_Back to previous page
23 January 2016
"I'm not old, I'm just aged," Olsen says, beaming, as the sun glints on the lake which laps his studio and sprawling house in the NSW Southern Highlands.
"One great value in being aged is that it allows retrospective thinking. I can now look back at the changes in my lifetime through a mental telescope....
3 Nov 2015
31 October 2015
Leila Jeffreys’ remarkable portraits of rescue bird.
For Wonder, a rare albino turkey vulture, life can be trying. His terrible eyesight means that “he is afraid of his own shadow”, says Australian photographer Leila Jeffreys. He was found face down in the snow in Michigan and is now at a Californian rescue centre, where Jeffreys took his portrait. “There is a gentleness to him that makes me melt,” she says.
10 October 2015
"A mother and daughter turn to paint and canvas to comprehend a family tragedy".
In light of World Mental Health Day, John McDonald reviews Ann and Sophie Cape's current exhibition 'An Unending Shadow: Works Exploring Dementia' at Mosman Art Gallery.
8 October 2015
Museum visits the ceramics studio of Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize finalist Stephen Bird.
3 October 2015
Paul Davies cuts his stencils with the same kind of scalpel blade his ophthalmologist father uses to slice into eyes. The results are different of course. Davies junior's use of the scalpel is potentially far less messy and brings forth images that are apparently serene and seemingly two-dimensional. Yet the issue of redefining vision is the same. That is a theme that has defined this 36-year-old artist's career to this date. Born in Sydney, now living in Los Angeles, he often uses mid-20th-century modern architecture in his work yet says what is there is not what it seems.
Put all shame and modesty aside when visiting Stephen Bird’s exhibition Bastard Son of Royal Doulton. Autobiographical in much of its content, this show features sensational artworks with explicit scenes of sex in the bush, petrol sniffing, and decapitation alongside the banal, stuff of everyday life. This is a survey show of Bird’s ceramics and works on paper from 1992 – 2014. The artist sees the show as a celebration of these 22 years of his career and a creative document of his journey from Scotland to Australia.
29 September 2015
“My work is driven by friction between opposing forces of built and natural environments, design and art, abstraction and figuration.” We chat to Davies about his new exhibition ‘Other Desert Spaces’ and the direction his move to Los Angeles has steered his work.
21 September 2015
Guy Warren denies being Australia's oldest working and exhibiting artist, but he's willing to concede that he may be our best looking. At the grand age of 94, he still paints and draws several days a week in his Leichhardt studio.
"I feel 40," he says. "What the hell, age doesn't really matter."
In the past 18 months, Warren has been travelling in Ecuador, Alice Springs and remote NSW. The Dust of Memory, his exhibition of landscape paintings drawn from his travels, opens this weekend at Olsen Irwin Galleries.
27 August 2015
AIn April this year, the day after Sydney's spectacular storms, artist Alan Jones arrived at his Alexandria studio to find 17 of his new paintings floating in melted hail.
15 August 2015
This artist, who died In England in March, left a legacy of work that identifies him as one of the most significant Australian landscape painters.
9 August 2015
Many people find the concrete and glass sprawl of LA to be ugly and isolating, but Paul Davies sees the city as a work of art. "You have this incredible built environment of modernist architecture right within a natural environment of sunshine, canyons and oceans," he says. "You can't help but be inspired."
May 26 2015
When the painter meets the musician this week at the Vivid Sydney festival, it will be a meeting of the senses.
13 May 2015
Delafield Cook's name was put firmly on the British art map when Elton John bought almost an entire show.
Julian Meagher's latest exhibition is oddly contemplative for a painted study of masculinity and Australia's drinking culture, especially by someone whose main training was in medicine.
On the back of a sell out show at Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles, Julian Meagher returns to his hometime of Sydney for his debut exhibition at Olsen Irwin, Drinking with the other Sun.
The exhibition extends on notions of ritual, identity and masculinity from previous bodies of work, exploring Australian identity and its emergence from imperial roots. A suite of still lifes feature robust native fauna juxtaposed by delicate images of the English rose - pointing to the British influence of our national identity- set in intricate compositions of meticulously arranged, reclaimed glass bottles.
The still lives are couples with portraits of the decedents of key figures in Australian history. Meagher’s soft, intimate approach to these works probes notions of personal versus collecting history and inheritance.
Meagher originally trained as a doctor, choosing to leave the world of medicine to pursue a career in art following a period of study in Florence. His unique watercolour- esque style somewhat reflects the traditional oil portraiture techniques he learned at this time; he applied multiple thin glazes over many sittings. One can see elements of his original training too, in his precise execution and a careful, specimen-like treatment of his subjects.
April 11-12th 2015
‘I have never feared failure,” says Anh Do, glancing up at one of his thick-layered paintings in his studio on the NSW south coast. “My father took us from Vietnam across to Australia — 40 people on a 9m-long fishing boat — and if he failed, 40 people including his wife and two baby children are dead. So I ask myself: if I fail at painting, are 40 people going to die? No? Then just move forward and have a go.”
April 9 2015
With a portrait in last year's Archibald Prize exhibition and as a finalist in several other art shows, Anh Do's artistic credentials would seem to be beyond doubt.
But Do's gallery dealer Rex Irwin has been a tough judge to please.
"He came before last year's Archibald and he looked at all the work and he went 'This is pretty much all not good enough'," Do says. "And I said 'What about that one? That's my dad and I'm going to put him in the Archibald' and he said 'No, not very good'."
Sophie Cape is a former professional athlete who retired from competitive sport ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics due to injury. She dabbled in art from a young age – inspired by her artist grandmother (Gwenna Thatcher) and mother (Ann Cape) – but it was when her sporting career came to an abrupt end that her art making became the perfect outlet for her restless, athletic energy and her love of being outdoors. Cape immerses herself physically and emotionally into the landscape. It’s here that she has discovered and developed her unique visual language, making large-scale, visceral artworks composed predominately outside, on the ground in seclusion.