Dynamic, colourful and interesting are just some of the words curator Emma Collerton used to describe Orange Art Gallery’s newest exhibition The Three O’s, which opens on Friday night.
The Three O’s explores the legacy of Desiderius Orban and two of his students, John Ogburn and John Olsen. Both later taught at Orban’s studio before blazing their own trails in Australian art.
The arrival of European refugees such as Orban (Hungary) assisted in changing perceptions of modern art within Australia. In 1940, he established a studio at Sydney’s Circular Quay that became a haven where creativity was championed.
Orban’s mantra was “art equals creativity”. He celebrated the idea of the artist as innovator. These ideas were influential in the development of his many students, most notably Olsen and Ogburn.
While Olsen nurtured a high profile career with commissions and appointments to gallery boards, Ogburn by contrast retreated from the Sydney art scene and was pivotal in the establishment of Harrington Street Artists’ Co-operative Gallery, which became a platform to showcase his work and that of his students. It remains a hive of artistic activity to this day.
“It’s a very unique exhibition and pays homage to three incredible artists,” Ms Collerton said.
“I hope it’s the type of exhibition that will excite the people of Orange.”
Ms Collerton said bringing the exhibition to Orange was a huge thrill and she was sure the raging local art scene would get right behind it.
“Orange has a great reputation when it comes to quality art. There is a great team of people at the gallery and they attract a lot of interesting projects. We consider it a privilege to showcase this art here.”
Ms Collerton said Hendrick Kolenberg, a well-know curator and friend of Orban, will give a floor talk on the exhibition on Friday evening at 5.30am, before the official opening at 6pm.
The works will be on display at Orange Regional Gallery until December 1.