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Ben Quilty is genius

My exhibition “City ditty” is happily hanging at Gallery Mercure (226 Victoria Street Potts Point NSW 2011 Australia) and on April 14th there will be a drinks talk and tour from 4:30 - 5:15 pm, drinks from 4:00. We’ll have various smaller items available for sale with various paintings printed onto them (e.g. cards, tiles, postcards)… and I’ll be sharing what possessed the goldfish.


Travelling-whales-and-a-goldfish-Kerry-Thompson_titled_550


In another part of town, at the National Art School*, Ben Quilty’s exhibition After Afghanistan is hanging until 13 April then will begin a 2 year tour of the country.

I saw the first of two ABC Australian Story documentaries with Ben talking about his experiences as war artist, and watched him working on these canvases via my TV screen, but was unprepared for the genius and power of these works. They are big, and they are visceral in the application of paint, the silences of blank canvas, the bold and tender disconnected swipes of pigment which create an intensely moving and powerful response in the viewer, you just have to glance at the faces of those in the gallery, and at the same time are intensely exciting as works of art. We are seeing Ben’s soul in the passions of paint, as much as we are seeing the souls of his subjects which he and they have shared with complete candour. We are not seeing paintings OF subjects - we experience a melding with them.

There are no images to accompany this post because this collection of works needs to be experienced, in person.

*National Art School, Forbes St  Darlinghurst NSW 2010 Australia