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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Quilty

Featuring the acclaimed Australian artist's raw self-portraits, plus works inspired by his visits to Lebanon, Syria and Greece, all across more than 70 pieces.
By Sarah Ward and Cordelia Williamson
November 05, 2019
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Quilty

Featuring the acclaimed Australian artist's raw self-portraits, plus works inspired by his visits to Lebanon, Syria and Greece, all across more than 70 pieces.
By Sarah Ward and Cordelia Williamson
November 05, 2019
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in partnership with

Alongside its huge Japan Supernatural: 1700s to now exhibition, the Art Gallery of NSW is hosting another exceptional show this summer — and this one's free. From Saturday, November 9 until February next year, the gallery is dedicating an entire exhibition to celebrated contemporary Australian artist Ben Quilty and his work over the past 15 years.

Simply entitled Quilty, more than 70 pieces will showcase his work from the early 2000s onwards — including his intimate looks at his own reflection, his time spent as an official war artist in Afghanistan, poetic visions of the Australian landscape and his response to other topical events, including the last American election.

Quilty's expressive portraits, both of himself and of others — such as executed Bali Nine drug smuggler Myuran Sukumaran — are quite a striking sight. His Rorschach paintings are too, unsurprisingly. And, they're designed not just to catch the eye, but to explore the dark undercurrent of violence and themes of displacement.

Including paintings inspired by his visits to Lebanon, Syria and Greece, the exhibition marks the first major survey of Quilty's artistic output in a decade.

On Wednesday, November 13, Quilty will be in conversation with ABC Radio presenter Robbie Buck in a special edition of Art After Hours. After the talk, you can catch some live tunes, too.

Image 1: Photograph: Daniel Boud.
Image 2: Ben Quilty. Rorschach after von Guérard. 2009. Oil and synthetic polymer paint on linen (12 panels) / 230.0 x 804.0 cm (overall). Acquired 2009, TarraWarra Museum of Art. Courtesy the artist. Photograph: Jeremy Dillon.

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