Nolan on Nolan: Sidney Nolan in His Own Words by Sidney Nolan, edited by Nancy Underhill. Hardcover book published by Viking 2007, 472 pages with some colour and black and white photographs and some colour illustrations.
Sidney Nolan (1917—1992), myth maker and creator of the iconic Ned Kelly images, is one of the most significant artists Australia has produced. In this distinctive book, the artist becomes his own subject. Extracts from his notebooks, diaries, letters, interviews and poetry take us on the intellectual and emotional journeys which carried him around the world and which kept his art, and often his life, outside the comfort zone. The material from the notebooks, published here for the first time, offers unique insight into Nolan’s creative process, while the collection as a whole reveals a complex personality and an artist who resists stylistic categorisation. It expands and recasts perceptions of his views on art making, friendships, travel, music and literature, throwing new light on his work. Introduced and annotated by art historian Nancy Underhill, Nolan on Nolan represents the first compilation of the painter’s views, one which takes the reader behind Nolan’s own carefully constructed mask.
A few years back I wrote about Sidney Nolan and the epiphany I had had regarding his work (click here). Nothing much has changed since then, with my humble opinions remaining firmly on the “now there was a genius” end of the art appreciation spectrum. This book doesn't have much art in it, but it does have Sidneys words and for anyone vaguely interested in Mr Nolan, it is an important insight into the work of a true Australian Master.
I was recently talking about Sidney Nolan with some fellow art appreciators who were not convinced by my enthusiasm. Interestingly, as soon as I mentioned his Antarctic landscapes their interest became a little more sparked and as with most people, they were unaware of this less known aspect of his work. This makes me wonder what do they and others know about the depth of Sidneys catalogue... and it's not as if i'm an expert or anything like that. Indeed, I would rate myself as an amateur ethusiast who has an amazement at having had a epiphany about someones art that up to that point in time, I had had no interest in at all.
… and this is why, books by or about Sidney Nolan are available through Huc & Gabet.