John Olsen, Australia’s most revered living artist, unveils a suite of new works and we are pleased to launch this fantastic exhibition at Sydney’s Olsen Gallery. Simply titled Recent Works, his new exhibition includes sprawling landscapes, nuanced studies of animal life and intimate paintings based on the artist’s passion for food and cooking. Now 91, Olsen says this may be his last exhibition. Yet the artist shows little sign of slowing down.
A formidable presence for over six decades, Olsen is a painter who has forever changed how Australians see their country and its landscapes. After immersing himself in the art scenes of Paris and Spain, Olsen returned to Australia in 1960 – creating the first of his hugely influential works, based on a unique vision of the outback and its endless flux.
Olsen’s newest paintings all feature his signature combination of colour, energetic painterly vigour and exuberant gesture. For the artist, this series is an exploration of enduring themes undertaken with a fresh view.
“I’m still working, and this is recent work. I’m not trying to outdo the past or prove anything about the future. I’m just moved by now,” he says.
Having long held a vital place in the artist’s creative practice, poetry is an inextricable part of Olsen’s methodology and inspiration.
Aside from poetry, the other governing metaphor in these new works may be the authenticity of simple provincial cuisine shared among family and friends. It’s a subject reflected in paintings such as Sopa Marinara and Chicken Noodle Soup.
The exhibition opens on December 12 2019 at Olsen Gallery, whose founder and director is the artist’s son, Tim Olsen.
Pictured is Lake Eyre Birds Leaving by John Olsen.