John Olsen’s Sea Paintings

After the artist spent several years in Europe, he returned to Australia. As explained in a video at the NGV exhibition, most Australians live around a saucer — from Bristbane around to Perth — following the coast.

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Starfish, the horseshoe crab, the whale’s backbone — John Olsen

This explained the paintings on display connected to the sea which shifted from vibrant yellows and oranges to sea hues.

By this time, I was wrapped in the man’s work. Previously, I’d only seen reproductions in art books. Standing before his large paintings in the National Gallery of Victoria was an awe inspiring experience.

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Childhood by the seaport — John Olsen

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