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CMAG lands John Olsen’s ‘Brindabellas’

By Charlotte Harper - 9 December 2015 5

Brindabellas by John Olsen

One of Australia’s greatest living artists, landscape painter John Olsen, has gifted his new work, Brindabellas, to the Canberra Museum and Gallery for its permanent collection.

Mr Olsen (AO OBE) gifted the painting last night at an event for donors to the Museum’s Canberra Region Treasures Fund.

The work is already on display at the gallery and will remain on show until January 31, 2016 in its debut outing.

John Olsen

ACT Arts Minister Joy Burch said Mr Olsen enjoyed rediscovering the work of landscape painter Elioth Gruner at CMAG in 2014. His inspiration for Brindabellas came not long after when he saw Gruner’s newly purchased painting The dry road at CMAG later that year.

“I am hugely grateful to John Olsen for this magnificent gift painted as an expression of his connection with the landscape of our region,” Ms Burch said.

“The gift marks the first year of the Canberra Region Treasures Fund, which was established to raise awareness of CMAG’s collection and increase its capacity to secure major works of art.”

The minister said that after a year of awareness-raising, the fund had grown its internal allocation for the purchase of artworks at CMAG by almost 50 per cent.

John Olsen (born 1928) is widely regarded as the most important living painter in Australia. Since the 1960s he has had a reputation for creating highly original interpretations of the Australian landscape. Major retrospectives of his work have been held at the National Gallery of Victoria (1991-92) and the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) (1993), among others.

Mr Olsen has received numerous major awards, including the Wynne Prize in 1969 (for landscape; AGNSW); an OBE in 1977; an Australia Council Creative Fellowship in 1993 (for five years); an AO in 2001; and the Archibald Prize in 2005 (for portraiture; AGNSW).

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5 Responses to
CMAG lands John Olsen’s ‘Brindabellas’
dungfungus 10:51 pm 12 Dec 15

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

I loved the Gruner exhibition but I can’t warm to this offering by Mr Olsen.
It’s purely a case of beauty in the eye of the beholder and I am not suggesting Mr Olsen’s works are unworthy in any way.
To me, it doesn’t look anything like the Brindabellas unless it was interpreted immediately after the 2003 bushfires.

Maybe you should donate a photograph to CMAG, taken from behind your curtains. I think Big W still does prints.

Do you still have curtains?
I installed self powered remote control roller-blinds a few years ago.
Actually, I do have some admirable oil paintings by local artists which I will donate to CMAG after I leave this world.
Do they accept local works?

rubaiyat 9:54 am 12 Dec 15

dungfungus said :

I loved the Gruner exhibition but I can’t warm to this offering by Mr Olsen.
It’s purely a case of beauty in the eye of the beholder and I am not suggesting Mr Olsen’s works are unworthy in any way.
To me, it doesn’t look anything like the Brindabellas unless it was interpreted immediately after the 2003 bushfires.

Maybe you should donate a photograph to CMAG, taken from behind your curtains. I think Big W still does prints.

dungfungus 11:35 am 11 Dec 15

I loved the Gruner exhibition but I can’t warm to this offering by Mr Olsen.
It’s purely a case of beauty in the eye of the beholder and I am not suggesting Mr Olsen’s works are unworthy in any way.
To me, it doesn’t look anything like the Brindabellas unless it was interpreted immediately after the 2003 bushfires.

Holden Caulfield 9:48 am 11 Dec 15

Good work CMAG.

rubaiyat 11:04 am 09 Dec 15

By coincidence I was just chatting with him last Thursday at Berkelouw Books, Berrima where he has a new painting above the bar.

He doesn’t seem to age.

On a side note. I do hope the Government will provide the resources and funds to curate this work as it deserves. CMAG has the most amazing collection of paintings and art works of a small gallery, but displays them poorly.

The exhibitions desperately need better lighting and more interesting layout and presentation, not just plunking them wherever they fit on random walls.

The last Chinese Art exhibition, was hopefully a sign of better things to come.

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