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Swashbuckler and Son

Australian Book Review
Ian Britain
December 2020

Extract: A voyage round my father’, to quote the title of John Mortimer’s autobiographical play of 1963, has been a popular form of personal memoir in Britain from Edmund Gosse’s Father and Son (1907) to Michael Parkinson’s just-published Like Father, Like Son. The same form produced some of the best Australian writing in the twentieth century, with two assured classics in the case of Germaine Greer’s Daddy, We Hardly Knew You (1989) and Raimond Gaita’s Romulus, My Father (1998). The tradition has continued into the present century with – to list some of the choicest plums – Richard Freadman’s Shadow of Doubt: My father and myself (2003), Sheila Fitzpatrick’s My Father’s Daughter (2010), Jim Davidson’s A Führer for a Father (2017), and Christopher Raja’s Into the Suburbs: A migrant’s story (2020). Mothers in such sagas are far from absent, and they can emerge, though not always, as the more obviously loveable or loving figures. As signalled by most of those titles, however, mothers loom less large over the unfolding narrative. Fathers may not always know or act best, but, partly because of their often tougher, commanding mien, they become irresistibly the centre of attention.

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Tim Olsen: My mother's wise words taught me why we love art

The Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday Life
Robyn Doreian
12 December 2020

Tim Olsen / Occupation Owner Olsen Gallery / Age 58 / Status In a new relationship / Best known for His art gallery

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Great holiday reads, from page-turners to perfect prose

The Sydney Morning Herald
Georgie Gordon
12 December 2020

Whether at the beach, the park or lazing in bed, these are the books you’ll want to keep returning to over the break.

Non-fiction
Son of the Brush
by Tim Olsen (Allen & Unwin)

Olsen’s memoir about the joys and challenges of growing up in the shadow of his famous artist father, John, is a fascinating read. In addition to all the juicy art world anecdotes, it’s a candid look at his journey from “free range” child to respected art dealer.

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Booked up for Summer: Son of the Brush

HIGHLIFE Magazine
December 2020

Son of the Brush is Tim's memoir, starting with his earliest memories when the family lived in Watsons Bay and ending in 2020 with a bough of COVID-19.

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Soho House online conversation between Maroon 5's Jesse Carmichael and artist Paul Davies

iCloud
7 December 2020

Last week, artist and Los Angeles member Paul Davies, whose mural overlooks the rooftop pool at Soho Warehouse, opened a new exhibition at Peter Mendenhall Gallery in Pasadena. To celebrate, Maroon 5’s Jesse Carmichael curated a playlist based on the paintings. Here, the friends discuss how the collaboration came about and the process of translating artworks into a soundscape.

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Son of the Brush: A Memoir by Tim Olsen, behind-the-scenes of the art world

The Australian
Ashleigh Wilson
5 December 2020

Tim Olsen gives an insider’s view of the art world and living in the long shadow of his famous father John.

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Zoe Young's Rustic Bowral Cottage is an Artist's Paradise

4 December 2020

Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we're celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour on their creative spaces.
For this installment, we head to Bowral in New South Wales, where artist Zoe Young has transformed a cottage into a creative hub for herself and her family. 

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Tim Olsen Son of the Brush Review and Interview

Living Arts Canberra
Barbie Robinson
2 December 2020

Described as a memoir, Son of the Brush does indeed introduce us to some of the key figures of the art world in Australia in the 20th and 21st century,  in the context of the life of the author, son of painter John Olsen.

Listen to the interview here

Image: Tim Olsen at the book launch, AGNSW Photo: Wesley Nel

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HOT OFF THE PRESS

The Sydney Morning Herald
Nicole Abadee
5 December 2020

Summer is upon us and the holidays beckon. What better way to further warm the heart than with a good book on the beach?

Son of the Brush, the frank memoir of Tim Olsen, John Olsen’s son, charts his tumultuous life from the highs of mixing with Australia’s artistic and social elite, to the lows of his battles with alcoholism and depression.

