An image of Dry salvages

John Olsen

(Australia, England, Spain, Portugal 21 Jan 1928 – )

Dry salvages

Location
Not on display
Further information

My painting takes on its particular abstract quality because only in this way can I express my search for direct mystical experience. There is the feeling of an abyss, a void between oneself and everything outside, and one has the impulse to bridge it. The thing which I always endeavour to express is an animistic quality – a certain mystical throbbing throughout nature.

John Olsen, 1956

Taking its name from the title of a poem by TS Eliot, 'Dry salvages' explores the idea of being immersed in the natural world – an idea which was essential to John Olsen’s approach to painting. The painting was shown in the benchmark
exhibition 'Direction I', held at Macquarie Galleries in Sydney in December 1956.

Year
1956
Media
Painting
Medium
oil on hardboard
Dimensions
119.0 x 90.9 cm board; 133.2 x 105.0 x 2.8 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated u.r. corner, black oil "John/ Olsen/ 56".
Credit
Gift of Mrs EM Gardiner in memory of her daughter Marie Gardiner 1972
Accession number
68.1972
Copyright
© John Olsen. Licensed by Viscopy,Australia