About the Exhibition
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.
Art Talk – Saturday 3rd September, 2pm
Join guest curator Chris McAuliffe for a tour and discussion of the exhibition We who love: The Nolan slates. Executed in rapid succession during a period of personal and societal upheaval, these key works offer a fascinating insight into one of Australia’s most renowned artists.
Dr Chris McAuliffe is an art historian, writer and curator and currently holds the position of Professor of Art (Practice-led research) at the School of Art, Australian National University, Canberra.
This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Warwick Reeder (1950-2016), Director of Heide Museum of Modern Art from 1996 to 2003.
A touring exhibition from The University of Queensland Art Museum