Rose Nolan was born in 1959 in Melbourne, where she continues to live and work. One of a group of significant Australian artists who formed a loose association around the experimental and innovative Store 5 artist-run space in Melbourne between 1989 and 1993, Nolan’s work traverses forms and ideals founded in utopian strands of twentieth-century avant-gardism. Adopting the language of abstraction and revolutionary aesthetics, Nolan typically uses a reduced palette of red and white, and simple, inexpensive, utilitarian materials to create banners, posters, pamphlets, paintings and large-scale installations. Her practice references various art historical legacies, such as early modernism, Russian constructivism and 1960s conceptual art, and is a critical representation of abstraction infused with personal content and contemporary experience.
Rose Nolan has exhibited widely nationally and internationally since the 1980s. Recent solo exhibitions include Performance Architecture, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne (2013); The Solo Projects, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne (2011); Why Do We Do the Things We Do, Artspace, Sydney, and Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2008) and Work in Progress #3, Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne (2008). Selected group exhibitions include Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2014); Contemporary Australia: Women, Queensland Art Gallery|Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2012); Forever Young, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2011); and 21st Century Modern: 2006 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia (2006). Nolan’s work is represented in major public art collections within Australia and the monograph Rose Nolan: Why Do We Do the Things We Do was co-published by Artspace, Sydney and the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane in 2008.