Margaret Olley: A Generous Life

 

Our major exhibition celebrating the work of leading Australian artist Margaret Olley (1923-2011) opens at GOMA from 15 June, ‘Margaret Olley: A Generous Life’ features more than 100 paintings and drawings highlighting the colourful life, legacy and influence of a much-loved Australian artist.

What’s on in Brisbane: Visit ‘A Generous Life’ at the Gallery of Modern Art until 13 October

Margaret Olley, Australia 1923-2011 / Pomegranates in a basket 1967 / Oil on board / 76 x 101cm / Private collection / © Margaret Olley Art Trust

This free exhibition is a celebration of Olley’s extraordinary life as an artist, mentor, muse, passionate collector and donor, and ‘A Generous Life’ will be shown alongside ‘Quilty’, featuring 70 works by Olley’s good friend Ben Quilty.

Related: Margaret Olley

Margaret Olley (right) and Margaret Cilento at McMahons Point, Sydney c.1943 / Bequest of Margaret Olley 2011, Margaret Olley Archive, Art Gallery of New South Wales Archive
Ben Quilty, Australia, b.1973 / Margaret Olley 2011 / Collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales / © Ben Quilty

These two exhibitions by two different yet equally committed artists have been programmed so audiences can consider their respective depth of practice, and Olley’s influence, legacy and connection to Quilty. Olley awarded Quilty the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship in 2002, and whose portrait he painted to win the Archibald Prize in 2011, on display in the exhibition.

Tribute to Margaret Olley

Quilty was at GOMA to create a series of site-specific, hand-drawn portraits of Olley. These large-scale chalk drawings are based on preparatory sketches he made for the Archibald portrait. Quilty has cast in chalk some of the objects Olley gave him over the years; teapots, jugs, and vases, and used these to produce the wall drawings.

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Ben Quilty creates a series of site-specific, hand-drawn portraits of Olley. These large-scale chalk drawings are based on preparatory sketches he made for the Archibald portrait. Quilty has cast in chalk some of the objects Olley gave him over the years; teapots, jugs, and vases, and used these to produce the wall drawings.

Special Events

The Gallery will present a number of free public programs in conjunction with ‘A Generous Life’:

Saturday 15 June
11.30am-12.30pm, join Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO, Former Governor General of Australia and Philip Bacon AM, esteemed art dealer, collector and gallerist in conversation with Simon Elliott, Deputy Director, Collection & Exhibitions, QAGOMA. This discussion in Cinema A, GOMA, will explore Olley’s connection to Brisbane, her generosity of character and life-affirming approach to painting.
1.00-1.30pm join exhibition curator Michael Hawker on a tour of ‘A Generous Life’ as he shares insights into Olley’s vibrant life and work.
2.00-2:30pm hear a selection of music that inspired Olley performed in the Gallery by the highly respected quartet, Bentley Strings.
2.30-3.00pm hear Susi Muddiman OAM, Director, Tweed River Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre in conversation with exhibition curator Michael Hawker as they share personal insights into Olley’s generous character.

Saturday 29 June
2:30-3:00pm, Quilty will reflect on his friendship with Olley, and the lasting influence of her support on his practice.

Friday nights in August
Experience ‘Margaret Olley: A Generous Life’ and ‘Quilty’ at night when our popular Up Late series returns in August.

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Both ‘Margaret Olley: A Generous Life’ and ‘Quilty’ are free exhibitions

Feature image detail: Margaret Olley Pomegranates in a basket 1967

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