This December, international, post-conceptual artists Rob Pruitt and Jonathan Horowitz will be showing at OLSEN.

Both based in New York City, this exhibition will be the first time both artist have featured in an Australian gallery.


Jonathan Horowitz slides down the surface of things. He engages with the material of everyday life (from celebrities and celebrity causes to politics and philosophy, from terrorism to the cola wars). He has consistently found incisive metaphors for contemporary society and presented them in complex and rich installations, videos, photographs, paintings and sculpture. This year he was honoured with a Brant Foundation show Occupy Greenwich, which provided a timely reflection on politics in America. In 2009 Horowitz also had an important solo show at MOMA PS1, which cemented him as an important voice in socially engaged and critical art.

Horowitz’s use of the portrait is particularly interesting. ‘Portrait’ is perhaps a misnomer, however, because of its emphasis on the art genre. Horowitz plays in an almost anthropological way with visual culture and has astutely seen that the celebrity portraits, sculptures, portraits hanging on the wall in town halls are less artworks and actually what they were traditionally called – effigies. There is a ‘image magic’ in a portrait hanging in the public hall. Portraits speak to us from the past, they give us advice, they exhort us to action; they are not merely images on the wall.

When Horowitz placed portraits of the 9/11 terrorists surreptitiously around the galleries of the Whitney Biennale they were not merely images but also almost like voodoo dolls, secreting some traumatic power. When he placed portraits of all the presidents in the Brant Foundation he activated the power of the Presidential office, creating a secular Versailles as a stage for his political interventions. In the major work Hillary Clinton is a Person Too, we see another effigy. Larger than life, in bronze, Clinton is at once infantilised and at the same time given the authority of a queen.

Horowitz is aware that the context of this work’s origins has now shifted, but in interesting ways. Like any bronze public sculpture, our context can shift the way we see the sacred figure represented. In the context of the 2016 presidential election the failure present in this piece is more palpable. In 2008 the piece may have seemed like a consolation prize (for her loss to Barack Obama) but in 2016 it seems to highlight her Achilles heel: a proportion of the electorate saw her as an over-eager, overqualified, and entitled class captain.

The main body of work in this exhibition is Self Portrait in the Mirror. This series is based on repainting Lichtenstein’s mirror works, and they are a joke on a joke. Lichtenstein was already riffing on Abstract Expressionism’s obsession with painterly surface. He painted an image of a mirror as if it was printed as a cheap cartoon. Using stencils and careful masking Lichtenstein replicated the quality of a cheap, benday dot print. While in a Lichtenstein the painterly quality is still present, the work eschews the great gesture of the genius artist.

horowitz18079Jonathan Horowitz, Self Portrait in Mirror #12 (2013), acrylic on linen, 61cm diameter, $POA

Horowitz to some extent reinstates the authorly hand. He paints and has others repaint the Lichtenstein, without any aids, and in doing so ‘dials up’ the painterly mistakes. The benday dots are now not perfect, the lines a little shaky. Shown in series the singularity of each rendition is even more palpable, as the series allows the viewer to immediately contrast the copy with another copy set beside it.

The paintings are not really images of mirrors. They embody a struggle in contemporary life: to insist on our individuality while at the same time following an imperative to conform to social values. This series is a perfect metonym for Horowitz’s practice as a whole, in that he re-presents the real, but in a way that highlights the invisible workings of power, ideology and societal belief, often with wit and slight of hand.

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New at OLSEN, Leila Jeffreys’ new series of cockatoos, available in editions of 12 + 2 AP’s, at 112 x 89cm and also extra large in editions of 6 + 2 AP’s at 140 x 112cm.


Leila Jeffreys, ‘Fluff’ no.1 Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo’ (2016), fine art inkjet print on archival cotton rag paper, 112 x 89cm

rex-baudin-cockatooLeila Jeffreys, ‘Rex’ Baudin Cockatoo’ (2016), fine art inkjet print on archival cotton rag paper, 112 x 89cm

fluff-no-2-forest-red-tailed-black-cockatoo-jpgLeila Jeffreys, ‘Fluff’ no.2 Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo’ (2016), fine art inkjet print on archival cotton rag paper, 112 x 89cm


Leila Jeffreys, ”Carny’ Carnaby Cockatoo’ (2016), fine art inkjet print on archival cotton rag paper, 112 x 89cm,

To request an order please email info@olsengallery.com or visit the website for further details here

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New to OLSEN, Antony Gormley’s Settlement I from 2005 is now on show in the gallery space. Consisting of a series of bright mild steel blocks, the sculpture weighs 400kilos and stands 12.5 x 12.5 x 25mm, 25 x 25 x 50mm, 50 x 50 x 100mm & 100 x 100 x 200mm, 24 x 660 x 208.5cm (9.5 x 23.6 x 82.1in). Price on application.


