975

1974 1973 1972 1971 1970 1969

1967

1965

John Olsen, Australian Galleries, Melbourne John Olsen, Tynte Gallery, Adelaide John Olsen, Tynte Gallery, Adelaide Festival, Adelaide John Olsen: Selected Graphics, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth John Olsen - The Land Beyond Time, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth John Olsen 81-82 and Noela Hjorth, Bortignon's Kalamunda Gallery of Man, John Olsen, Australian Galleries, Melbourne John Olsen: A Sliver of Time, Barry Stern Galleries, Sydney John Olsen: Exhibition of Recent Paintings, Australian Galleries, Melbourne John Olsen: Paintings and Drawings 77-80 Lister Gallery, Festival of Perth, Perth John Olsen: My Complete Graphics, David Reid Gallery, Sydney John Olsen: Earth Hold etchings, Cintra House, Brisbane John Olsen: Paintings and Drawings 77-78, Barry Stern Galleries, Sydney John Olsen: Recent Paintings, Australian Galleries, Melbourne John Olsen: Recent oil paintings, gouaches, drawings and etchings, Ray The Child in us All, St John's Anglican Cathedral, Brisbane John Olsen: Edge of the Void, Rudy Komon Gallery, Sydney John Olsen 74-75: Edge of the Void and Opera House Mural Studies, Australian Edge of the Void: Paintings, Drawings, Etchings and Lithographs by John Olsen, Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide John Olsen: Etchings, Gallery Huntly, Canberra John Olsen, Atelier 72 Gallery, Adelaide John Olsen, Rudy Komon Gallery, Sydney John Olsen, Australian Galleries, Melbourne John Olsen, Rudy Komon Gallery, Sydney John Olsen, Reid Gallery, Brisbane The Dunmoochin Summer: John Olsen '69, Rudy Komon Gallery, Sydney John Olsen '69- Exhibition of Gouches and Oil Paintings, White Studio, Adelaide Entrance to the Castle of Life: John Olsen 66-67, Clune Galleries, Sydney Entrance to the Castle of Life: John Olsen 66-67, South Yarra Gallery, Melbourne John Olsen, Clune Galleries, Sydney


1963

1960 1958 1955

John Olsen, South Yarra Gallery, Melbourne An Exhibition of Recent Paintings, Gouaches & Drawings by John Olsen, John Olsen: Recent Paintings, Australian Galleries, Melbourne Olsen, Galerie Lambert, Paris John Olsen, Terry Clune Galleries, Sydney John Olsen, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney John Olsen, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney

COLLECTIONS: John Olsen's work is represented in all Australian state gallery collections, the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and regional galleries Australia wide. He is also represented in institutional, corporate and private collections in Australasia, United Kingdom, Europe and the United States of America. MONOGRAPHS: David Hurlston and Deborah Edwards (editors), John Olsen The You Beaut Country, National Gallery of Victoria, 2016 Virginia Spate, John Olsen, Georgian House, Melbourne, 1973 John Olsen, Salute to Five Bells: John Olsen's Opera House Journal, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1973 John Olsen, My Complete Graphics, 1957-79, Gryphon Books, Melbourne, 1980 Sandra McGrath and John Olsen, The Artist and the Desert, Bay Books, Sydney and London, 1981 John Olsen: Gold, exhibition catalogue, introduction by Edmund Capon, essay by John Olsen, AGNSW, Sydney, 1986 Deborah Hart, John Olsen, Craftsman House, 1991 John Olsen, Drawn from Life, D&S, Sydney, 1997


JOHN OLSEN NEW WORKS 15 MARCH – 23 APRIL 2017 This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Katharine Olsen

John Olsen - New Works 2017  
John Olsen - New Works 2017  

John Olsen - New Works 15 March - 23 April 2017