Margaret Olley: A Generous Life

OLLEY Cornflowers And Lemons 1984The life, legacy and influence of Margaret Olley is richly reflected in this extraordinary Brisbane collection of work and memorabilia.

Olley (1923-2011) was a unique individual and a complex character completely immersed in her art. The artist’s astounding and diverse ability is evident in every painting which is on display at this wonderful exhibition.

Proficient in many painting styles, Margaret Olley is most renowned for her vibrant portraits and still life paintings. Her love of nature is reflected in her personal arrangements of flora and fruit often painted in her own home.

Photographs and paintings of her interior dwellings capture images of an incredible, eclectic collection of global artifacts alongside everyday items such as matches. Images of her paintings do no justice to the actual vividness and exuberance of Olley’s colour palette and application.

Life inside a ‘Queenslander’ style home is also displayed in her interior works showing her love of quality decor and lavish colour and texture. The exhibition is ensconced within a replica ‘Queenslander’ featuring VJ paneling, arches and fretwork breezeways. I have happily lived in such homes.

Olley has twice been the subject of Archibald Prize winning portraiture painted by William Dobell and Ben Quilty.

More about Margaret Olley can be discovered at the gallery’s wide range of related events. Daily guided tours of the exhibition are conducted at 11.00 am.

Margaret Olley: A Generous Life
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Stanley Place, South Brisbane
Exhibition continues to 13 October 2019
Free entry

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Margaret Olley, Cornflowers with lemons (Cornflowers with Turkish coffee pot), 1984. Oil on board / 76 x 102cm. Private collection

Review: Michele-Rose Boylan