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Australian art

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The journey



Sidney Nolan

Australia, England

22 Apr 1917 - 28 Nov 1992


Sidney Nolan is Australia's most internationally celebrated painter and the recipient of many important art prizes and honorary doctorates. Now well into his seventies, he continues to lead an active artistic life and to explore new themes as well as reworking earlier images with the hindsight of old age. He also travels extensively throughout the world. His first trip to China took place in 1965 and he has since made several return visits, drawing upon these experiences to produce such series as 'The Silk Road' of which 'The journey' forms a part. The Art Gallery of New South Wales also holds another five works from this series. Technically, they differ from the earlier oil, acrylic and enamel works for which Nolan is best know, being both spray-painted on canvas and intensely lyrical. 'Nolan has experienced China', wrote an English critic when the latter were first exhibited, 'but he continued his journey he has painted for us [to] an elsewhere never seen before'.

Barry Pearce, 'Older Australian masters', Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1991


Other Title

The journey (Silk Road cat no 22)



Media category


Materials used

acrylic enamel spray on canvas


122.0 x 152.8 cm stretcher

Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner, pink acrylic paint, "N [in reverse]". Not dated.
Signed top c. verso on stretcher, black charcoal, ".../ Nolan".


Gift of Bond Street City Freeholds 1989


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Sidney Nolan

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 7 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 11 publications


Brian Adams, Sidney Nolan: such is life, Melbourne, 1987, 254. NOTE: General reference.

Mark Baker., The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Nolan walks a silken road to eternity', Sydney, 08 Oct 1983, unknown.

David Dolan., Silk Route, 'Silken surprises', Canberra, 1987. 22; not paginated

Holdsworth Contemporary Galleries, Sir Sidney Nolan, Sydney, 1988. 42

Sandra McGrath., The Weekend Australian, 'Nolan's love affair with China', Sydney, 07 Mar 1981-08 Mar 1981, unknown.

Barry Pearce., Older Australian masters: an exhibition of works by major Australian artists executed in the later years of their careers, 'Preface', Sydney, 1991, (illus.). not paginated

Barry Pearce, Frances Lindsay, Lou Klepac and Edmund Capon AM, OBE, Sidney Nolan, 'Late works 1981-88', pg. 214-227, Sydney, 2007, 60, 61, 214 (colour illus., detail), 215, 218 (colour illus.), 239, 251. 110

Ann Proudfoot, An expanded view: the Mary Turner Collection at Orange Regional Gallery, 'An expanded view', pg. 5-23, Orange, 2011, 19, 121.

T.G. Rosenthal, Sidney Nolan, London, 2002, 295. NOTE: General reference.

Susanna Short., The Age, 'Nolan finds serenity in barbarian desert art', Melbourne, 19 Sep 1983, unknown.

The Silk Road: An exhibition of new paintings by Sir Sidney Nolan, Hong Kong, 1987. not paginated; no catalogue list