Issue 55

In This Issue





Perceptions do count. Throughout this 55th issue of Artist Profile our writers reflect on many views, stances, attitudes and situations.

The works and the life of John Olsen have been examined ever since his first exhibition in 1955. After his comprehensive ‘The You Beaut Country’ survey at the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of NSW around five years ago, a perception must remain as to what else there can be to know about John Olsen’s work and life. It has taken the death of artist and curator William Wright, and  for John Olsen to be in his mid-nineties, for Wright’s deep investigation of the artist’s darkest works —posthumously curated with the Art School’s Director Steven Alderton — to appear at Sydney’s National Art School.

Pippa Mott’s cover essay on the artist’s work, life and his upcoming exhibition at the School is a remarkable tale of perceptions which indirectly comments on the visual arts culture in Australia. This exhibition is an opportunity for major institutions to follow the School’s lead to shift perceptions about the notion of contemporary art and the place artists like Olsen have, in this porous notion of ‘contemporary.’ This may lead to  greater and indeed respectful attention to artists across Australasia who deserve closer examination of their life and works not in moments, but all the time.  

In Kirsty Baker’s article on New Zealand-based Jasmine Togo-Brisby, the artist challenges the current Australian Prime Minister on his government’s perception that slavery never existed in Australia.

Sasha Grishin’s wonderful tribute to the late sculptor Inge King is a journey of perceptions through a multiplicity of prejudices which she had to overcome, as Sasha writes, to crescendo in making her finest works in her nineties. 

Must Reads are Emma Finneran’s article on Vincent Namatjira (page 88) and Stephanie Claire’s article on the late Albert Namatjira (page 138). Together they’re a revealing measure of our perception ofprogress’ and First Nations people.

Is Nick Mitzevich, Director of the National Gallery of Australia, right to question critics’ perception of his Jordan Wolfson commission before actually seeing the artist’s work? You can find this and other perception turners in Michael Young’s leading essay ‘Who is Jordan Wolfson, Anyway?’

There is still an odd perception among some people that Artist Profile magazine receives government funding. Since our establishment in 2007 Artist Profile has always been independent of government funding. This edited visual arts magazine is able to be delivered quarterly through our advertisers, subscribers and through sales of the magazine. If you want to continue to support artists, writers, photographers and illustrators, and indeed the editorial team, then either one or all three mentioned forms of financing go a long way. Enjoy this issue.

Kon Gouriotis



Jordan Wolfson by Michael Young


John Olsen by Pippa Mott


Georgia Spain by Lucy Hawthorne
Susan Baird by Brooke Boland
John Olsen by Pippa Mott
Mikala Dwyer by Erin McFadyen
Jasmine Togo-Brisby by Kirsty Baker
Vincent Namatjira by Emma Finneran
Troy Emery by Nikita Holcombe
Brad Buckley by Aleks Wansbrough
Abdul-Rahman Abdullah by Louella Hayes
Louise Zhang by Drew Pettifer
Kelly Manning by Chloe Mandryk


POEM Simeon Kronenberg
PROCESS Chanelle Collier and Joe Wilson
STORY The Motel Sisters by John Kirkman
ESSAY Albert Namatjira by Stephanie Claire
TRIBUTE Inge King by Sasha Grishin
PREVIEW Madison Bycroft by Julianne Pierce
PREVIEW Salvatore Zofrea by Kon Gouriotis
PREVIEW HOTA by Kim Guthrie
PREVIEW Idris Murphy by Anna Johnson
ESSAY Wendy Sharpe and Steven Cavanagh by Tai Mitsuji
REVIEW The National by Courtney Kidd
BOOK NGV Triennial by Peter Hill 
DISCOVERY Aidan Hartshorn by Judith Pugh

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