It is generally accepted that the history of Australian art goes back more than 30,000 years. Indigenous artists created artworks in the style of petroglyphs throughout the region in ancient times.
Landscapes and images of the natural world were the first subjects painted by early famous Australian artists after Europeans arrived on the continent.
To start, we look at some of Australia’s most well-known artists and how they have influenced the country’s artistic and cultural development.
1. Sydney Nola
It is generally agreed that Sir Sidney Robert Nolan (1917-1992) was one of the most influential artists to emerge from Australia in the twentieth century. He dabbled in many different mediums, but his depictions of Australian folklore have won him the most recognition.
While living in England for the latter part of his life, he grew up in the Carlton area of Melbourne. He was part of many prestigious organizations, including the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
2. Ben Quilty
Ben Quilty, the winner of Australia’s most prestigious portrait prize (the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize), is known for his paintings with heavy paint applications and dark, blocky subjects.
Sometimes his troubled relationship with drugs and alcohol in his youth gives him the inspiration he needs to paint the haunting images that dig so deep into the melancholy of the human mind.
Ben Quilty is known for his Rorschach paintings, which he created by printing a painted canvas over a blank canvas, and his work as the official military artist in Afghanistan in 2011.
A sculptor of Australian descent. Geometric stainless steel sculptures that explore the trade-off between durability and adaptability. Much of his growth as a regulated craftsman took place as a boilermaker, working primarily with steel.
Recently he has shifted his focus from manufacturing to sculpture, where he feels free to experiment with mild steel, corten steel and stainless steel.
Spending time with a pencil and a sketchbook, next to the welder and grinder in his Macedonian workshop, inspires him with excitement and a sense that anything is possible.
The sculptor’s pieces explore abstract forms, suggestive lines and simple geometric patterns. Robust yet adaptable, he strives for harmony in his creations.
Although she creates painting, video, music, installation and online prints, Patricia Piccinini is most recognized for her strange sculptures.
These works aren’t for everyone, but if you like beautifully rendered human-animal hybrids or crazy cars that transport you to the set of a sci-fi movie, this lady is going to be your favorite artist if she isn’t already.
Patricia Piccinini, winner of the 2014 Melbourne Art Foundation Prize for the Visual Arts, explores the fascinating ways in which all living things evolve and change. The government has ordered most of its artworks and installations to be displayed in public.
5. Grace Cossington Smith
Grace Cossington Smith was critical of the development of Post-Impressionism in her native Australia. One of the most well-known Australian artists of the twentieth century, Cossington Smith is best known for her modernist depictions of Sydney cafes and the arch of the Sydney Harbor Bridge during its construction.
She is also known for her later interior depictions featuring windows and doors, in which yellow is often the dominant hue. She also reported on key events, including the battles and the visit of the Prince of Wales to Sydney, giving readers a complete picture of the historical and cultural climate of the time in Australia and beyond.
She did a great job integrating the sun and beautiful vibrant color patterns, even using cool tones to give life to the shadows. By carefully aligning brilliant brushstrokes next to each other to create little squares, she built form into color.
She was an early pioneer of the Australian art scene and one of the first well-known artists to leave Australian Impressionism for the European Post-Impressionist movement.
Her artwork was edgy for the period. It’s safe to say she lived in the same era as Margaret Preston and Thea Proctor. She was especially fascinated by hues that shimmered in the sunlight. She pioneered her look by assimilating modernist principles.
6. Sydney Nolan
One of Australia’s most creative and acclaimed 20th-century artists, Sidney Nolan Nolan (1917-1992) was born into a low-income family in Melbourne during the Great Depression.
Nolan’s portraits of Ned Kelly and his band of bushrangers cemented Kelly’s place in Australian legend and increased Nolan’s fame in the regional art scene.
Perhaps his most famous works are a series of hyperbolic accounts of the life of Australian bushranger Ned Kelly. Under emotional compulsion, Nolan left Ned Kelly’s 27 paintings at « Heide. »
7. Albert Namatjira
Namatjira (1902-1959), an Arrernte person from the MacDonnell the Northern Area, is without a doubt Australia’s most renowned Indigenous painter. Namatjira’s western style watercolors of the old Australian outback presented Aboriginal art to the white people for the first time.
They earned him the long-awaited distinction of becoming the first person to receive Australian citizenship in 1957.
In addition, he was a key player in the Hermannsburg Movement, which originated in the Hermannsburg Lutheran Mission, near where he was born. Most of his watercolor landscapes featured bright, bold colors and recognizable Australian flora and fauna.
Australian-born artist Brett Whiteley (1939-1992) lived and worked in several locations. Despite his achievements in the professional world, he admitted to alcohol and drug abuse, became hopelessly addicted and eventually died of an overdose.
The Archibald, Sulman and Wynne Awards are some of Australia’s most renowned art awards, and he won all three despite his problematic lifestyle. One of the most well-known artists in Australia, his works can be seen in any museum or gallery in the country.
As Australia’s official representative at the 2015 Venice Biennale, Fiona Hall is without a doubt one of the most prominent contemporary artists in her country. She uses photography, installations and sculptures to explore historical, global and environmental themes, most evident in her military camouflage, trophy-like images of extinct animals.
Her recent pieces often feature weapons and uniforms related to the military. Wrong Way Time, a Fiona Hall exhibition now on view in Venice, is a ‘cabinet of curiosities’ – a style collection of a thousand works that explore contemporary environmental and political themes.