John Olsen: A Recipe for Art


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ISBN: 9780500500859 Category:

Leanne Santoro, Deborah Edwards


John Olsen, one of Australia’s greatest living artists, made a life-changing discovery as a young man: Mediterranean cuisine, ‘the cuisine of the sun’. Fresh, seasonal produce and its preparation has been central to his life and a key ingredient in his creativity and his art, from his famous paella paintings to lively sketches in his diaries.

Born in Newcastle in 1928, Olsen embarked on his first overseas trip in 1956. His life and art have been strongly influenced by place, food and friendship. Featuring some 40 recipes by or loved by Olsen, 30 related paintings, over 50 sketches and drawings, and over 65 photographs of places, family and friends.

A Recipe for Art embarks on the journey of Olsen’s passion for cooking from his time in Spain on the island of Majorca, to Australia, France, Portugal and Italy, amongst other places, mapping Olsen’s life through recipes, quotes, paintings and photographs captured along the way. It also draws extensively on Olsen’s journals. He has lived in a remote Spanish cottage without electricity, in the Portuguese village of Castelo de Vide with his young family, on a rural property in Hill End, NSW, at an artists’ commune in country Victoria, as well by the harbour in Sydney’s Watsons Bay, all the while drawing on his local environment in his art practice and cooking.

Additional information

Weight 830 g
Dimensions 21.3 x 25.5 cm
Publisher name Thames & Hudson Australia Pty Ltd
Publication date 1 October 2016
Number of pages 148
Format Hardback
Dimensions 21.3 x 25.5 cm
Weight 830 g


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