Olsen Limited | DENFAIR

DENFAIR is Australia’s leading destination for contemporary design and art for professional designers, architects, interior stylists and design-lovers. Its curated design event, refined over three years and held annually in Melbourne and Sydney, has become the connection point where today hundreds of local and international brands come together in their passion for design to utilise DENFAIR as a platform for business growth and opportunity.

Learn more about Denfair here.

Olsen’s Contemporary Limited Editions in associations with the curated design event are having several of our artists participate in the event. See all the works below.

Crowded Room, 2018

Stephen Ormandy

Fine art print on archival cotton rag paper using fade resistant pigmented inks
Limited edition of 50 prints, hand signed, editioned and titled by the artist
Image size 112.5 cm x 90 cm
First published in 2018

Harbour Pools (Blue Swimmer Crab), 2018

John Olsen

Fine art print on archival cotton rag paper using fade resistant pigmented inks
Limited edition of 35 prints, hand signed, editioned and titled by the artist
Image size 71 x 135cm
First Published 2018


Magnolia and Vine, 2018

Nicholas Harding

Fine art print on archival cotton rag paper using fade resistant pigmented inks
Limited edition of 25 prints, hand signed and editioned by the artist
Image size 61 x 61 cm
First published in 2018


Disco Boat, 2018

McLean Edwards

Fine art print on archival cotton rag paper using fade resistant pigmented inks
Limited edition of 35 prints, hand signed and editioned by the artist
Image size 50 x 50cm
First published in 2018


The Inlet #8, 2018

Julian Meagher

Fine art print on archival cotton rag paper using fade resistant pigmented inks
Limited edition of 25 prints, hand signed, editioned and titled by the artist
Image size 80 x 64cm
First published in 2018

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Julian Meagher | Art with Heart

Very Special Kids‘ presents the Art with Heart auction.

Very Special Kids is a children’s charity that helps more than 900 families across Victoria who have a child with a life threatening condition with on going support from diagnosis all the way through bereavement.

Julian Meagher will be participating in the charities Art exhibition and auction for exceptional fine paintings and sculptures from leading contemporary artists. See Julian’s featured work below.
Wapengo #2, 2018
oil on linen
153 × 122 cm
price estimate $9,000 – 12,000
To buy a ticket for the event please click here.
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A Congratulations to our artists

OLSEN Gallery would like to congratulate NICHOLAS HARDING , JULIAN MEAGHER and FIONA MCMONAGLE who were all selected as finalists in the 2018 Archibald Prize , as well as JOHN OLSEN who is a finalist in this year’s Wynne Prize.

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The Shape of water | Belle Magazine April 2018

Harry Roberts


A change of scenery led to a shift in tide for the artist Julian Meagher. The culmination of a month-long residency at Mimosa Rocks National Park under the auspices of Bega Valley Regioal Gallery, his new series ‘Inlet/Outlet’ represents a break from figurative still life studies towards a wilder, more intuitive style centred on the landscape.

” To be honest I was in a bit of a creative rut at the time,” says the two-time Archibald finalist. “I’d been painting still life for a few years and had gone as far as I could with that for the time being. so I was looking to paint something different. Thats why residencies are so good in that they can sling you out into thinking differently and taking risks.” Living at the historic Myer house, Julian spent his days sketching and fishing around Birthy Inlet, observing its ebbs and flows. “i had a religious experience down there,” he says. “The Sapphire coast is quite unique because the sand is very white so the water is very blue, and it’s a wide inlet so you get this sense of movement. You really feel that pull of the tides, and the bellbirds give it a kind of surreal soundtrack.”

Being in the landscape and becoming attuned to its daily rhythms took on an even greater resonance for Julian, since he was on the cusp of becoming a father. “it was quite a momentus time in terms of thinking about cycles and change, letting go of control, being more of a passenger, less of a driver,” he says. “That fed back into the paintings. When i would put a mark down, I would try to leave it, let it breathe and have its own life.”  This was crystallised while while working with a visually impaired student in the residency’s teaching program. “He was painting from memory and it made me think, I’ve got to have that similar approach to my paintings and let them have that freedom and love.”

The resulting works are a natural broadening of scope for an artist whose subjects – from native flora to discarded beer bottles suggesting boozy masculitnity – have always been distinctly Australian. Classically trained in Itlay, Julian’s use of thinned-down oils to evoke the transparency of glass or the nuances of skin translates perfectly to the NSW south coast, a landscape made for his pellucid blues and swathes of pure, negative space. “I like luminosity and freshness and think it matches my personality. I’m not and aggressive, heavy-metal, chain-smoking artist. I’m quiet and I search for serenity in my work.”

Accompanied by a video of Birthy Inlet’s mercurial currents, Julian’s series of waterscapes – all in portrait format – are rendered with the fluidity of water itself. “I’ve always tried to make oils look like watercolours. This time I’ve really started to make them look like watercolour sketches,” says Julian. “They’re a lot more free and loose, more from memory and intuition, rather than being too figurative.”


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Julian Meagher_TheDesignFiles

Julian Meagher spoke with The Design Files about the inspiration behind his newest exhibition Inlet/Oulet, on view at Olsen Gallery from Wednesday, March 21st.


Read the full article here: http://thedesignfiles.net/2018/03/inlet-outlet-by-julian-meagher/


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Interview with Julian Meagher

 Julian Meagher discusses his exhibition ‘There is Hope to the Last Flower‘  at Olsen Gallery with Varia Koripoff in the current issue of Art Guide.

Julian Meagher, There is Light Somewhere, 152 x 246 cm. Oil on linen. 2016.

Article by Varia Karipoff,

His story has been told numerous times across media – often with just a lingering hint of incredulity. Julian Meagher completed a medical degree before embarking on a career as a painter. Though in truth his interest in art never waned, somehow finding time to undertake a classical education in portrait painting at Charles H Cecil Studios in Florence, midway through his medical studies.

Over the course of 15 years Meagher has notched up an Archibald moment (he was a finalist in 2014 and 2015), won a slew of grants and prizes, and exhibited in places as far afield as India, Singapore and LA.

In his painting, Meagher is conscious of the disconcertedness and darkness beneath our ‘radiant Southern Cross.’


Working in thinned down oils he captures the pellucid blue light and reflective surfaces of his childhood upbringing on Sydney Harbour’s foreshore – albeit in unexpected objects. The metallic tones of a bloated cask wine bladder, or a family of empty alcohol bottles knocked over like skittles and adorned with native flora are just two examples of his uniquely Australian work.

In the resulting still life, national perceptions of masculinity and addiction, and even the violence that precipitated lockout laws are cast back at the viewer from the painted surface. In his latest exhibition, a gentler, more optimistic tone comes to the fore.

Varia Karipoff—Your inroad into the art world was somewhat unorthodox – how did it unfold?

Julian Meagher—I have always loved painting and been surrounded by it since I was a kid, spending a lot of my teenage years taking extra art courses and also studying for a year over in Italy at an art school. I then completed a medical degree at university in my early twenties before deciding to pursue art professionally.

VK—What compelled you to change direction after completing your studies in medicine?

JM—I finally grew some balls. I am kind of happy though that I was more mature and experienced when I started out. Without discipline and drive it’s very hard to work through the highs and lows of making paintings.

VK—Can you describe how you work?

JM—I think my main influence actually came from family. My mum is a painter and was always taking us to galleries, and my uncle was a die hard collector. I did spend a lot of time by the water growing up, and began to realise even then that each area in Sydney has quite a dark and often unrecognised past underneath its immediate aesthetic beauty. I guess I am still working out my place in this city and its history.

'Study for There is Light Somewhere' 117 x 96 cm. Oil on linen. 2016
Julian Meagher, Study for There is Light Somewhere, 117 x 96 cm. Oil on linen. 2016


VK—Previously your paintings chronicled eastern tattoos and exotic birds, why has your lens turned inwards to Australian culture?

JM—To be honest it is the narrative of paint and space itself that is the overriding joy I get from making work, regardless of subject matter. However, I do think Australian culture is becoming more important to me as I grow up and want the country to grow in the right direction as well.

VK—Tell me about your upcoming show at Olsen Gallery – what can we expect to see?

JM—The title of this show [There is Hope to the Last Flower] is a quote from an apiarist discussing the plight of bees. Faced with so many sad and distressing events in our world, and my own sense of hopelessness at times, I wanted to paint a show about optimism. This show includes portraits and still lifes touching on many disparate subjects – ranging from friends’ addictions, the recent lockout laws, Australia’s identity, our environment, love and my recent marriage. When I look at things I see so many reflections.

VK—The works from the Olsen show are very patient studies in light, transparency and reflection – we can definitely see the optimism coming through.

JM—I hope so. The economist Paul Romer recently described optimism as both conditional and complacent. The feeling a child experiences while waiting for a present is complacent or passive optimism. Whereas conditional optimism is when a child that wants a tree house realises, that if he gets the materials and friends to help him – he can then build it himself. I think I am trying to engage in conditional optimism whenever I can in many aspects of both life and studio practice. Painting in its pure form is a great example of this. As painters we can decide where to shine the light.

VK—In your paintings of goon bags the line between humour, beauty, critique and celebration is blurred – why did you choose this derided object as a focus?

