Ben Quilty

What, in the end, are these paintings? What are they attempting to achieve? My best but wholly provisional answer is that theyʼre experiments in the transfer of feeling…

The painter who stood where we stand now is proffering a model of feeling – they are saying that, on this day and under these circumstances, this is how they wrangled the world. And as fellow ʼfeelersʼ approaching the work, we get to measure ourselves against that model. Is it useful? Can we see what they mean? And if not, is the difference illuminating? It is not about ʼlikingʼ or feeling liked back. It is about being compelled. Quilty compels through paintings that are, as we are, alive and conflicted.

– Justin Paton, Head curator international, Art Gallery NSW, essay quote from the book Ben Quilty (2019).

Download the Ben Quilty 150 Years (2020) exhibition essay by Milena Stojanovska.

Read more at The Age.

Watch Ben Quilty in the studio talking about 2020 (via YouTube).

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‘Not a creature was stirring’ sculpture. Sydney Contemporary, 2018. Photograph by Jacquie Manning.
Ben Quilty – The Biggest Bottom Feeder 2018
oil on linen
265 x 202cm
Ben Quilty – Pancreatitis (Kenny) 2018
oil on linen
265 x 202cm
Ben Quilty – Santa’s Little Helper 2018
oil on linen
202 x 180cm
Ben Quilty – Santa’s Little Helper 2 (Pat) 2018
oil on linen
202 x 180cm