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.
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).