While the Drill Hall Gallery in closed to undergo its transformation Sidney Nolan’s Riverbend will be on display at the National Gallery from Saturday 20 February 2016.
The most famous treasure in the art collection of the Australian National University is Sidney Nolan’s Riverbend, a 9 panel work (1.5 x 10 metres overall) which could be regarded as the Antipodean answer to Monet’s famous waterlily cycle. It envelops the viewer in an evocation of the Victorian bush, with its majestic serenity disturbed by the hide-and-seek of larrikin outlaws and mounted police. It is painted with a mixture of runny household enamel paint and artists’ oil colours which have been attacked with palette knives and scrapers. with amazing technical bravado Nolan conjures a palpable atmosphere and completely believable sense of place.