Archibald and Wynne Prize | Finalists

Olsen Irwin are proud to announce finalists for the 2014 Archibald and Wynne Prizes.

Finalists in the Archibald Prize include Olsen Irwin artists Paul Ryan, Alan Jones, Julian Meagher and Anh Do. Wynne Prize finalists include Guy Maestri and Robert Malherbe.

2014 marks the 11th time Paul Ryan has been hung as a finalist in the Archibald Prize. Alan Jones was also shortlisted in 2013 with a portrait of Pat Corrigan AM. Anh Do and Julian Meagher are first time finalists in 2014.

Robert Malherbe will be hung as a finalist in the Wynne Prize for the 4th time. This will be Guy Maestri’s third year in a row as a finalist in the Wynne Prize. The annual Wynne Prize is awarded to the best landscape painting of Australian scenery, or figure sculpture.

Olsen Irwin would like to congratulate all finalists for this outstanding achievement. A full list of finalists can be viewed here on the Art Gallery of New South Wales website.


Alan Jones, Adam, 2014, Oil and acrylic on linen, 171 x 156 cm – 2014 Archibald Prize Finalist


Anh Do, Father, Oil on canvas, 2014, 244 x 200 cm – 2014 Archibald Prize Finalist


Julian Meagher, John Waters – the clouds will cloud, 2014, Oil on linen, 71 x 55 cm – 2014 Archibald Prize Finalist


Paul Ryan, Rox, 2014, Oil on linen, 240 x 200cm – 2014 Archibald Prize Finalist


Guy Maestri, East west cutting, 2014, Oil on linen, 184 x 225 cm – 2014 Wynne Prize Finalist


Robert Malherbe, The Domain after a storm, 2014, Oil on linen, 66 x 56cm – 2014 Wynne Prize Finalist


Olsen Family | Vogue

For Vogue Australia‘s March 2014 Fashion Meets Art issue, Jane Albert sat down with John, Tim and Louise Olsen to discuss a life firmly routed in the arts.

‘John Olsen is one of our greatest living artists, so it comes as no surprise that his children have inherited his creativity.’ – Jane Albert, Vogue Australia

With Tim Olsen having forged a successful career as a gallerist and director of Olsen Irwin and sister Louise Olsen founding Dinosaur Designs together with husband and Olsen Irwin artist Stephen Ormandy – the Olsen siblings have well and truly earned their spot as part of Australian arts royalty.

Beautifully captured by photographer Hugh Stewart at John Olsen‘s home in Bowral, NSW, the siblings discuss their unusual upbringing surrounded by some of Australia’s most famous creative forces such as Barry Humphries, Robert Hughs Brett Whitely and Donald Friend.

Pick up a copy of Vogue’s March issue to read the article.

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John Olsen | The Art of Australia

John Olsen has been featured in Edmund Capon’s ABC documentary ‘The Art of Australia‘. The three part series presented by Edmund Capon, director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 1978 until 2011, depicts the history of Australia through its art and artists. Catch up on this not to be missed documentary of on Australian art here.

In the final episode ‘Beyond Australia’, Capon discussed Olsen’s work and influence on Australian art. Olsen and Capon discus his life’s work over lunch at Sydney’s iconic Lucio’s restaurant.

Capon names Olsen as being at the forefront of the abstract revolution in Australia, ‘fighting to take Australian art in a whole new direction’ – Edmund Capon

After leaving Australia for Spain as a 28 year old in 1956, John Olsen returned to Australia in 1960, bringing with him the colours and vitality of Mediterranean culture. This was expressed in his work from 1960 ‘Spanish Encounter‘. Capon calls Olsen’s ‘Spanish Encounter‘, ‘A picture of incredible, I think, vitality and exuberance. You can’t stand in front of this picture and not be moved by the sheer emotion of it all.’ – Edmund Capon

‘Olsen fought for abstract art’s acceptance. It was fresh, energetic and modern.’ – Edmund Capon

Also featured in the episode is Olsen’s ‘Five Bells‘, described by Capon as, ‘A great celebration of the fertile inner life of nature’.

Watch all three episodes of ‘The Art in Australia’ here.

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John Olsen, Five Bells, Limited Edition Fine Art Reproduction, Limited offer of $1,950 for John Olsen’s ‘Five Bells’ in Large (RRP $2,100)


John Olsen | ABC The Art of Australia

Be sure to tune into ABC1 tonight at 8:30 for the final episode of ‘The Art of Australia‘ featuring Australian great, John Olsen. The three part series presented by Edmund Capon, director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 1978 until 2011, depicts the history of Australia through its art and artists. In the final episode ‘Beyond Australia’, Capon takes a closer look at John Olsen‘s 1960 work ‘Spanish Encounter‘ and sits down for an interview the artist.