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Sophie Cape's exhibition 'Flash Point'

Richard Morecroft
November 2020

Sophie Cape’s paintings are elemental – seemingly made of fire and snow, earth and blood. And the truth is not far from that; the huge works are impregnated with the ash and soil and bones and metal fragments on the ground in the locations where the works were created. As a past Olympic-level athlete, Sophie’s process is explosively physical, with violently cathartic struggles on the canvas. But as she explains to Richard Morecroft, the controlled mark of her hand is in evidence too, with subtle drawing and mysterious calligraphy.

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Related exhibition
Sophie Cape Flash Point

Sophie Cape video tour

November - December 2020

Video tour of Sophie Cape's 2020 exhibition at OLSEN Gallery, Woollahra

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Related exhibition
Sophie Cape Flash Point

Tim Olsen on growing up with a famous father, artist John Olsen

Radio National
Hilary Harper on Life Matters
24 November 2020

John Olsen has been called "Australia's greatest living artist" but what was it like growing up within his orbit?
Art dealer and gallery owner Tim Olsen reflects on his childhood and life in a revealing and poignant memoir, 'Son of the Brush.

Guest: Tim Olsen, author of 'Son of the Brush'
Duration: 13min 8sec
Broadcast: Tue 24 Nov 2020, 9:26am

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Tim Olsen's memoir of life with his famous dad is a fascinating insight into the Sydney art world

Canberra Times
Sasha Grishin
21 November 2020

Tim Olsen is the son of the high profile artist, 92-year-old John Olsen. As painters of his father's generation considered themselves as "brothers of the brush", Tim Olsen, by extension, calls himself a "son of the brush". This is a personal memoir - lively, chatty and quite readable.

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Eva Nolan Exhibition Video

November 2020

Video tour of Eva Nolan exhibition at OLSEN Annexe, Woollahra in November 2020

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Related exhibition
Eva Nolan Biophilia

My father, my sadness: John Olsen's son paints a portrait

The Age
Helen O'Neill
12 November 2020

John Olsen is the subject of an explosive memoir penned by his son, who accuses the artist of multiple infidelities and building his creative career at the expense of the family he left behind.

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Tim Olsen on getting out from under the shadow of his famous father John: 'He’s not a demigod'

The Guardian
Susan Chenery
10 November 2020

John Olsen’s Australian landscapes captured the world’s imagination but to his son the artist was akin to a deity – until he wasn’t.

Where there is artistic acclaim there is often collateral damage. History is littered with redundant muses, discarded partners, children left behind. It can take a certain ruthlessness to live for art, in a heightened state of intensity, making it the only thing that matters.

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Sex, alcoholism, abandonment: growing up with Australia's most famous living painter

The Sydney Morning Herald
Helen O'Neill
5 November 2020

Review of Son of the Brush, A Memoir by Tim Olsen

Tim Olsen – international art dealer, philanthropist and newly minted memoirist – wants to show me a painting. Our location is his apartment, high above his gallery in the prosperous Sydney precinct of Woolahra, and the image depicts Lake Hindmarsh in western Victoria's Wimmera.

The 92-year-old who created this half a century ago is routinely described as Australia's greatest living painter. He is one of an elite stable of creatives represented by Olsen. More to the point, he's the art dealer's dad.

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Review: Son of the Brush

Queensland Reviewers Collective
Ian Lipke
5 November 2020

Inspiration guided the person who coined the title of this memoir. Son of the Brush allows the writer to give the reading public information about the writer’s famous father – his virtues and vices, likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses while making available information about himself, one of the recognized business leaders in Sydney. The Brush is John Olsen, the son is gallery owner Tim.

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Chris Langlois | Littoral Zone

Artist Profile
Emma-Kate Wilson
November 2020

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Related exhibition
Chris Langlois Littoral Zone

VIDEO TOUR OF GILES ALEXANDER EXHIBITION

October 2020

View video tour of the Giles Alexander 2020 exhibition

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Related exhibition
Giles Alexander Beginning to See the Light