At 45, it is no longer a question of whether Ben Quilty is the next big thing in Australian art, but of how big will he get – a Storrier, a Whiteley or a Nolan?
Quilty is a large exhibition of monumental paintings, selected by the curator Lisa Slade, mainly from work made by the artist over the past six years.
Quilty is a remarkably prolific artist and the curatorial choice was made to focus on his more recent, “public manifesto” pieces. As the artist explained to me, “I left it completely up to the curator – the selection, the hang, everything”.
It is a very “noisy” exhibition, where the works scream at you from the walls, proclaiming the urgency, passion and raw emotion of the narrative content, as well as the energy and exuberance of the young artist wishing to demonstrate his mastery of a painter’s bag of tricks.
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