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We who love: The Nolan slates

BY Sebastian Moody | 22-Mar-2016
'We who love: The Nolan slates' is a window into the world of renowned Australian painter Sidney Nolan (1917–1992), reflecting a time of artistic experimentation and personal upheaval.
Venue: The University of Queensland Art Museum
Address: James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre (Building 11), University Drive, The University of Queensland
Date: 23 April – 24 July 2016
Time: 10 am - 4 pm
Ticket: Free
Web: http://www.artmuseum.uq.edu.au/content/who-we-love-nolan-slates
Sidney Nolan
'Hand and flower' 1942
oil, enamel and ink on slate
25.7 x 51.3 cm
Collection of The University of Queensland.
Purchased with the assistance of the Alumni Association and the Peter Stuyvesant Cultural Foundation, 1977.
© The University of Queensland.
Photo: Carl Warner
'We who love: The Nolan slates' is a window into the world of renowned Australian painter Sidney Nolan (1917–1992), reflecting a time of artistic experimentation and personal upheaval. From December 1941 to June 1942, Nolan made around 32 paintings on roofing slates. They reveal his distinctive preference for non-art materials, his avant-garde aspirations and his literary interests. Through the paintings, Nolan recorded the end of his marriage, new relationships with patrons John and Sunday Reed, and fears arising from the war in the Pacific. Concerned that there might not be ‘many more tomorrows’, Nolan painted the slates as a remarkable, even desperate, avowal of emotional and creative freedom.

Nolan’s deeply personal paintings on slate have been exhibited as a group just twice since 1943. We who love presents the most comprehensive display of the series ever assembled. Executed in rapid succession, the slates are a painted journal, declaring exultant love and lingering sorrow. Their rich, metaphorical imagery invites viewers into Nolan’s life at a pivotal moment in his development.

Curator: Dr Chris McAuliffe

Supported by The Vizard Foundation