JM—They are great objects to paint, so damn solid but at times also threatening to float away. It is hard to beat translating such a symbolic object into a thing of beauty.

VK—Often objects or figures are grouped in your work in a way which suggests a landscape, although your paintings are practically always interior, or at least devoid of background detail. Are you conscious of a tension between still life and landscape in your work?

JM—I guess I do see each work as a kind of constructed landscape. I am actually about to undertake a residency with Bega Valley Regional Gallery in which I am looking forward to painting a landscape series. It will be interesting to see what comes out of that.

VK—Coming from a studio-based practice, how do you think you will approach landscape painting?

JM—To be honest I have no idea. Most of my recent landscapes have ended up in the bin. I am actually hoping that the environment there will help me push through these failures into something special.

VK—What else are you looking forward to this year?

JM—Becoming a father.

VK—What is something that you have seen or read recently that has had an impact on your practice in some way?

JM—Sapiens by Yuval Harari is a book that I think should be essential reading for everyone, it is one of the best entry points into the history and mechanics of humanity. Also, the David Hockney exhibition at the NGV just blew me away, his passion for mark making, perspective and his willingness to experiment are elements I have tried to bring more to my own practice.

There is Hope to the Last Flower
Julian Meagher
Olsen Gallery
22 February – 12 March

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Julian Meagher Finalist for the Shirley Hannan Bega Portrait Prize

Olsen Irwin artist Julian Meagher has been selected as a finalist for the Shirley Hannan Bega Portrait Prize.

Julian chose to depict fellow Olsen Irwin artist Paul Ryan for the prize.

'Paul Ryan - Portrait of a selfie' 61 x 56 cm. Oil on linen.2015Julian Meagher, Paul Ryan – Portrait of a selfie 2016, 61 x 56 cm. Oil on  linen.

The Shirley Hannan Bega Portrait Prize is a $50,000 non-acquisitive award for realistic portraiture.

Julian recently was a finalist in the Archibald prize for his painting of Silverchair lead singer Daniel Johns.

To view works available by Julian Meagher click here

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Opening of Anh Do and Julian Meagher

Wednesday night saw members of Sydney’s art community, celebrities and socialites brave the wild weather for the join openings of Julian Meagher and Ahn Do’s first exhibitions at the Olsen Irwin Gallery, 63 Jersey Road.


Despite Mother Nature putting on her most extreme weather, in an attempt to keep art fans away, the room was standing room only.

Hung in two adjoining galleries both exhibitions are united by an exploration of humanity, history and experience through the genre of portraiture. Meagher continues his exploration of identity through a series of works mixing imperial measurement bottles with English roses and Australian flora.


Julian Meagher
Study for Wentworth 2015
oil on linen
71 x 56cm
It is the first time both Meagher and Do have had solo exhibitions at the Olsen Irwin Gallery and their words have been warmly received.
Anh Do
Man 6 2015
oil on linen
153 x 122cm

Both Exhibitions run until the 10th of May and can be viewed online below.

Julian Meagher; Drinking with the other Sun

Anh Do: Man

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Julian Meagher | Belvoir's 2015 Season illustrator

“Sydney artist Julian Meagher is responsible for bringing to life the actors in our 2015 season book with his pencil and charcoal on paper illustrations.” – Belvoir, 2014

Meagher produced 12 individual portraits for each of the 2015 productions at Sydney’s Belvoir theatre. Read more about Meagher and his work over on the Belvoir website – here.




2014 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize | Semi-finalists

Nicholas Harding, Julian Meagher and Paul Ryan have all been named as semi-finalists in the 2014 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. The annual prize, in its 26 year, awards $150,000 to an outstanding work of portraiture. The winning work is acquired by the Moran Arts Foundation.

“Established by Doug and Greta Moran and Family in 1988 in celebration of Australia’s bicentennial, the Moran Arts Foundation fosters portraiture skills and excellence in photography.” – Moran Arts Foundation

2014 judges are Edmund Capon AM OBE, director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 1978 to 2011 and artist, Lewis Miller. From the semi-finalists, 30 finalists will be named and exhibited at Juniper Hall in Paddington, Sydney from 29 October 2014 to 15 February 2015. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 28 October 2014. Best of luck to all!

Julian Meagher, Straight Into The Sun, 2014, oil on linen, 76 x 51cm.

Julian Meagher, Straight Into The Sun, 2014, oil on linen, 76 x 51cm


Paul Ryan, Noah, 2014, oil on linen

Nicholas Harding, Richard Roxburg, 2014, oil on linen, 168 x 76cm

Nicholas Harding, Richard Roxburg, 2014, oil on linen, 168 x 76cm