John Olsen remembered as legendary landscape painter

Acclaimed artist Dr John Olsen AO OBE (1928 – 2023) will be remembered across the nation with a profile airing on Australian Story on Monday evening, 29 May, 8pm on ABC TV and ABC iview. Presented by Leigh Sales ‘A Brilliant Canvas’ will explore the artist’s career and personal life.

We hope you enjoy the ABC’s tribute and celebration of Olsen, and also take the opportunity to see his work projected on the Opera House Sails for the upcoming VIVID Sydney on view now until 17 June 2023. The Opera House remarked, Olsen’s ‘paintings were celebrations of landscape and life, a joyful affirmation of optimism and creativity that remained constant over the many decades he held a brush.’

The ABC program suggests that the Olsens are ‘a family forged by John Olsen’s passion and drive for painting. As John became a darling of the art world in the 60s and 70s, his ruthless dedication to his art often cast a long shadow on those he left behind.’ ‘Everything in his life was for his genius to be protected, and he was ruthless about that’, says art historian Barry Pearce. ‘And he would walk away from a relationship if it meant to preserve better his genius.’

Olsen’s children with artist Valerie Marshall Strong Olsen continue to be successful in unique creative paths, with Louise forging her place in the design world at home and internationally and Tim with a flourishing art gallery in Sydney and achievements as a writer.

A State Memorial service to celebrate the life of Olsen will be held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney on Monday 29 May. It is open to the public and able to be viewed online via livestream at this link.

Australian Story, Image of Louise, John and Tim Olsen; Photo Credit Tony Sheffield.