‘We are thrilled to be presenting this major exhibition developed by Michael Hawker, Curator, Australian Art, QAGOMA, as a celebration of Olley’s extraordinary life as an artist, mentor, muse, passionate collector and donor,’ Mr Saines said.
'A Generous Life’ highlights Olley’s formative years spent in Brisbane, her enduring love of travel and passion for portraiture, still life and interiors. The exhibition includes portraits of Margaret by other artists and select works she bought and then generously gifted to public institutions, including pictures by European artists Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Giorgio Morandi, Pablo Picasso, Édouard Vuillard and others.
‘A Generous Life’ will be shown at GOMA alongside ‘Quilty’, a touring exhibition from the Art Gallery of South Australia of 70 works by Olley’s good friend Ben Quilty.
Mr Saines said QAGOMA had programmed these exhibitions by two different yet equally committed artists so audiences could consider their respective depth of practice, and Olley’s influence, legacy and connection to Quilty.'Quilty' opens Saturday 29 June.
‘It was Margaret who awarded Ben the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship in 2002, and whose portrait he painted to win the Archibald Prize in 2011. Earlier this month we were thrilled to have Ben at GOMA to create a series of site-specific, hand-drawn portraits of Olley,’ Mr Saines said.
From tomorrow, QAGOMA will present a number of free public programs in conjunction with ‘A Generous Life’ including:
Saturday 15 June
From 11.30am – 12.30pm, join Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO, Former Governor General of Australia and Philip Bacon AM, esteemed art dealer, collector and gallerist in conversation with Simon Elliott, Deputy Director, Collection & Exhibitions, QAGOMA. This discussion in Cinema A, GOMA, will explore Margaret Olley’s connection to Brisbane, her generosity of character and life-affirming approach to painting.
From 1.00 – 1.30pm join exhibition curator Michael Hawker on a tour of ‘A Generous Life’ as he shares insights into Margaret Olley’s vibrant life and work.
From 2.00pm hear a selection of music that inspired Margaret Olley performed in the Gallery by the highly respected quartet, Bentley Strings.
From 2.30 – 3.00pm hear Susi Muddiman OAM, Director, Tweed River Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre in conversation with exhibition curator Michael Hawker as they share personal insights into Olley’s generous character.
Saturday 29 June
From 2:30 – 3:00pm, artist Ben Quilty will reflect on his friendship with Margaret.
Margaret Olley(1923‑2011) Margaret Olley was born in Lismore in 1923 and later attended boarding school at Somerville House, Brisbane where her love for painting was nurtured by teacher and Melbourne National Gallery School trained artist Caroline Barker. Olley was enrolled at Brisbane Central Technical College in 1941 and in 1942 she moved to Sydney and enrolled in a diploma of art at East Sydney Technical College (later the National Art School) where she graduated with first-class honours. Olley then spent her time travelling abroad and living between Brisbane, Newcastle and Sydney. Initially she was represented by the Johnstone Gallery in Brisbane and then Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane, until her passing in 2011. She is fondly remembered as an outspoken, clever, gregarious, generous and utterly unique character.
Both ‘Quilty’ and ‘Margaret Olley: A Generous Life’ are free exhibitions, showing until 13 October. For more information or high resolution images, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.