WE may have missed out on the Margaret Olley Gallery, but Lismore Regional Gallery's collection of the late painter's works has taken another step up.
The executor of Ms Olley's estate, Phillip Bacon, has announced the Lismore gallery will receive another two of Ms Olley's artworks, adding to the two already in its collection. All four works are on display at the gallery now.
"As one of the Executors of the Estate of Margaret Olley, I am delighted to facilitate the gift of two of her works to the Lismore Regional Gallery," Mr Bacon said in a statement released by the gallery today.
"Margaret was a great fan of the Gallery, and of the work it does in the community. Lismore was, after all her birthplace. I know how delighted she would be if, after a few false starts, a relocation program for the Gallery finally gets underway."
Gallery director Brett Adlington thanked Mr Bacon for the bequest.
"I am incredibly grateful of the support that Philip Bacon continues to show to Lismore Regional Gallery," he said in the statement.
"Those present at the announcement of winners of the 2013 Northern Rivers Portrait Prize (of which Bacon was judge), know that he personally purchased Rhonda Bakers Can't Eat Coal, Can't Drink Gas for the permanent collection, and pledged $5,000 towards the gallery relocation project.
"The subsequent donation of these works by Olley is a truly wonderful gesture."
The two new works include:
Lemons and ginger jar, 1980, which the gallery describes as "a classic Olley still life, full of strength and solidity. It was gifted by Olley to Robert Haines, who was Director of Queensland Art Gallery from 1951 to 1960 and Director of the David Jones Art Gallery in Sydney until 1976. The painting was displayed in the Paris apartment where Haines lived after he retired. Referring to Haines' constant need to straighten paintings and rearrange objects, Olley stated: '(when he visited) you had to watch his fingers.
Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Kuala Lumpur, 1969, which the gallery says is the only watercolour by Ms Olley in its collection. The gallery says this work "stems from Olley's period in the late 1960s travelling through Bali, New Guinea and Malaysia. Utilising watercolour for its transportability, Olley captured the architecture and human presence of Asia in an unassuming manner. Referring to her time in Kuala Lumpur, Olley stated: 'I was mad about the English version of Indian architecture, which featured lots of arches, turrets and domes'. At this time, and oblivious to the Pol Pot regime, Olley also travelled through Cambodia."
The new works join Lillies and Grapes, which the gallery acquired through the Lismore Art Prize in 1958 and the 1970 painting Spare Bedroom, which Ms Olley personally donated to the gallery while visiting Lismore in 2006.
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