John Olsen is widely regarded as the most significant living painter of the Australian landscape, and one of the major Australian artists of 20th century. His career, which has spanned half-a-century, began at the Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney and continued at the Desiderius Orban School.
Since these early beginnings, Olsen’s art has built upon genuine research that argues a different landscape, one not locked into a single moment and fixed in time and place. One that free-ranges across a greater time transition, addressing both perceptual empirical reference, celebrating the uniqueness of the region, and the physicality of experiencing. An avid printmaker as well as painter, Olsen was one of the very first artists to be published by PJPA in 1975 with The Edge of the Void, and in 2005 PJPA published The Coorong Suite. Over a thirty year period Olsen has been consistently editioned and published by PJPA . Because of this strong association, PJPA were directly involved in Macmillan’s 2005 publication of the much needed catalogue raisonne of his graphic works. Entitled Teaming with Life: the Graphic Works of John Olsen, this extensive catalogue was co-authored by art consultant and collector, Ken McGregor, and Jeff Makin, artist, art critic and director of PJPA.
Olsen has won numerous prizes including the Archibald Prize 2005, and the Wynne Prize, 1969, 1985; honours include an OBE, and AO. Olsen’s work is represented in the National Gallery, Canberra; the Mertz Collection, USA; each of the state galleries in Australia; and in private and institutional collections in Britain, Europe and America.