Brett Whiteley is an iconic figure in Australian art history. Prodigiously talented across a range of media, his artistic enquires knew no boundaries. Whiteley became famous for many reasons beyond his art and was followed with a rockstar fervour by an adoring public.
Since his untimely death in 1992, his work has sat atop of the Australian secondary art market. Collections—public and private—continue to seek out works. Through all the collective desirability of his oeuvre, one needs to look past the hype of the auction records to the fundamental elements that made the artist so good. Whiteley possessed an ability to draw with extraordinary passion. His line was effusive—at times flamboyant—yet always articulated his subliminal desires. The artist possessed a bowerbird-like ability to bring together disparate elements and influences and make them work within a picture plane. He was an artist who could absorb ideas and aesthetic sensibilities from history, yet, somehow make his own visual language. He would acknowledge the past, yet, always be part of the future and his resulting work was undeniably original.
His travels across the world opened the Sydney-born artist to personal contact with some of the greats of the cultural world. One who would leave an indelible mark was the seminal British painter, Francis Bacon. Regarded as one of the most prominent figures in British art, there is no doubt that Bacon intrigued Whiteley. The two artists knew each other in London, and Bacon, realising the younger man’s talent, encouraged the expressive qualities in the Australian’s work. Both artists walked the tightrope of extraneous demons that would invariably find location in their work. Aesthetically, the bond between the two is manifested in a lineal ability to create pictorial space without falling into the illustrative
This intimate exhibition acknowledges the individual vision and uniqueness of each artist whilst allowing their collective mystic to permeate the psyche of the audience.
We are thrilled to present a beautiful and intimate collection of artworks by Brett Whiteley and Francis Bacon—featuring sculpture, painting, drawing and printworks. The exhibition acknowledges the individual vision and uniqueness of each artist whilst allowing their collective mystic to permeate the psyche of the audience.
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