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  • Sidney Nolan


    Art Brokerage: Sir Sidney Nolan OM, AC Australian Artist: b. 1917-1992. Sir Sidney Nolan OM, AC (22 April 1917 - 28 November 1992) was one of Australia's best-known painters and printmakers. Nolan was born in Carlton, a suburb of Melbourne. Nolan attended the Brighton Road State School and then Brighton Technical School and left school aged 14. He enrolled at the Prahran Technical College, Department of Design and Crafts, in a course which he had already begun part-time by correspondence. From 1933, at the age of 16, he began almost six years of work for Fayrefield Hats, Abbotsford, producing advertising and display stands with spray paints and dyes. From 1934 he attended night classes sporadically at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School. Nolan was a close friend of the arts patrons John and Sunday Reed, and is regarded as one of the leading figures of the so-called "Heide Circle" that also included Albert Tucker, Joy Hester, Arthur Boyd and John Perceval. In 1938, he met and married his first wife Elizabeth, but his marriage soon broke up because of his increasing involvement with the Reeds. He joined the Angry Penguins in the 1940s. After deserting from the army during World War II, Nolan lived for some time at the Reeds' home, "Heide" outside Melbourne (now the Heide Museum of Modern Art). Here he painted the first canvasses in his famous, iconic "Ned Kelly" series, reportedly with input from Sunday Reed. Nolan also conducted an open affair with Sunday Reed at this time although he married John Reed's sister, Cynthia in 1948, after Sunday refused to leave her husband and marry him. In 1978, he married Mary Boyd, a member of the Boyd artistic family and the former wife of John Perceval. He later studied at the Atelier 17, Paris, under Stanley William Hayter. Nolan painted a wide range of personal interpretations of historical and legendary figures, including explorers Burke and Wills, and Eliza Fraser. Probably his most famous work is a series of stylised descriptions of the bushranger Ned Kelly in the Australian Outback. Nolan left the famous 1946-47 series of 27 Ned Kellys at "Heide", when he left it in emotionally-charged circumstances. Although he once wrote to Sunday Reed to tell her to take what she wanted, he subsequently demanded all his works back. Sunday Reed returned 284 other paintings and drawings to Nolan, but she refused to give up the 25 remaining Kellys, partly because she saw the works as fundamental to the proposed Heide Museum of Modern Art. Possibly also because she collaborated with Nolan on the paintings. Eventually, she gave them to the National Gallery of Australia in 1977 and this resolved the dispute. Nolan's Ned Kelly series follow the main sequence of the Kelly story. However Nolan did not intend the series to be an authentic depiction of these events. Rather these episodes/series became the setting for the artist's meditations upon universal themes of injustice, love and betrayal. The Kelly saga was also a way for Nolan to paint the Australian landscape in new ways, with the story giving meaning to the place.Although the Depression and World War II happened during this period, Nolan decided to concentrate on something different other than people struggling in life. Nolan wanted to create and define episodes in Australian nationalism, to retell the story of a hero. A hero which now has become a metaphor for humankind the fighter, the victim, and the hero resisting tyranny with a passion for freedom. Nolan recognised that the conceptual image of the black square (Kelly's helmet and armour) had been part of modern art since World War I. Nolan just placed a pair of eyes into Kelly's helmet which animates its formal shape. As in most of the series, Kelly's steel head guard dominates the composition. Nolan also concentrates on the Australian outback and shows a different landscape in nearly every painting. Nolan's paintings give the audience an insight into the history of Australia but also show others from the world how beautiful Australia is. The intensity of the colours of the land and bush along with its overall smooth texture help create harmony between legend, symbol and visual impact. Kelly is in the centre of the painting but the colours around him help make him stand out. It's a very simplistic picture but highlights that Ned Kelly is an Australian icon. Listings wanted by Art Brokerage.

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Mediterranean Theme (Veronica's Vale) 2001 17x20 Original Painting - Sidney Nolan

Sidney Nolan

Mediterranean Theme (Veronica's Vale) 2001 17x20

Original Painting: Mixed Media on Paper, Other

Size: 10x12x0 in  | 26x31x0 cm
Framed Mixed Media on Paper
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