John Olsen 'Laughing Frog'

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John Olsen’s fascination with frogs began in 1971 when he held one in the rainforest while filming a nature documentary. Cool and alive in his palm, he was struck by the frog’s oddities – bulbous eyes, wet skin and the ability to spring away like coiled wire. Since then, Olsen has repeatedly paid tribute to the frog, imagining him in all his captivating forms.

In ‘Laughing Frog’, an adolescent frog catapults from above like a skydiver alighting his helicopter. Pond debris – bacteria, worms, algae – scatter before the frog laughing his way to lunch. Like Olsen’s vision for life, this work sees all forms of life, beautiful and awkward alike, as vitally interconnected — expressions of the same great vitality.

Winner of the Wynne, Sulman and Archibald Prizes, represented in all major institutions and a recipient of an Order of Australia, Olsen is a legend of Australian art. This work will charm collectors of Olsen, iconic Australian art and those who care about nature.

John OLSEN (1928 - 2023)
'Laughing Frog' 1977
etching on paper
Edition of 90
Image Size: 64 x 50 cm
Frame Dimensions: 94 x 78 x 4 cm
Signed: editioned, titled, signed 'John Olsen' and dated '77 in margin
Comes with Letter of Provenance

Condition: Excellent. This print has recently been treated by a conservator wash, which de-acidify the paper to ensure it remains in excellent condition for years to come.  

McGregor K. Teeming with Life: His Complete Graphics 1957-2005, Macmillan Art Publishing, Melbourne, 2005, illustrated page 49, cat. 33

© John Olsen / Copyright Agency 2023