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Manly Art Gallery & Museum opens Bernard Ollis. Modern Living

Manly Art Gallery & Museum presents Bernard Ollis. Modern Living, an exhibition on view 7 December – 27 January 2013.

Manly Art Gallery & Museum proudly presents Modern Living, a major survey exhibition of works by the Sydney artist Bernard Ollis. Ollis studied at the Royal College of Art in London under modern master David Hockney amongst others, and visited the studio of Francis Bacon. He was also former Head of the National Art School, Sydney.

Ollis is a ‘painter of people’ and of modern life. His exuberant portraits are observational studies of our everyday experiences – serious investigations achieved with a light heart. Curator Alex Sutcliffe says Ollis’s ‘perennial subject has been the “human condition”. His images take on the strange appearance of tableaux vivants: actors upon a stage … stories within stories.’

Travel and immersion in cosmopolitan modern experiences form the core of the exhibition. Modern Living contains a comprehensive range of paintings, works on paper and sketchbooks, with each period represented from early works following study at Cardiff, to London, to his move to Darwin and eventually to Ollis’s Sydney home. Along the way, there are frequent returns to Paris via Cairo and any number of exciting locations that inspire his humanist observations.

Full of colour and dynamism, Ollis’s works are essentially expressionistic, revealing intense experiences that are up close and personal. –