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Sidney Nolan Sidney Nolan i(A22981 works by) (a.k.a. Sidney Robert Nolan)
Born: Established: 22 Apr 1917 Melbourne, Victoria, ; Died: Ceased: 28 Nov 1992 London,
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,

Gender: Male
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Sir Sidney Nolan, AC, OM, was born into a working-class family, left school at fifteen and two years later enrolled in the Art School of the National Gallery of Victoria. In 1940 he held his first exhibition of abstract paintings. He served in the army (1942-45) and was stationed in the Wimmera, a district that stimulated his interest in the Australian open landscape and the Ned Kelly legend. A visit to Central Australia in 1949 resulted in a series of paintings on the explorations of Burke and Wills, for which he won the Dunlop Art Prize in 1950. In the 1940s he was encouraged by John Reed, president of the Contemporary Art Society and brother of Cynthia Reed whom he married in 1948. He illustrated some of his wife's books.

A member for a time of the publishing firm Reed and Harris, Nolan also became friendly with Max Harris and was one of the editors of Angry Penguins Broadsheet. He designed the cover of the controversial 1944 issue of Angry Penguins. In 1952 he met George Johnston, spent an extended period with him on the island of Hydra in 1955, and was subsequently portrayed by Johnston as Tom Kiernan in his novel Clean Straw for Nothing (1969). From 1950 Nolan lived abroad, returning to Australia at regular intervals. His two Ned Kelly series - inspired partly by the stories of his grandfather, a trooper in the Kelly era - are perhaps his most famous paintings.

Nolan illustrated the work of Randolph Stow, Patrick White, Alan Moorehead, Colin MacInnes, George Johnston, Robert Lowell and Charles Osborne and designed the dust-covers of C.P. Snow's novels, many of which allude to his work. In 1972 he produced a film, Kelly Country, and co-operated in several films and television programmes on his life and work, including The Dreaming, Spinning Thing (1967), Nolan at Sixty (1977), Sidney Nolan: An Australian Dream (1982) and It Is of Eden I Was Dreaming (1983). He was awarded the Britannica-Australia Award in 1969, CBE in 1963, knighted in 1983; then awarded AM in 1983 and AC in 1988. In 1983 he also received the Order of Merit.

Source: 'Nolan, Sir Sidney' The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature. Ed. William H. Wilde, Joy Hooton, and Barry Andrews. Oxford University Press 1994. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Queensland University. 25 October 2006

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

1988 recipient Order of Australia Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) For service to the visual arts and to the advancement of art appreciation in Australia and overseas.
1983 recipient International Awards Order of Merit (OM) A notable Australian artist

Known archival holdings

Albinski 168
Last amended 2 Mar 2020 17:00:47
Influence on:
Call of the Wild Alex Miller , 2010 single work autobiography
The Vivisector Patrick White , 1970 single work novel
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: