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Sidney Nolan: Antarctica

Sidney Nolan: Antarctica

30 September - 18 December 2010
See Opening hours for details

Mount Erebus. Sidney NolanSidney Nolan's paintings are so satisfying to anyone who has some acquaintance with the desert and the ice - or more specifically, with man's place in an environment where he is rejected. (Alan Moorehead 1965)

Sir Sidney Nolan (1917-1992) is possibly Australia's most significant and internationally acclaimed artist. Born in Melbourne, he left school at 14 and, although he enrolled at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School, was largely self taught. In the 1940s, he was a member of the avant-garde group, the Angry Penguins. In 1951 he moved to London. His work shifts dramatically between dark and light. Always fresh and spontaneous, he never relied upon one artistic style or technique but experimented throughout his life.Sir Sidney Nolan

At the Adelaide festival in 1962, Nolan's friend Alan Moorehead, the Australian journalist and author, broached the idea of a trip to the Antarctic. Moorehead, in his capacity as a freelance journalist for The New Yorker, then arranged for them to tour the US Naval and scientific bases in Antarctica as part of Operation 'Deep Freeze'. The visit became the inspiration for a major series of 68 paintings which Nolan completed in his studio in Putney. The majority of these works are held in museums and galleries worldwide.

With the support of the Sidney Nolan Trust and the Australian High Commission, the Polar Museum is delighted to present a selection of Nolan's Antarctic works which remain in Britain.