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b. 1973, Australia

Ben Quilty Biography

Ben Quilty is a prominent Australian artist. His paintings are recognisable for their richly impastoed surfaces and extremely expressive forms. Quilty subverts traditional notions of portraiture to create works that explore the relationship between the personal and the cultural. In doing so, Quilty’s multi-dimensional paintings address confronting and unsettling subject matter that at once challenges the viewer and the limits of the artist’s chosen medium.

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In 2011, Quilty was appointed Australia’s official war artist. He observed the activities of the Australian Defence Force in Kabul, Kandahar, and Tarin Kowt and subsequently spent six months producing work for the Australian War Memorial’s National Collection. In 2016 Quilty travelled to Lebanon, Greece, and Serbia as a guest of World Vision alongside author Richard Flanagan to document the plight of Syrian refugees. Works both by the artist and by the refugee children that he encountered were exhibited in a solo exhibition titled The Stain at Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne.

Ben Quilty has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 2014 Prudential Eye Award, the 2011 Archibald Prize, the 2009 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, and the National Artists Self Portrait Prize in 2007. Quilty received an Honorary Doctorate of Creative Arts from the Western Sydney University in 2015.

Quilty’s work is held in collections at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, and the Queensland University of Technology Art Collection. The artist’s recent exhibitions have included Straight White Male at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong (2015); Drawing at Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne (2014); After Afghanistan at the National Art School Sydney (2013); and The Fiji Wedding at Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne (2013).

Ben Quilty Featured Artworks

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The Big Fellow by Ben Quilty contemporary artwork
Ben QuiltyThe Big Fellow, 2019Oil on linen
122 x 92 cm
Tolarno Galleries Contact Gallery
At the bottom of the fish tank by Ben Quilty contemporary artwork
Ben QuiltyAt the bottom of the fish tank, 2019Oil on linen
265 x 202 cm
Tolarno Galleries Contact Gallery
The Desert by Ben Quilty contemporary artwork
Ben QuiltyThe Desert, 2019Oil on linen
202 x 180 cm
Tolarno Galleries Contact Gallery
The Ludicrous Mode by Ben Quilty contemporary artwork
Ben QuiltyThe Ludicrous Mode, 2019Oil on linen
202 x 180 cm
Tolarno Galleries Contact Gallery
150 Year, Rorschach by Ben Quilty contemporary artwork
Ben Quilty150 Year, Rorschach, 2019Oil on linen, 7 panels
111 x 888 cm
Tolarno Galleries Contact Gallery
Leisa by Ben Quilty contemporary artwork
Ben QuiltyLeisa, 2018Colour etching with aquatint
76 x 57 cm
Tolarno Galleries Contact Gallery
Lloydy by Ben Quilty contemporary artwork
Ben QuiltyLloydy, 2018Two plate color etching
76 x 57 cm
Tolarno Galleries Contact Gallery
Kenny by Ben Quilty contemporary artwork
Ben QuiltyKenny, 2018Two plate color etching
76 x 57 cm
Tolarno Galleries Contact Gallery

Ben Quilty Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Ben Quilty, 150 Years at Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
Closed
8–29 February 2020 Ben Quilty 150 Years Tolarno Galleries, MelbourneMelbourne
Contemporary art exhibition, Ben Quilty, Notes on Chaos at Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
Closed
15 February–17 March 2018 Ben Quilty Notes on Chaos Tolarno Galleries, MelbourneMelbourne
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, @50 Part 2 at Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
Closed
28 July–12 August 2017 Group Exhibition @50 Part 2 Tolarno Galleries, MelbourneMelbourne

Ben Quilty Represented By

Tolarno Galleries contemporary art gallery in Melbourne, Australia Tolarno Galleries Melbourne

Ben Quilty In Ocula Magazine

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Vincent Namatjira Wins $100,000 Archibald Prize 2020 Ocula News Vincent Namatjira Wins $100,000 Archibald Prize 2020 Sydney, 25 September 2020

Namatjira is the first Aboriginal Australian to win the prize in its 99-year history.

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The most searched artists on Ocula now Ocula Photolog The most searched artists on Ocula now

A selection of this week's most searched artists on Ocula.com 

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Sydney Summer Report Ocula Report Sydney Summer Report By Rachel Fuller, Sydney

When Silence Falls
 Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 
19 December 2015 - 1 May 2016 Currently showing in the contemporary galleries of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, When Silence Falls is a collection-based, group exhibition curated by AGNSW curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, Cara Pinchbeck....

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Sydney Contemporary Wrap Ocula Report Sydney Contemporary Wrap By Jane O'Sullivan, Sydney

A marble bench sat out of the front of the Pearl Lam Galleries stand at the Sydney Contemporary art fair last week. Inscribed with Chinese characters, and without a card stating the artist or artwork title, many visitors simply passed it by. Those who could read the inscription, and those who asked, found out it said: Don’t put too much...

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Ben Quilty In Related Press

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Ben Quilty: Bard of Compassion Related Press Ben Quilty: Bard of Compassion 6 November 2019, Art Guide Australia

In an 1833 pamphlet English economist William Forster Lloyd posed a quandary: a plot of grazing pasture is held in common by a group of cattle farmers who have free unregulated access. Each grazes as much cattle as they please, and the common is soon spent. Lloyd's pastoral fable, 'The Tragedy of the Commons,' describes how individuals take more...

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Ben Quilty: Bard of Compassion Related Press Ben Quilty: Bard of Compassion 1 March 2019, Art Guide Australia

In an 1833 pamphlet English economist William Forster Lloyd posed a quandary: a plot of grazing pasture is held in common by a group of cattle farmers who have free unregulated access. Each grazes as much cattle as they please, and the common is soon spent. Lloyd's pastoral fable, 'The Tragedy of the Commons,' describes how individuals take more...

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Archibald winner Ben Quilty critiques Santa and straight white men at Sydney Contemporary art fair Related Press Archibald winner Ben Quilty critiques Santa and straight white men at Sydney Contemporary art fair 15 September 2018, ABC News

An art fair is not the natural habitat of political statements; a temporary assembly of galleries hawking their wares primarily to cashed-up collectors, it's a parade of beauty and taste (good, bad, indifferent) that will, generally speaking, fit in the lounge room and impress the guests.

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Ben Quilty’s first survey exhibition in a decade heads to Adelaide Related Press Ben Quilty’s first survey exhibition in a decade heads to Adelaide 13 September 2018, Brand South Australia News

The Art Gallery of South Australia will be the first to host a major exhibition by one of Australia's most acclaimed contemporary artists.

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