The first major survey exhibition of one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary artists.


The Art Gallery of South Australia presents the first major survey exhibition of one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, Ben Quilty.

The exhibition extends from Quilty’s early reflections on the initiation rituals performed by young Australian men to his experience as an official war artist in Afghanistan and his campaign to save the lives of Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. The exhibition also includes works inspired by Quilty’s visits with author Richard Flanagan to Lebanon, Lesbos and Serbia, his revisions of the Australian landscape, and raw, intimate portraits of himself, his family and his friends.

‘My work is about working out how to live in this world, it’s about compassion and empathy but also anger and resistance. Through it I hope to push compassion to the front of national debate.’ Artist Ben Quilty

Developed by the Art Gallery of South Australia and curated by Assistant Director, Artistic Programs Lisa Slade, the exhibition will be unveiled in Adelaide before a year of touring.

Image: Ben Quilty, The Blue Pill (explain the world), 2016, Southern Highlands, New South Wales, oil on linen, 183.0 x 173.0 cm; Private collection, Courtesy the artist. Information provided by Art Gallery of South Australia.

Touring Dates

Art Gallery of South Australia | 2 March – 2 June 2019

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art | 29 Jun – 13 Oct 2019

Art Gallery of New South Wales | 9 Nov 2019 – 2 Feb 2020


Dr Lisa Slade, Assistant Director, Artistic Programs


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