8 May – 19 July 2009

A UQ Art Museum touring exhibition

'More hotted up cars than the car park of a 24-hour McDonalds. More skulls than Yorrick’s family reunion.' – Craig Reucassel
'Like most people, Ben Quilty defies caricature... A petrol-head who buys his art supplies at Bunnings, yet carries tiny notebooks full of the most exquisite pen-and-ink sketches of Venice done in his recent youth.' – Don Walker
Ben Quilty paints like there is no tomorrow. In less than a decade he has become one of the country’s favourite artists. Quilty uses licks of luscious paint to conjure his subjects which include his beloved LJ Torana, his ‘wasted’ mates, his son Joe and more recently himself. His subjects are modern day memento mori; pithy reminders of our mortality and a call to live life in the fast lane.
Painting itself is also the subject of Ben Quilty’s work. He summons his subjects with a palpable physicality. Abstract slabs of vivid colour, often underpinned by urgent aerosol drawings, bring his subjects to life. This exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of Ben Quilty’s painting and includes loans from private and public collections.
Curator: Lisa Slade


  • Watch Ben Quilty in conversation with curator Lisa Slade, 8 May 2009 on Vimeo

  • Listen to or download Lisa Slade and Gillian Ridsdale discussing the curatorial approach and development of the exhibition 8 May, 2009 here

  • Interpretive guide is available here 

  • View masterclass for senior highschool students with Ben Quilty here


View and purchase the publication Ben Quilty here

Tour Dates

TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria 15 August - 15 November 2009


View 'Quilty art exhibition to rock the establishment' here

Ben Quilty 
Elwood Park Farewell winter 2006
oil and aerosol on linen
150 x 160 cm
Private Collection
Courtesy of the artist, Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane and GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney