This weekend, don’t miss art critic John McDonald’s rave review of John Olsen’s retrospective ‘The You Beaut Country’ in The Sydney Morning Herald.

‘The You Beauty Country’ is hanging at the National Gallery of Victoria. Open now until 12 February 2017. Buy your tickets here.

dd105342-641x480John Olsen, ‘Where the bee sucks, there suck I’ (1984-86)

View the article online here

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John Olsen gifts new work to Mosman Regional Gallery

Yesterday members of Sydney’s art community gathered at the Mosman  gallery to witness the unveiling of a work gifted to the gallery by John Olsen. The work entitled The Rolling Sea and that Streeton Painting is Olsen’s response to Arthur Streeton’s Sydney Harbour, 1895 donated as part of the Balnaves gift.

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Inspired by seeing a reproduction of Streeton’s Sydney Harbour John wished to “paint a conversation with it”.

 JohnOlsen _Mosman_march2015

“The painting is an evocation of memory. As students at the Julian Ashton Art School we would delight to take the Manly Ferry when the sea was rough. Round about Balmoral the ferry would roll and the turbulent sea would wash over the deck. How exciting, what fun. The Streeton painting evokes that – notice how the ferry is riding the turbulent sea. When I saw it at the Mosman Gallery, how supremely it is and confirms our experience today.

‘The Rolling Sea…’ confirms and emphasises that experience, it is an all at once world. I can think of no better place for it than to be near Streeton’s painting of 1895 and how that same circumstance can be viewed today.”


“This addition to Mosman Art Gallery’s collection by John Olsen, a living master who has been inspired by Arthur Streeton, a great Australian Impressionist, is an important cultural gift for all generations to appreciate for years to come,” Mosman Mayor Cr Peter Abelson said.


The MOSMAN ART GALLERY is located at cnr Art Gallery Way & Myahgah Road, Mosman, NSW and is open daily 10am – 5pm

02 9978 4178





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John Olsen | Book Launch and Signing

Darleen Bungey has written a landmark biography of John Olsen, Australia’s greatest living artist. From his childhood up until today, ‘John Olsen: An Artist’s Life’ explores the life and qualities of an artist who was determined to depict the Australian landscape in a way that had never been seen before.

“From a child who was never taken to an art gallery, who learnt how to draw from comics, we come to see the famous artist in the black beret, the writer and poet, the engaging public speaker, the bon vivant – whose life has been defined by an absolute need to paint.”

The artist himself will be present at Olsen Irwin gallery for the launch and book signing. Copies of the new book will be available for purchase while many examples of John’s work will be hung on the walls.

You can purchase this publication through the Olsen Irwin website by clicking here

John Olsen Book Signing
Thursday November 6, 6-8pm
Olsen Irwin Gallery
63 Jersey Rd, Woollahra, Sydney, 2025



Luke Sciberras, Sophie Cape, Guy Warren, Guy Maestri and Ann Thomson | The Blow-In Art Collective

More images of Guy Warren, Guy Maestri, Ann Thomson, Sophie Cape and Luke Sciberras’ painting trip to broken hill as part of The Blow-In Art Collective. Part of a group of ten, these five artists spent time creating artworks in the area, before exhibiting the pieces in an exhibition at the regional gallery, currently on show.

The images below allow for a good comparison between the kind of land these artists found themselves on and the way they decided to depict it. And while sometimes painting en plein air can be hazardous for artists (we need only refer to the picture of Sophie Cape’s bunched up paper canvas, a result of the wind) one can see here that painting in situ provides all sorts of opportunities for an artist to create an original piece of work. And to be in the company of other friendly artists provides another dimension to the process of creation. Not only have these artists produced some fantastic artworks, it also looks from these images as though they had a fantastic time producing them.

The other artists involved in the project are Steve Lopes, Euan Macleod, Kevin Connor, Peter Kingston and Dan Kyle.

The Blow-In Art Collective
Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery
404-408 Argent St, Broken Hill, NSW, 2880
Friday October 10 – November 24


































John Olsen: Drawing – The Human Touch | Publication

“Drawing is important in every stage of an artist’s career. Drawing is the plank on which you build the architecture of your work. Drawing is a transferable energy, a life force, and it entails many ways of observing.” – John Olsen interviewed by Ken McGrogor

Author Ken McGregor has sought to identify as many of Legendary Australian artist John Olsen’s drawings as possible in his latest book ‘John Olsen: Drawing – The Human Touch.’

Printed in colour, this catalog explores the length of a career spanning over 60 years. Not only does it emphasise the importance of drawing to Olsen’s practice, it highlights the medium’s significance in defining his practice altogether.

You can purchase this publication through the Olsen Irwin website by clicking here


‘John Olsen: Drawing – The Human Touch’ available from Olsen Irwin. Please click the image to purchase.


John Olsen, ‘Tree Frogs’, 2010, limited edition fine art reproduction, 65 x 73cm
This work is available for purchase from Australian Fine Art Editions. You can visit their website by clicking on the picture.