From Antony Gormley’s website:

Antony Gormley is widely acclaimed for his sculptures, installations and public artworks that investigate the relationship of the human body to space. His work has developed the potential opened up by sculpture since the 1960s through a critical engagement with both his own body and those of others in a way that confronts fundamental questions of where human beings stand in relation to nature and the cosmos. Gormley continually tries to identify the space of art as a place of becoming in which new behaviours, thoughts and feelings can arise.

Gormley’s work has been widely exhibited throughout the UK and internationally with exhibitions at Forte di Belvedere, Florence (2015); Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern (2014); Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia (2012); Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2012); The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (2011); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2010); Hayward Gallery, London (2007); Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (1993) and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (1989). He has also participated in major group shows such as the Venice Biennale (1982 and 1986) and Documenta 8, Kassel, Germany (1987). Permanent public works include the ANGEL OF THE NORTH (Gateshead, England), ANOTHER PLACE (Crosby Beach, England), INSIDE AUSTRALIA (Lake Ballard, Western Australia) and EXPOSURE (Lelystad, The Netherlands) and CHORD (MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA). 

Gormley was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994, the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999, the Bernhard Heiliger Award for Sculpture in 2007, the Obayashi Prize in 2012 and the Praemium Imperiale in 2013. In 1997 he was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) and was made a knight in the New Year’s Honours list in 2014. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, an Honorary Doctor of the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity and Jesus Colleges, Cambridge. Gormley has been a Royal Academician since 2003.

Antony Gormley was born in London in 1950.   



Things already exist
Sculpture already exists

The job is to transform what exists in the outer world
by uniting it with the world of
sensation, imagination and faith.

Action can be confused with life.
Much of human life is hidden.
Sculpture, in stillness, can transmit what may not be seen.

My work is to make bodies into vessels
that both contain and occupy space.

Space exists outside the door and inside the head.

My work is to make human space in space.

Each work is a place between form and formlessness,
a time between origin and becoming.

A house is the form of vulnerability,
darkness is revealed by light.

My work is to make a place, free from knowledge,
free from history, free from nationality to be experienced freely.

In art there is no progress, only art.
Art is always for the future.

(Published in Antony Gormley: Five Works, Serpentine Gallery, London: Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1987)

View the work online here

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David Band | The Design Files

Pictured below we see the work of the late David Band featured in the stunning interiors from Australia’s favourite style blog, The Design Files. Band’s works bring a simple yet bold graphic element to any space, drawing the viewer in with the subtle and expert use of detail and texture. The wit and personality of the works lights up the interiors of any living space or gallery wall alike.

The work ‘Happiness’ takes pride of place in the founder of the The Design Files’, Lucy Feagins, home office. We also see the work of Band in the homes of some of Australia’s most celebrated artists and designers, such as Rachel Castle, Kirra Jamison and Dane Lovett, Mark and Louella Tuckey, Juliette Arent Squadrito and Matthew Squadrito as well as Natalie Bloom of Bloom Cosmetics. Click the images below to view complete house tours.

The work of the late David Band will be celebrated in an exhibition this October hosted by Olsen Irwin and Jan Murphy Gallery in Brisbane. Fiona Mahon, David’s partner, has curated this extensive exhibition held over two venues. Working closely with Fiona, the two galleries will be exhibiting paintings, monotypes prints and sculptures executed over a fifteen-year period.

David Band
1 – 19 October 2014

Olsen Irwin
63 Jersey Road
Woollahra NSW 2025


Studio details including custom built table by Gordon Johnson, vintage Eames office chairs, ‘Happiness I’, 2010 limited edition print by David Band, artwork by Kate Tucker, Trashkova gold bin by Boqil, watermelon Olba side table by Jardan. Photo – Eve Wilson, styling / production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


‘Tomorrow Morning’ (study) by David Band. Photo – Phu Tang, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


David Band bottles painting. Photo – Sean Fennessy, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


David Band trumpet print on rear wall. Photo – Sean Fennessy, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


Top Shelf – David Band Limited Edition Print from Olsen Irwin Gallery. Photography – Eve Wilson.


All three three artworks by David Band. Photo by Sean Fennessy, production Lucy Feagins / The Design Files


Artwork on left David Band. All photos by Daniel Mahon. Beautiful.


Yellow print – ‘Scotch Schnapps’ by David Band. Black / white print to the left (detail) ‘A Night in Tunisia’ also by David Band. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


Olsen Irwin | Melbourne Art Fair

Join us at stand E107 for the 2014 Melbourne Art Fair. Olsen Irwin will exhibit a solo showing of Guy Maestri’s new work, as well as a group show of select works.

The fair begins with a vernissage tonight, Wednesday 13 August at 6pm. The fair will then run from Thursday 14 August to Sunday 17 August. Day passes and tickets for the vernissage can be purchased here on the Melbourne Art Fair website.

View Olsen Irwin’s exhibition of select works here.
View Guy Maestri’s new works here.


