Established in 1967 by Georges Mora, Tolarno Galleries has been at the cutting edge of contemporary Australian art for over 50 years. Since current Owner and Director Jan Minchin took on the business in the 1990s, following Mora’s death, four artists have represented Australia at the Venice Biennale: Patricia Piccinini (2003), Howard Arkley (1999), Judy Watson (1997) and Bill Henson (1995). The exhibition program now attracts the attention of collectors, curators and critics from around the globe.
‘Currency is the common denominator for all artists represented by Tolarno Galleries,’ Max McLean wrote of the gallery for ARCO, Madrid in 2002. ‘Not currency in the fiscal sense – although Tolarno is a commercial gallery, and a highly successful one at that – but currency understood more in the sense of an electric charge, of contemporaneity, and of cultural and intellectual exchange.’
With a reputation for showing fresh, often young artists, Tolarno Galleries has presented some of Australia’s – and the world’s – biggest names. Over the years, exhibitions by modern masters including Bonnard, Dali, Chagall, Matisse, Picasso, Pissarro, Renoir and Vuillard, have been interspersed with new works by Rauschenberg, Johns, Rosenquist, Warhol, LeWitt and Koons. Pioneering Australian modernists such as Charles Blackman, John Brack, Arthur Boyd, Joy Hester, Mirka Mora and Albert Tucker were also regularly exhibited.
Today the gallery represents some of Australia’s most well known and respected artists including Ben Quilty, Brook Andrew and Rosemary Laing.