Olley fervently disregards trends of the modern art world, preferring to paint the humble, everyday objects that surround her.
Margaret Olley is one of Australia's most celebrated still-life
and interior painters. She fervently disregarded trends of the
modern art world, preferring to paint the humble, everyday objects
that surrounded her. Vases of flowers, bowls of fruit and subjects
from her home (with occasional hints of the outside world) are
transformed from "the ordinary" into objects of beauty and
With a unique sensibility for colour and the ability to convey light and tone with consummate skill, Olley draws on a deep understanding of the traditions of European painting. Her placement of objects is exceptional, revealing an exquisite eye for detail and pictorial harmony.
Olley first came to public attention in 1948 after her portrait by William Dobell won the Archibald Prize. She was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1997, has held more than 60 solo exhibitions and is now represented in the collection of The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, all major State and regional galleries and in numerous private and corporate collections both in Australia and abroad.