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John Olsen

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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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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John Olsen at the Opera House

SOH Talks and Ideas
Jan 19, 2016

Living treasure John Olsen spoke at the Sydney Opera House about his largest commission, "My Salute to Five Bells" which is located in the Northern Foyer of the Concert Hall. The Australian artist spoke about his art making practice, love of cooking and why he'll never retire.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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

Tim Olsen on John Olsen 'Culinaria'

We are blessed with the deliciously tasty Culinaria - The Cuisine of the Sun. An explosive feast that celebrates life and the human experience. Tim Olsen reflects on John Olsen's latest exhibition.

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Related exhibition
John Olsen Culinaria - The Cuisine of the Sun

Art Nation, featuring John Olsen and the exhibition Culinaria with Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein

This Art Nation episode features John Olsen and the exhibition Culinaria with Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein. John Olsen discusses his theories on painting food, as his memories of travel and cooking melt together to celebrate food, art and good company. Rick Stein comments on the exhibition, whilst Jamie Oliver get's involved with cooking up a feast for a delighted artistic audience.

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Related exhibition
John Olsen Culinaria - The Cuisine of the Sun
The Sydney Morning Herald - Good Weekend
Janet Hawley
10/11/12

John Olsen, our greatest living artist on squeezing the juice from his final years.

 

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Artist Profile
Steve Lopes + Leo Robba
Issue 16

In his eighth decade, artist John Olsen’s legendary lust for life is as obvious as ever and so is his devotion to drawing, a practice that has underpinned his long and distinguished career. What is also evident when talking with Olsen is that his diverse life experiences have informed his approach to art. Memories of tough times during the Depression in the late 1920’s, creative battles of a life spent dedicated to art, and the many wonderful people who have shared his world and great places he has visited are all deeply intertwined through his work. He is still looking outward, projecting what he sees and more importantly celebrating life- just as he did as a young boy growing up in Newcastle, discovering a passion for drawing.

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The Sydney Morning Herald
Louise Schwartzkoff
June 9 2011

At a table laden with paint-crusted crockery, John Olsen slides his brush into a dish if curdling watercolour. The paint is as thick and creamy as the salt deposits on the surface of Lake Eyre. It bleeds at the edges when Olsen strokes his brush across a freshly painted indigo background. “Look there,” he says. “It’s alive. And there’s sort of a running figure, you see? Ill just give it some arms.”

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Sydney Morning Herald- Spectrum
John McDonald
June 4-5th

Top dealers flocking to the influential Hong Kong art fair see it all, from young talent to genuine show- stoppers to the tasteless and over-priced, writes John McDonald.

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Sydney Morning Herald
Matt Buchanan
May 28-29 2011

Earlier this month Sydney lost one of its great arts patrons, Ann Lewis, to cancer. Over the years Lewis enriched the culture, donating remarkable and extraordinarily valuable paintings, photography and sculpture to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Gallery of Australia and others

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