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John Olsen

Australian artist John Olsen - A larrikin legend still breaking all the rules

Australian Womens Weekly
Susan Chenery
April 2017

Living the artistic life sounds romantic, but there have been some dark and difficult moments in the life of the irrepressible artist John Olsen and his family. Susan Chenery meets a living legend and his talented offspring.

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Related exhibition
John Olsen New works

"Hello my lovelies": Artist John Olsen greets his past at the Art Gallery of NSW Retrospective

Sydney Morning Herald
Linda Morris
10 March 2017

"Hello, my lovelies, you are still here," the artist John Olsen exclaims as if approaching old friends.  On the wall of the Art Gallery of NSW are a series of oils painted in the early 1960s from which the new retrospective, John Olsen: the you beaut country, borrows its laconic title.

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How art helped John Olsen through heartbreak

The Daily Telegraph
Elizabeth Fortescue
9 March 2017

ARTISTS often talk about their studios as locations of solitude and retreat. But John Olsen's beautiful Southern Highlands workspace took on an even deeper dimension late last year.

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Artist John Olsen celebrates 89th birthday at Newcastle Art Gallery

Newcastle Herald
Sam Rigney
22 January 2017

ABOUT a year ago, iconic Australian artist John Olsen agreed to create an iconic painting that would capture the essence of his birthplace. 

It was a deeply personal work, a reflection on his beginnings. 

Unfortunately, illness meant he couldn’t be there when the exhibition opened in November last year. 

But on Saturday at Newcastle Art Gallery – just a short distance from his childhood home – Olsen got to share a piece of that work, a slice of the Hunter, with hundreds of other art lovers.

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A great Australian artist John Olsen

John Olsen, is a lover of many things: people, food, literature, and the natural world. Above all, Olsen is a lover of art and life. Listen in as Olsen tells stories of his life, work and an enduring passion for capturing the spirit of the Australian landscape.

Related exhibition:
The You Beaut Country, National Gallery of Victoria

John Olsen: The You Beaut Country offers an unparalleled opportunity to examine Olsen?s consummate place in Australian art history. His You beaut country series, which followed his return to Australia in 1960 after three years travelling in Europe, began what would be a lifelong interest in representing the landscape and Australian identity. These works are presented alongside his more recent paintings, prints and watercolours, including those inspired by the filling of Lake Eyre. The exhibition reveals an artist who at 88 years of age has lost none of his passion for his subject matter, nor his creative vitality and retains a unique ability to capture the spirit of the Australian landscape.

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SON OF THE BRUSH

Vogue Australia
Tim Olsen
October 2016

John Olsen is one of Australia's greatest living artists. Here, his son, gallerist Tim Olsen, who helped curate a new retrospective, reflects on his bohemian childhood and gives a rare insight into his father's powerful ability and influence

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John Olsen retrospective: Brimming with life and love

The Sydney Morning Herald
Hannah Francis
14 September 2016

If painting is dead, as some art critics say, nobody told John Olsen. "I'd like to know the time of death," he says with the brightest of glints in his eye. "I'm alive. So painting isn't dead."

At 88 years old and widely considered Australia's greatest living painter, Olsen is about to launch his largest ever retrospective at the National Gallery of Victoria.

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The Sun King

The Weekend Australian
Ashleigh Wilson
10 - 11 September 2016

John Olsen's second major retrospective, 25 years after the first, is a landmark for our greatest living artist

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John Olsen: at home with the Australian artist

The Sydney Morning Herald
Amanda Hooton
3 September 2016

Over lunch at his home in the NSW southern highlands, John Olsen shares with Amanda Hooton a lifetime of insights into landscape, poetry and painting.

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Celebrate Australia Day with Olsen's epic landscape

Sydney Morning Herald
Janet Hawley
23 January 2016

"I'm not old, I'm just aged," Olsen says, beaming, as the sun glints on the lake which laps his studio and sprawling house in the NSW Southern Highlands.

"One great value in being aged is that it allows retrospective thinking. I can now look back at the changes in my lifetime through a mental telescope....

