Visual Arts: Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series

16 July 2018

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11 August – 12 November 2018 @ Art Gallery of WA ·
Presented by : Sidney Nolan, National Gallery of Australia ·

This must-see series is a Travelling Exhibition from the National Gallery of Australia. It is a rare opportunity to view these renowned works that depict the story of the outlaw Kelly, and evidence Nolan’s characteristic expressive landscapes and vivid storytelling techniques.

From 1946-47, Nolan developed an original and starkly simplified image of Ned Kelly, which quickly became a national symbol—part of the shared iconography of Australia. Together, these 26 paintings provide a masterclass on Australian art history that relay the development of a new tradition of figurative and landscape painting in Australian art.

NGA Head of Australian Art Dr Deborah Hart says, “Nolan’s depiction of Kelly as a black form set against a stark Australian landscape revolutionised the way we imagine this national antihero. Ned Kelly only wore his homemade helmet toward the end of the drama, but for Nolan it was a vital, symbolic device from beginning to end. The helmet is a frame within the frame. The visor is a viewfinder – a slot to be seen through. This image has been replicated in popular culture and has inspired many artists through to the present day. It is a series that will inspire visitors of all ages and is not to be missed.”

More info:

Pictured:   Sidney Nolan Ned Kelly 1946 from the Ned Kelly series 1946 – 1947. Enamel paint on composition board. Gift of Sunday Reed 1977. National Gallery of Australia collection.

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Maureen Levy

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