(Sir) Sidney Nolan was one of the giants of twentieth century Australian art. His paintings of the Australian experience have extended the ways we see ourselves. With his fast painterly style he captured the fierce light and rugged character of the Australian landscape. A bold modernist, the young Nolan was unafraid of using radically simplified forms – the most famous of which is his stark Ned Kelly. The internationally acclaimed Kelly paintings have become icons of the national visual repertory.
Nolan was a prolific and experimental painter. In the 1960s he explored the possibilities of ripolin, fabric dyes and polyvinyl acetate. In the later spray enamel paintings of the 1980s, Nolan expanded his focus on figure and landscape paintings to include flowers. Nolan died in 1992.