Renowned Australian artist John Olsen dies surrounded by family at age 95 – as Vivid festival reveal the stunning tribute they’ve planned
- Renowned artist John Olsen dies at age 95
- He won Archibald, Wynne and Sulman awards
- Olsen specialized in Australian landscapes
John Olsen, one of Australia’s most acclaimed artists known for his distinctive depictions of landscapes and nature, has passed away at the age of 95.
He died surrounded by family on Tuesday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The Newcastle-born painter’s career spanned more than 60 years, with his work exhibited in galleries across the country and abroad, and he was a winner of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Awards.
One of his acclaimed works is Salute to Five Bells, which hangs in the Sydney Opera House.
A tribute to his long career will be blasted onto the building’s sails next month during the Vivid Sydney festival.
Australian artist John Olsen has passed away at the age of 95 (pictured as he took on the role of artist in residence at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo in 2011)
Olsen has an acclaimed career spanning 60 years as a painter (pictured for his work Flight to Minderoo in Orange in 2022)
Olsen spoke to AAP in 2022 about his affinity for rural and remote Australia, having long since conquered the wild terrain.
“To be an Australian landscape painter is to be an explorer,” he said after donating several of his works to a regional NSW gallery.
‘There is so much to see and observe about the Australian landscape, how it varies from tropical to coastal, and inland.
‘It’s so manifold. It’s a beautiful animal, that landscape.’
After being awarded an Order of Australia in 2001, Olsen described art as a form of coercion, which he began developing at the age of four.
“Artists are born, not made,” he said.
Olsen received numerous other awards in his long career, including an OBE in 1977.
He won the Archibald for Self Portrait Janus Faced in 2005, the Wynne Prize for The Chasing Bird Landscape in 1969 and A Road to Clarendon: Autumn in 1985, and the Sulman Prize for Don Quixote Enters the Inn in 1989.
Olose was a well-known painter of Australian landscapes (pictured during a preview for his 2017 exhibition John Olsen: The You Beaut Country at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney)