John Olsen
Recent Works 2004

19 Oct – 6 Nov 2004

Tim Olsen Gallery

typical Olsen painting combines an implied aerial view with an
ambiguous and seemingly unpremeditated figuration. His
characteristically quizzical line and and irregular squiggles and dots
deftly render countless organisms, large and minute. Their environment
is conjured through loosely brushed and stained expanses of colour (on
canvas or hardboard) That are keyed to natural light. Even when he is
referring to the outback landscape, usually noted for its austerity and
inhospitality, Olsen's imagery teems with life. Yet the same lines
sometimes read as geological mappings. In Olsen's work there is no
foreground/ middle ground/ background schema, nor any sign of European
landscape's concern with "human scale." Instead he employs
simultaneously the contrary vantages of naturalist and geographer or,
to put it another way, the viewpoints of frog and eagle.