An image of Australian flux

John Olsen

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

Australian flux

Not on display
Further information

"If the bow is properly pulled a line will not only have a vitality of its own but will embrace the void of the paper. The line shall ask questions; push and pull me this way and that, find a force that will compliment or contrast. A good drawing is the reconciliation, a bad drawing is the waste of it". (John Olsen, quoted in Deborah Hart 'John Olsen – encounters with drawing', Sydney: Australian Galleries, 1987)

This drawing was made the year John Olsen returned to Sydney after a period living in rural Spain; he found the city an invigorating contrast to the culture in which he had immersed himself. Included among many distinctive characteristics he noted on his return was the quality of light, the energy of the people and the urban landscape. He made a number of exuberant, complex drawings and paintings at this time, expressing his imaginative response to the vitality of life in Sydney.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2004

Place of origin
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
charcoal, watercolour, gouache on ivory wove paper
67.3 x 92.7 cm sheet; 83.0 x 108.0 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., pencil "John Olsen/ 60".

Gift of Terry Clune and the artist 1960
Accession number