Catch up on the first two episodes of ‘The Art in Australia’ here.

The Art of Australia
Episode 3: Beyond Australia
Tuesday 5 November – 8:30pm


Image credit: David Loftus


John Olsen | Aesthetica Interview

Aesthetica spoke with John Olsen on the eve of the exhibition ‘Australia‘ – now open at London’s Royal Academy of the Arts until 8 December 2013.

With ‘Sydney Sun‘ taking pride of place in the exhibition, Olsen let us in on the piece’s background saying, “I originally painted it as a ceiling in reflection of the sun, and it was bought by Rupert Murdoch for his ceiling in the gym and pool room of his California home. When his first marriage broke up he moved to New York City and Sydney Sun returned to Australia, and was acquired by the National Gallery. It turned out to be very popular. I think that’s because Australians are born under the sun and because of that light, we see the world differently. Life is so alive under the Australian sun. We are bon ami in a milieu that is teeming with energy.”

Read the interview in its entirety on the Aesthetica blog here.


John Olsen, Sydney Sun, 1965, Oil on three panels, courtesy of Royal Academy


Camie Lyons | Australian High Commission, Singapore

Camie Lyons has just returned from her trip to Singapore for the opening of ‘Loaded: Art celebrating the legend of Ned Kelly‘ at the Australian High Commission. The exhibition showcased modern and contemporary Australian art, with Lyons’ sculptures taking centre stage in the commission’s Atrium Gallery.

Loaded: Art celebrating the legend of Ned Kelly
18 September – 31 October 2013
Monday to Friday
8:30 – 4:30

Australian High Commission
Atrium Gallery
25 Napier Road

Nothing Felt Real to Me No More

Camie Lyons, ‘Nothing Felt Real to Me No More’, 2013, Bronze, 77 x 35 x 26cm



John Olsen Osborne Samuel | Exhibition Opening

John Olsen‘s exhibition at London’s Osborne Samuel gallery was opened by Australian comedian Barry Humphries to large crowds and positive reviews. Although John Olsen was unfortunately unable to attend, his infectious enthusiasm and vibrancy was conveyed to the gallery via a recorded video message. The exhibition of new works on paper coincides with the Royal Academy of Arts ‘Australia’ exhibition, featuring Olsen’s ‘Sydney Sun‘. The Osborne Samuel exhibition catalogue can be viewed online here.

John Olsen; New Paintings
3 – 26 October 2013

Osborne Samuel
23a Bruton Street
London W1J 6QG UK openingimage2opening2image8


John Olsen, Tropical Lilypond, 2013, Mixed media on French cotton paper, 80 x 100cm


John Olsen, Desert flowers, 2013, Mixed media on French cotton paper, 80 x 100cm

Images of the exhibition opening courtesy of Rex Irwin and the Osborne Samuel blog.


John Olsen | Royal Academy of Arts London

John Olsen’s ‘Sydney Sun’ will feature as a major centerpiece in the Royal Academy of the Arts‘ ‘Australia‘ exhibition opening September 21 in London. The work from 1965 is on loan from it’s home at the National Gallery of Australia and will be part of the first major survey of Australian art in the UK for 50 years. Joining ‘Sydney Sun’ will be iconic Australian works from artists such as Fred Williams, Sidney Nolan, Rover Thomas, John Brack and Arthur Boyd. The exhibition will be a chronological journey through the history of Australian art movements, starting with Aboriginal art up to contemporary Australian works.

The iconic work ‘Sydney Sun‘ is available to purchase as a signed limited edition fine art reproduction, 107.5 x 142cm for $4,275. The work is printed using pigmented ink on watercolour paper and personally signed and titled by John Olsen. There are only a limited number of editions remaining so be sure to get in quickly. Contact madeleine@olsengallery.com for more information.


John Olsen, Sydney Sun, 1965 – available as limited edition fine art reproduction, 107.5 x 142cm, $4,275


John Olsen signing limited edition prints


Tamara Dean | Art & About, Sydney Life Finalist

Tamara Dean‘s work ‘Ebenezer Rock Drop’ from ‘The Edge’ series has been named as a finalist in Sydney Life as part of Sydney’s Art & About festival. The finalists’ works, showcasing great Australian imagery, will be on display in Hyde Park from 20 September to 20 October 2013.

17_Ebenezer Rock Drop, The Edge

Ebenezer Rock Drop, 2013, Archival cotton rag paper, 162 x 216cm