Shortlist year: 
2015
Shortlist category: 
Non-fiction
Published by: 
ABC Books (HarperCollins Publishers)

About the book

Book cover.  Darleen Bungey's John Olsen an artist's life
Winner

This biography graphically depicts the forces that drove John Olsen to become one of Australia's greatest artists.

An exhilarating book, both trenchant and tender, it strips away the veneer of showmanship and fame to show the substance of a painter driven by a need to depict his country's landscape as Australians had never seen it before.

From a child who was never taken to an art gallery, Olsen became the famous artist in the black beret, the writer and poet, the engaging public speaker, the bon vivant—whose life has been defined by an absolute need to paint.