Ben Quilty


Quilty’ at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) was the first major survey in a decade of one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, Ben Quilty.

Featuring 70 works from the early 2000s to the present, the exhibition includes the artist’s revisions of the Australian landscape, raw intimate self-portraits and works inspired by recent visits to Lebanon, Syria and Greece. In 2011 Quilty visited Afghanistan as an official war artist and on his return to Australia he sought the company of service men and women who had experienced conflict and human suffering. He painted their raw emotions during individual sittings in his studio in the Northern Highlands of New South Wales.

RELATED: Sergeant P, after Afghanistan

RELATED: Captain Kate Porter, after Afghanistan

Ben Quilty invites you to his exhibition at GOMA

‘Captain Kate Porter, after Afghanistan’ 2012

Ben Quilty, Australia b.1973 / Captain Kate Porter, after Afghanistan 2012 / Oil on linen / 180 x 170cm / Gift of the artist through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation 2018. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Ben Quilty

‘Self-portrait, after Afghanistan’ 2012

Ben Quilty, Australia b. 1973 / Self-portrait, after Afghanistan 2012 / Oil on linen / 130 x 120cm / Private collection, Sydney / Courtesy and © Ben Quilty / Photograph: Mim Stirling

Also included is Quilty’s expansive Rorschach paintings. Using a psychoanalytic tool designed to evaluate personality and emotional function, these monumental paintings explore the dark undercurrent of the Australian psyche, one haunted by violence and displacement.

‘Smashed Rorschach’ 2019

All of the multi-layered works in the exhibition demonstrate Quilty’s signature surfaces, thickly smeared, smudged and caked with rich impasto gestures of paint applied with a bold virtuosity.

‘Quilty’ also features images of the artist’s family and friends and the much-loved portrait of Australian artist Margaret Olley which secured Quilty the Archibald Prize in 2011.

RELATED: Ben Quilty

‘Margaret Olley’ 2011

Ben Quilty, Australia, b.1973 / Margaret Olley 2011 / Collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales / © Ben Quilty

Know Brisbane through the QAGOMA Collection / Delve into our Queensland Stories / Read more about Australian Art / Subscribe to QAGOMA YouTube to go behind-the-scenes

Quilty’ / Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) / 29 June –  13 October 2019

Featured image detail: Ben Quilty Self-portrait, after Afghanistan 2012

#QuiltyGOMA #BenQuilty #QAGOMA