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Living the artistic life sounds romantic, but there have been some dark and difficult moments in the life of the irrepressible artist John Olsen and his family. Susan Chenery meets a living legend and his talented offspring._continue reading
John Olsen New works
10 March 2017
"Hello, my lovelies, you are still here," the artist John Olsen exclaims as if approaching old friends. On the wall of the Art Gallery of NSW are a series of oils painted in the early 1960s from which the new retrospective, John Olsen: the you beaut country, borrows its laconic title._continue reading
22 January 2017
ABOUT a year ago, iconic Australian artist John Olsen agreed to create an iconic painting that would capture the essence of his birthplace.
It was a deeply personal work, a reflection on his beginnings.
Unfortunately, illness meant he couldn’t be there when the exhibition opened in November last year.
But on Saturday at Newcastle Art Gallery – just a short distance from his childhood home – Olsen got to share a piece of that work, a slice of the Hunter, with hundreds of other art lovers._continue reading
John Olsen is one of Australia's greatest living artists. Here, his son, gallerist Tim Olsen, who helped curate a new retrospective, reflects on his bohemian childhood and gives a rare insight into his father's powerful ability and influence_continue reading
14 September 2016
If painting is dead, as some art critics say, nobody told John Olsen. "I'd like to know the time of death," he says with the brightest of glints in his eye. "I'm alive. So painting isn't dead."
At 88 years old and widely considered Australia's greatest living painter, Olsen is about to launch his largest ever retrospective at the National Gallery of Victoria.
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...._continue reading
30 July 2013
Amid the glass walls and muted tones of Docklands' commercial building clusters, something vibrant and altogether more organic has risen. A quivering sun, its rays unfurling in orange, pink and splotches of green across an immense canvas (six by eight metres) was installed at the weekend under the watchful eye of its creator, famed Australian artist John Olsen.
Newcastle born artist John Olsen gathered his emotions as he stood in front of his artwork at Newcastle Art Gallery yesterday evening.
Olsen painted the 1964 ceiling mural titled The Sea Sun of 5 Bells for his friend Dr Ann Lewis and it was unveiled last night as part of the gallery's latest exhibition.
John Olsen made the final touches to his latest ainting of Lake Eyre only a few days ago. Approaching Lake Eyre was his memorial to Paul Lockyer, the ABC journalist who died in a helicopter crash alongside cameraman John Bean and pilot Gary Ticehurst at Lake Eyre in August last year.
Steve Lopes + Leo Robba
In his eighth decade, artist John Olsen’s legendary lust for life is as obvious as ever and so is his devotion to drawing, a practice that has underpinned his long and distinguished career. What is also evident when talking with Olsen is that his diverse life experiences have informed his approach to art. Memories of tough times during the Depression in the late 1920’s, creative battles of a life spent dedicated to art, and the many wonderful people who have shared his world and great places he has visited are all deeply intertwined through his work. He is still looking outward, projecting what he sees and more importantly celebrating life- just as he did as a young boy growing up in Newcastle, discovering a passion for drawing._continue reading
June 9 2011
At a table laden with paint-crusted crockery, John Olsen slides his brush into a dish if curdling watercolour. The paint is as thick and creamy as the salt deposits on the surface of Lake Eyre. It bleeds at the edges when Olsen strokes his brush across a freshly painted indigo background. “Look there,” he says. “It’s alive. And there’s sort of a running figure, you see? Ill just give it some arms.”_continue reading
May 28-29 2011
Earlier this month Sydney lost one of its great arts patrons, Ann Lewis, to cancer. Over the years Lewis enriched the culture, donating remarkable and extraordinarily valuable paintings, photography and sculpture to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Gallery of Australia and others_continue reading