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LATELINE: John Olsen returns to his hometown, Newcastle

Now at the age of 88, John Olsen has gone home. Arguably Australia's most successful living artist, he is back in the city of Newcastle where he grew up during the Depression. To honour the memories of his early life, he is about to embark on one of his most significant works. It is set to rival his acclaimed 'Salute To Five Bells' mural at the Sydney Opera House.

Philippa McDonald joined John Olsen on his nostalgic return to the Hunter.

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John Olsen - King Sun 7:30

"At 85 years young, John Olsen may have created one of his most monumental paintings in a physically-demanding project, complete with dramatic health scare, that has re-energised him." - 7:30, ABC

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The King Sun: John Olsen, ABC

In March 2013, John Olsen, one of Australia’s greatest living artists, embarked on the second largest mural of his career. He was 85 years old.

In The King Sun, director Tony Williams and producer Anna Hewgill follow the progress of John Olsen’s mural from the arrival of the 8 blank panels to the transportation, delivery and installation of the giant painting in the Collins Square development in Melbourne.

The film is a record of a great Australian at work on possibly his final mural. It’s also an uplifting exploration of a life in art, and a reflection on mortality, optimism and happiness.

The filmmakers take us inside Olsen’s Southern Highland home where Olsen opens up about the eastern philosophies and techniques that have guided his practice, and we hear from Olsen’s wife, son and daughter. John Olsen is in the autumn of his life and in The King Sun he reflects on what he was like as a younger man. We flash back to archival footage of John as a young, vigorous and driven artist working on Salute to Five Bells, and winning the Archibald. And we see how much he has mellowed with time.
- ABC1

The King Sun: John Olsen screened Tuesday 17 June at 10pm on ABC1.

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Olsen's King Sun rises

The Age
Dewi Cooke
30 July 2013

Amid the glass walls and muted tones of Docklands' commercial building clusters, something vibrant and altogether more organic has risen. A quivering sun, its rays unfurling in orange, pink and splotches of green across an immense canvas (six by eight metres) was installed at the weekend under the watchful eye of its creator, famed Australian artist John Olsen.

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Salute the Sun

Sydney Morning Herald - Spectrum
Ali Gripper
June 24 2013

In his twilight years, John Olsen is taking on one of the biggest challenges of his career. Ali Gripper steps inside his studio to find an exuberant tribute to the Australian landscape.

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New Home for Mural

Newcastle Herald
Amy Edwards
25/08/20212

Newcastle born artist John Olsen gathered his emotions as he stood in front of his artwork at Newcastle Art Gallery yesterday evening.
Olsen painted the 1964 ceiling mural titled The Sea Sun of 5 Bells for his friend Dr Ann Lewis and it was unveiled last night as part of the gallery's latest exhibition.

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Small joy flows from a lake of tears

The Daily Telegraph
Elizabeth Fortescue
24/3/12

When Paul Lockyer took off on his fateful tril to Lake Eyre last August, the veteran ABC journalist left a manuscript for his family to read while he was away.

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Olsen offers painting in honour of ABC's Lockyer

The Australian
Sallie Don
24/3/12

John Olsen made the final touches to his latest ainting of Lake Eyre only a few days ago. Approaching Lake Eyre was his memorial to Paul Lockyer, the ABC journalist who died in a helicopter crash alongside cameraman John Bean and pilot Gary Ticehurst at Lake Eyre in August last year.

 

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Walking on Eyre

Qantas Magazine
Larry Writer
10/1/12

From Lake Eyre to Sydney Harbour the Australian landscape remains a treasured muse for John Olsen, one of Australia’s most acclaimed artists.

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John Olsen relives love of Lake Eyre, ABC 7.30 Report

John Olsen, Australia's greatest living painter talks to the ABC 7.30 report about his latest body of work Lake Eyre - The Desert Sea, Ruminations on a Empty Landscape. This latest collection of watercolours, a very personal reflection of an ever-changing landscape that Olsen has visited since the 1970's, depicts the results of the recent flooding to the area and the new life that follows. This episode features interviews John Olsen, his gallerist-son Tim Olsen, grandson James and two young artists Luke Sciberras and Guy Maestri fly across the Lake as well as an interview by Edmund Capon, Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

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Related exhibition
JOHN OLSEN: Lake Eyre Ruminations on an Empty Landscape