3 Great Australian Artists
Sidney Nolan, John Olsen and Brett Whiteley
For a country less than 250 years in the making Australia has a wealth of great art. Our galleries might not be full of old masters but they are full of great talent.
The aim of this page is to bring 3 prolific and awarded artists to your attention. Watch the videos, follow the links to their works online and learn just a little bit more about some very talented painters.
creative commons image "The Trial" one of the Ned Kelly series by Sidney Nolan
The images here were taken on visits to the Art Gallery of NSW and the National Gallery of Australia
Brett Whiteley - The Balcony 2 - 1975
Facts about Brett Whiteley
- Brett Whiteley was born in Sydney in 1939.
- The Dire Straits album Alchemy featured part of Whiteley work by the same name.
- He traded his 1971 painting Opera House to Qantas airlines for a period of free travel.
- Whiteley won 2 Archibald prizes - Australia's most prestigious portrait prize. He also won 2 Sulman and Wynne prizes. One of only 2 artists to do so.
- Brett died from a heroin overdose in a motel room in Thirroul in 1992. He was only 53 years old.
- The studio, in Surry Hills where Whiteley worked 4 the last year of his life is now a museum. managed by the NSW Art Gallery.
Some short films about Brett WhiteleySome short films about Brett Whiteley
Brett Whiteley Life and Art
Sidney Nolan - Ned Kelly
Facts about Sidney Nolan
- Nolan was born in Melbourne in 1917
- He was a WW2 deserter
- Nolan married 3 times
- He's best known work is the Ned Kelly series - there are 27 paintings in the series.
- He also painted other famous Australians such as explorers Burke and Wills and Eliza Fraser
- Two of his paintings are included in the book 1001 painting you should see before you die
Films on Sidney Nolan
John Olsen - 5 Bells - 1963
see more of his works at the Art Gallery of NSW website.
Facts about John Olsen
- He was born in Newcastle NSW in 1928
- Lived grew up in Bondi and now lives in Bowral NSW
- He won the Archibald prize in 2005 for a self portrait
- His son Tim owns a respected gallery in Sydney
John Olsen on film
Major Art Galleries in Australia
- Queensland Art Gallery
An impressive collection
- National Gallery of Victoria
Some say our best gallery
- National Gallery of Australia
Two of my favourite Australian paintings are housed here.
- Art Gallery of NSW
You will find Brett Whitley's Balcony and John Olsen's 5 Bells here
- Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)
Australia's newest Art Gallery located in Hobart
- Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)
Officially part of the Queensland Galley but in a new purpose built gallery.
- Museum of Contemporary Art
This recently renovated gallery has a great cafe overlooking Sydney Harbour