Vale James Mollison

With the loss of James Mollison a giant of Australian visual arts has fallen, leaving a legacy that included controversy, passion and the keeper of our national collection.

The visual arts sector awoke to the news this week of the passing of James Mollison AO (1931 – 2020).

It goes without saying that Mollison was a giant of the Australian visual arts sector, and raised the level of public debate around contemporary art practice like no other before.

Controversial, brilliant and visionary, Mollison’s most celebrated legacy was the acquisition of then $1.3 million Blue Poles painting by American abstractionist, Jackson Pollack in 1974 for the National Gallery of Australia (NGA).

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina