| Nolan, Sidney Biography
Australian painter of great versatility whose imagery is often inspired by the folk history of his native Australia. Sidney Nolan was born in Melbourne. With little formal art training, Nolan turned to painting at 21 after varied experiences as a racing cyclist, cook, and gold miner. His early art works show the influences of Paul Klee and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and include the controversial abstract work Boy and the Moon (1940)-a splash of yellow against a raw blue background.
Although his early artworks were highly abstract in form, during the 1940s Sidney Nolan developed a brightly colored, deliberately naive figurative style. He became particularly interested in representing the barren Australian landscape, as in Carron Plains (1948, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia), as well as stories of Australian folk heroes such as the Australian outlaw Ned Kelly.
Although figurative painting was unfashionable throughout much of Sidney Nolan's career, his distinctive imagery and simple, expressive style was highly popular. He is undoubtedly the best-known Australian artist of the 20th century.
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