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Brett Whiteley Sold at Auction Prices

Painter, Sculptor, b. 1939 - d. 1992

Many paintings by Brett Whiteley, who was an Australian abstract artist, were influenced by landscape painter Lloyd Rees. The flowing strokes, vivid colors, and distinctive lines of the scenes he painted brought the beauty of Australia to the world. Brett Whiteley's artwork was not limited to painting, as he was also a talented graphic artist and sculptor.

Brett Whiteley's painting, Untitled Red Painting, was sold to the Tate Gallery when he was only 22, making him the youngest artist the gallery had ever purchased from. Brett Whiteley's prints include lithographs and etchings. In 1977, Whiteley won the Wynne Prize, which is a prestigious Australian award for landscape paintings. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1991 in recognition of his art. View award-winning landscape paintings for sale online by other talented artists to augment your collection.

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              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Summer At Carcoar, decorative print after original, 61 x 48.5 cm. (24.0 x 19.0 in.), frame: 95 x 80 x 4 cm. (37.4 x 31 1/2 x 1.5 in.)
                Jul. 17, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Summer At Carcoar, decorative print after original, 61 x 48.5 cm. (24.0 x 19.0 in.), frame: 95 x 80 x 4 cm. (37.4 x 31 1/2 x 1.5 in.)

                Est: $150 - $250

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Summer At Carcoar decorative print after original signed in print

                Lawsons
              • Brett Whiteley, Australia 1939-1992, Big Orange with Ultramarine Palm Trees, Open Edition Lithograph
                Jul. 17, 2024

                Brett Whiteley, Australia 1939-1992, Big Orange with Ultramarine Palm Trees, Open Edition Lithograph

                Est: -

                Brett Whiteley Australia, 1939-1992 Big Orange with Ultramarine Palm Trees Open Edition Lithograph Big Orange With Ultramarine Palm Trees Print Framed Brett Whiteley, AO (7 April 1939 – 15 June 1992) was an Australian artist. He is represented in the collections of all the large Australian galleries, and was twice winner of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes. He held many exhibitions, and lived and painted in Australia as well as Italy, England, Fiji and the United States. Big Orange with Ultramarine Palm Trees, Brett Whiteley Beautifully framed print ready to hang in your home or office. 87cm (H) x 77cm (W)

                Bargain Hunt Auctions
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939-1992), Lovers, screenprint 16/70, 50x63cm
                Jul. 07, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939-1992), Lovers, screenprint 16/70, 50x63cm

                Est: $10,000 - $15,000

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939-1992) Lovers screenprint 16/70 signed lower right

                Lawsons
              • Brett Whiteley
                Jul. 07, 2024

                Brett Whiteley

                Est: $180 - $220

                Two Brett Whiteley books. 1) From Another Shore by Rudi Krausmann Drawings by artist Brett Whiteley Sydney Wild and Woolley Press 1975 first edition. Paperback in mint condition 2) Graphics: Brett Whiteley Published by the Art Gallery of Western Australia

                Sydney Rare Book Auctions
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Interior with Time Past, decorative print after original, 47 x 48 cm. (18 1/2 x 18.9 in.), frame: 66 x 65 x 2 cm. (25.9 x 25.5 x 0.7 in.)
                Jul. 03, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Interior with Time Past, decorative print after original, 47 x 48 cm. (18 1/2 x 18.9 in.), frame: 66 x 65 x 2 cm. (25.9 x 25.5 x 0.7 in.)

                Est: $300 - $500

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Interior with Time Past decorative print after original gallery frame

                Lawsons
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Bathroom Nude, decorative print after original, 53 x 48 cm. (20.8 x 18.9 in.), frame: 66 x 60 x 2 cm. (25.9 x 23.6 x 0.7 in.)
                Jul. 03, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Bathroom Nude, decorative print after original, 53 x 48 cm. (20.8 x 18.9 in.), frame: 66 x 60 x 2 cm. (25.9 x 23.6 x 0.7 in.)

                Est: $300 - $500

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Bathroom Nude decorative print after original gallery frame

                Lawsons
              • BRETT WHITELEY (1939-1992), Charlie Mingus 1971
                Jun. 26, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939-1992), Charlie Mingus 1971

                Est: $12,000 - $16,000

                PROPERTY FORMERLY FROM THE COLLECTION OF KYM BONYTHON, ADELAIDE BRETT WHITELEY (1939-1992) Charlie Mingus 1971 ink and pencil on paper 53.0 x 37.5 cm; 54.5 x 38.5 cm (framed) inscribed upper left: the soft black pear/ with fingers like taut carrots underground/ playin the bass like a banjo/ like its Charlie Mingus/ what do you do with a rush like that?/ + photograph to remember says Charlies eyes/ and a rhythm ripples to the heart of the sacrifice. inscribed lower right: for Kym stamped upper left with artist's chop

                Menzies
              • BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) "LOVERS" 1973
                Jun. 23, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) "LOVERS" 1973

                Est: -

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) "LOVERS" 1973 SIGNED LOWER RIGHT ARTIST PROOF SCREENPRINT ON PAPER 19/70 50CM X 63CM FRAMED INCLUDED

                Yarra Valley Auctions
              • BRETT WHITELEY (1939 -1992) "THE AMERICAN DREAM"
                Jun. 23, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 -1992) "THE AMERICAN DREAM"

