SYDNEY - Margaret Olley, one of Australia’s most beloved artists, who was renowned for her colorful still-life paintings, died Tuesday.
She was 88.
Ms. Olley was found dead in her Sydney home, said Susanne Briggs, spokeswoman for the Art Gallery of New South Wales, where many of Ms. Olley’s paintings are displayed.
“I have never met anybody so rarely passionate, committed, and yet always retaining a wry sense of the absurd that life inevitably presents to us,’’ the gallery’s director, Edmund Capon, said in a statement.
Ms. Olley was born in Lismore, New South Wales, in 1923. An art teacher noticed her talent when she was a young student at a girls’ boarding school in Brisbane, and encouraged Ms. Olley’s parents to send their daughter to art school.
Ms. Olley eventually became one of the country’s most lauded still-life painters.
Ms. Olley was widely praised not just for her work, but for her philanthropy and generosity. In 2006, she was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia, the country’s highest civilian honor, for her service as an artist, philanthropist, and mentor to young artists.
“It’s such a great award. I’m over-awed,’’ Ms. Olley said at the time. “I thought just judges and just very important people got it. I’m not important. I just do what I want to do.’’