John Olsen | ABC | The King Sun

The King Sun: John Olsen aired on ABC1 10m Tuesday 17 June 2014. The documentary takes us inside John Olsen’s journey to create the second largest mural of his career at the age of 85. The eight by six metre mural now takes centre stage at the Walker Corporation’s development, Collins Square at Melbourne Docklands.

The documentary can be seen here on ABC Iview.

Directed by Tony Williams. Produced by Anna Hewgill of Four Donkey Films in association with ABC TV and Screen Australia.
ABC Commissioning Editor: Mandy Chang
ABC Head of Arts: Katrina Sedgwick


John Olsen | Philanthropic work for COFA | $1,200

Australia’s favourite artist John Olsen, in association with Olsen Irwin and Australian Fine Art Editions, is offering the opportunity to own a limited edition Olsen etching for the remarkable price of $1,200. Proceeds from the sale of the work go towards the University of New South Wales’ College of Fine Art, ensuring a bright future for a new generation of artists.

Printed in association with master print maker Michael Kempson, the limited edition etching ‘Life Class’ depicts the various players in the art world. From the cash rich art dealer to the artist’s wife, this satirical piece is typical of Olsen’s wit and humour.

“On the far left you can see the artist with brush in hand, his wife advising him as to an approach. A female water colourist who formerly painted in oils is at front, above her is a contemplative student readying to make a mark. Behind him is an art dealer flush with cash and a muse/painter sizes up the three ‘fallen from grace’ Graces. Completing the print is a conceptual artist who stares at us as he ruminates over his future realisations.”
John Olsen

An Olsen etching of this quality and size would normally retail for $3,800. With proceeds of the sales going to UNSW’s College of Fine Art (COFA), Olsen is offering the work for the unprecedented price of $1,200. This generous philanthropic offer is also great value for the customer. Support our next generation artists and UNSW’s College of Fine Art by clicking here to purchase this limited edition John Olsen etching.

Olsen Irwin in association with Australian Fine Art Editions are also offering FREE Australia wide delivery for unframed works and framing for the reduced price of just $150.

 John Olsen, Life Class (Evolution), etching, 35 x 49.5, 2012/13, edition of 200, $1200
Framing only $150
FREE delivery Australia wide for unframed work


‘Life Class’ AP depicting the various players of the art world
John Olsen, Life Class (Evolution), etching, 35 x 49.5, 2012/13, edition of 200


John Olsen signing his special limited edition etching ‘Life Class (Evolution)’


John Olsen | The Three O's | Manly Art Gallery and Museum

The Three O’s: Orban, Olsen and Ogburn featuring the work of John Olsen, John Ogburn and Desiderius Orban opens tonight Friday 21 March at Manly Art Gallery and Museum. With over 90 works from private collections and public institutions, including two rare Olsen tapestries, the exhibition is a must see for any Olsen admirer. Touring from Orange Regional Gallery, the Manly Art Gallery and Museum is the fourth stop for the exhibition, continuing onto Maitland Regional Art Gallery and Artspace McKay in 2014.

“Curated by Emma Collerton, this touring exhibition explores the legacy of Desiderius Orban and that of two of his students, John Ogburn and John Olsen. Both later taught at Orban’s studio before blazing their own trails in Australian Art.” – Manly Art Gallery and Museum

The Three O’s: Orban, Olsen and Ogburn
21 March to 27 April 2014

Manly Art Gallery and Museum
West Esplanade
Manly NSW 2095


John Olsen, image courtesy David Loftus

Orange Regional Gallery – 18 October to 1 December 2013
Art Gallery of Ballarat – 14 December 2013 to 19 January 2014
Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre – 31 January to 2 March 2014
Manly Art Gallery and Museum – 21 March to 27 April 2014
Maitland Regional Art Gallery – 2 May to 29 June 2014
Artspace Mackay – 11 July to 31 August 2014


John Olsen | The Australian Financial Review

The Australian Financial Review has reported on the increase of discerning Asian buyers collecting works from iconic Australian artist, John Olsen. Works from Olsen’s most recent exhibition at Olsen Irwin sold to a predominantly Asian clientele, including two works to a client in Hong Kong and six works to a buyer in Singapore. Despite lackluster sales from a recent London exhibition and negative reviews of London’s Royal Academy exhibition ‘Australia’, Olsen’s work is growing in popularity with Asian collectors. “I can now say, without a lie, that [the UK pictures] all went.” – Tim Olsen, Director, Olsen Irwin

Considering the success of the Olsen Irwin exhibition and increased interest from Asian buyers, particularly following the disappointment of a 2013 exhibition in London, Tim Olsen is quoted as saying, “[Asian buyers] with their consummate and innate understanding of calligraphy and mark-making in reference to landscape and space… also tend to have an established ‘Zen’ eye, in contrast to the dour British observer who struggles to grapple with the nature of our antique continent with its scruffy beauty.” – Tim Olsen, Director, Olsen Irwin



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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