Peter Booth, Drawing 2000 (man in cart and standing man), 2000, mixed media on paper, 13.5 x 29.5cm


Stephen Bird, Adam and Eve with Eyes, ceramic, 30 x 43cm


Stephen Ormandy, Look both ways, Oil on linen, 112 x 112cm


Alan Jones, Painting 122 (Dad), Acrylic on polyester, 66.5 x 56.5cm


Elisabeth Kruger, Afternoon walk, oil on linen, 51 x 41cm


Guy Maestri, Feral, oil on linen, 97 x 112cm

Olsen Irwin
Melbourne Art Fair
Stand E107
Royal Exhibition Building
Carlton VIC 3053

Wednesday 13 August 2014
6pm – 10pm
General Opening Times
Thursday 14 August 2014
11am – 6pm
Friday 15 August 2014
11am – 8pm
Saturday 16 August 2014
10am – 6pm
Sunday 17 August 2014
10am – 5pm


Tim Olsen | Switzer Super Report | Archibald provides platform for investing

“The Archibald provides the greatest platform to start collecting and investing in Australian art.” – Tim Olsen, Switzer Super Report

Every year The Archibald Prize shines a light on the Australian art world. The entry scandals, big name celebrities and abundant media attention provides an opportunity for the general public to be swept up into the often ignored and secluded world of art. Olsen Irwin director Tim Olsen discusses the opportunities The Archibald Prize offers as a platform for investing.

“It’s not only the award that brings prestige to the winning artist but to all the artists whose works are hung in the rarefied environment and it provides a who’s who of the artist’s currently making art in Australia.” – Tim Olsen, Switzer Super Report




Noah Taylor | The Age

Philippa Hawker of The Age talks with Olsen Irwin artist Noah Taylor about his acting career and creative releases.

“An old friend, Claudia Karvan, brought his work to the attention of Olsen Irwin: at a recent Sydney opening, she talked about Taylor as a compulsively expressive person, ‘the most original, honest, subversive mind I’ve come across’. ” – Philippa Hawker, The Age

“He works in oils and ink on paper and talks of religious art and comic books as his primary influences. Right now, Taylor says, ‘I’m more serious about the painting, and I would like to take it further’. This means working more and showing more. ‘You learn way more from that than just keeping it at home: there’s something that forces you to look at it with a more critical eye when you take it to the public.'” – Philippa Hawker, The Age

Read the story here on The Age website. Watch Claudia Karvan open Noah Taylor’s recent exhibition at Olsen Irwin Works on Paper, Small Paintings and Sculpture below.


Nicholas Harding | Art Collector

Nicholas Harding has been featured in Art Collector’s Under 5K, an annual presentation of works by established artists that are available for less than $5,000. Included in the mix are Nicholas Harding’s watercolour works completed during a residency in Paris and etchings produced for his recent exhibition at Olsen Irwin Drawing Godot.

Olsen Irwin director Rex Irwin talks of Hardings etchings of the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Waiting for Godot as, ‘Far more exciting than a photo, they capture the immediacy of the drama and sit comfortably in the pantheon of great artists such as Degas, Lautrec and Hockney who worked from life studying performers both on and off stage.’

Click ‘continue reading’ below to see more works by Nicholas Harding for under $5,000 after the jump.



Under5k_July2014 Continue reading


Paul Ryan | Anh Do | Illawarra Mercury

In the lead up to the announcement of the 2014 Archibald Prize, Paul Ryan stars on the cover of Illawarra Mercury. Ryan will be hung in the 2014 Archibald Prize along with friend, former student and fellow Olsen Irwin artist Anh Do.

“Comedian Anh Do learnt the tricks of painting from Thirroul-based artist Paul Ryan. Today, both student and teacher are celebrating being selected as finalists in the Archibald Prize.” – Joshua Butler, Illawarra Mercury

Read the full article here on the Illawarra Mercury website.

The winner of the 2014 Archibald Prize will be announced this Friday 18 July at 12pm. The finalists work will be exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from

Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes
19 July – 28 September 2014
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Sydney, AustraliaIllawarraMercury_2014


Gwyn Hanssen Pigott | Cressida Campbell | 10 Australian artists of the past 50 years | The Australian

Olsen Irwin artists Cressida Campbell and Gwyn Hanssen Pigott have been named in Christopher Allen’s ’10 Australian artists of the past 50 years’.

“Campbell shows how beauty and significance can be found in the most humble of subjects, simply by attentiveness to the world and care in the crafting of the image, in her case through an elaborate and personal adaptation of Japanese ukiyoe technique.” – Christopher Allen, The Weekend Australian

“Gwyn Hansen Pigott was one of Australia’s finest potters; her still life assemblages make a slightly eclectic reference to the paintings of Morandi, but the ceramic forms themselves speak of the complete harmony of mind and hand in the potter’s craft.” – Christopher Allen, The Weekend Australian

Read the article in its’ entirety here on The Weekend Australian website.


Cressida Campbell, On the mantlepiece, 1985, Woodblock (watercolour on incised plywood), 48 x 95cm