Sir Sidney Nolan Desert Storm c.1955

Artwork details

Artist
Sir Sidney Nolan 1917–1992
Title
Desert Storm
Date c.1955
Medium Oil paint on hardboard
Dimensions Support: 914 x 1219 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Lord McAlpine of West Green 1983
Reference
T03553
Not on display

Display caption

Like 'Carcase in Swamp', which is also displayed in this room, 'Desert Storm' was inspired by the disastrous drought which afflicted Australia in 1950-52. In this work Nolan's subject is the landscape itself, rather than the carcasses of cattle, and he forcefully evokes a scene of limitless desolation and silence, devoid of life. As with Nolan's many other treatments of this subject, the work was painted retrospectively, in this case in London some three years after the drought. The scene is thus an imaginative recreation of Nolan's impressions. Writing in 1955 one critic observed that 'It may even be that he understands more about Australia when viewed from a distance'.

August 2004

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