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Margaret Olley dies aged 88

27th July 2011

Acclaimed Australian still-life artist Margaret Olley has died at the age of 88, prompting a number of tributes from her peers around the world.

Olley was born in 1923 and enjoyed a 70-year career which saw her work grace some of the world's most famous galleries, with her still-life drawings particularly popular among art lovers.

She was also the subject of many paintings, with portraits of her winning the prestigious Archibald Prize in 1948 and 2011.

A noted philanthropist, Olley also mentored many young artists, including Ben Quilty, who painted this year's winning Archibald Prize portrait.

He described her as 'a modern, contemporary lady who wanted people to strive to be better', while author and broadcaster Clive James said Olley was 'a highly sophisticated artist with a full range of learning in her medium'.

The artist's friend and dealer Philip Bacon said she died following a full day of painting in preparation for an upcoming exhibition and 'went the way she wanted'.

Her solo show has been postponed though will still be held later this year, while a public celebration of her life and work is being planned in Australia.

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