Sidney Nolan (1917–1992), is one of the most important Australian artists of the twentieth century who lived the last ten years of his life on the Welsh-Midlands
border, where he established the Charitable Trust in his name. To mark the centenary of his birth, in collaboration with the Sidney Nolan Trust, Ikon brings to light a selection of extraordinary paintings dating from the 1980s. Made with spray paint on canvas, the works include a number of large portraits of individuals Nolan identified with, such as Arthur Rimbaud, Francis Bacon, Benjamin Britten and Brett Whiteley. Rimbaud was a key figure in Nolan’s life, according to artist-writer Elwyn Lynn who explains that Nolan became enthralled by the way in which the poet had been “possessed by creativeness, had grown obsessed by its processes and immersed himself in both its central and peripheral demands”. These fugitive portraits are thus projections as much as likenesses.