                Est: -

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 -1992) "THE AMERICAN DREAM" THIS SERIES OF18 LIMITED EDITION REPRODUCED PRINTS ALL FRAMED, REPRESENT THE ORIGINAL MASTERPIECE FROM BRETT WHITELEY DURING THE 1960s AND THE DIVIDE IN AMERICA DURING THAT TIME, THE ORIGINAL MASTERPIECE IS NOW HOUSED IN THE ART GALLERY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA. 18 FRAMED PICTURES TOTAL EACH PRINT MEASURES 48CM X 83CM

                Yarra Valley Auctions
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), 2nd Hozumi Momota Art Award and Japanese Australian Festival Oct 6-13 Sydney Square, 1980, screenprint, 74 x 50 cm. (29.1 x 19.6 in.), frame: 89 x 65 x 3 cm. (35.0 x 25.5 x 1.1 in.) (crack
                Jun. 20, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), 2nd Hozumi Momota Art Award and Japanese Australian Festival Oct 6-13 Sydney Square, 1980, screenprint, 74 x 50 cm. (29.1 x 19.6 in.), frame: 89 x 65 x 3 cm. (35.0 x 25.5 x 1.1 in.) (crack

                Est: $800 - $1,200

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) 2nd Hozumi Momota Art Award and Japanese Australian Festival Oct 6-13 Sydney Square, 1980 screenprint 'BW' monogram upper right

                Lawsons
              • Brett Whiteley,  Self Portrait, One Of A Dozen Glimpses, from Another Way Of Looking At Vincent Van Gogh 1888 - 1889, 1983; 
                Jun. 18, 2024

                Brett Whiteley,  Self Portrait, One Of A Dozen Glimpses, from Another Way Of Looking At Vincent Van Gogh 1888 - 1889, 1983; 

                Est: £2,000 - £3,000

                Brett Whiteley,  Australian 1939-1992,  Self Portrait, One Of A Dozen Glimpses, from Another Way Of Looking At Vincent Van Gogh 1888 - 1889, 1983;  etching with aquatint on wove,  signed and numbered 1/1 PP in pencil,  printer's proof aside from the edition of 100,  plate: 27 x 21cm,  (framed)  (ARR) 

                Roseberys
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, offset lithograph (exhibition poster), 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1
                Jun. 12, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, offset lithograph (exhibition poster), 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1

                Est: $150 - $250

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995 offset lithograph (exhibition poster)

                Lawsons
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Lyrebird, 1973, decorative print after original, 21 x 19 cm. (8.2 x 7.4 in.), frame: 47 x 34 x 2 cm. (18 1/2 x 13.3 x 0.7 in.)
                Jun. 05, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Lyrebird, 1973, decorative print after original, 21 x 19 cm. (8.2 x 7.4 in.), frame: 47 x 34 x 2 cm. (18 1/2 x 13.3 x 0.7 in.)

                Est: $200 - $300

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Lyrebird, 1973 decorative print after original gallery frame

                Lawsons
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Lavender Bay in the Rain, 1981, decorative print after original, 14 x 14 cm. (5.5 x 5.5 in.), frame: 45 x 33 x 2 cm. (17.7 x 12.9 x 0.7 in.)
                Jun. 05, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Lavender Bay in the Rain, 1981, decorative print after original, 14 x 14 cm. (5.5 x 5.5 in.), frame: 45 x 33 x 2 cm. (17.7 x 12.9 x 0.7 in.)

                Est: $200 - $300

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Lavender Bay in the Rain, 1981 decorative print after original gallery frame with True Vue UV Glass

                Lawsons
              • Brett Whiteley (1939-92),
                Jun. 01, 2024

                Brett Whiteley (1939-92),

                Est: $3,000 - $5,000

                Swinging Monkey 2 (Regents Park Zoo Series) screenprint 49/70 numbered, titled and signed below image, together with original gallery certificate 76cm x 55cm

                Aalders Auctions
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, offset lithograph (exhibition poster), 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1
                May. 29, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, offset lithograph (exhibition poster), 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1

                Est: $200 - $300

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995 offset lithograph (exhibition poster)

                Lawsons
              • BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Balcony II decorative print after original 17 x 31 cm (frame: 33 x 45 x 3 cm) Gallery frame with True V...
                May. 29, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Balcony II decorative print after original 17 x 31 cm (frame: 33 x 45 x 3 cm) Gallery frame with True V...

                Est: $200 - $300

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Balcony II decorative print after original 17 x 31 cm (frame: 33 x 45 x 3 cm) Gallery frame with True Vue UV Glass

                Lawsons
              • WHITELEY Brett (1939-1992), 'Baboon II,' 1977., Etching, Sugarlift & Aquatint 29/60, 50.5x50cm (plate) 75x53cm (sheet)
                May. 26, 2024

                WHITELEY Brett (1939-1992), 'Baboon II,' 1977., Etching, Sugarlift & Aquatint 29/60, 50.5x50cm (plate) 75x53cm (sheet)

                Est: $3,000 - $5,000

                WHITELEY, Brett (1939-1992) 'Baboon II,' 1977. Etching, Sugarlift & Aquatint 29/60 50.5x50cm (plate) 75x53cm (sheet) PROVENANCE: Private collection, Sydney. OTHER NOTES: © Wendy Whiteley/Copyright Agency, 2024.

                Davidson Auctions
              • BRETT WHITELEY - STARTLED OWL - SUGARLIFT AQUATINT
                May. 21, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY - STARTLED OWL - SUGARLIFT AQUATINT

                Est: $14,000 - $18,000

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939-1992) STARTLED OWL Signed in margin Sugarlift aquatint 50.5 x 49.5cm Estimate $14,000/18,000 AUD

                GFL Fine Art
              • Brett Whiteley, (1939-1992), The Garden in Sanur, Bali, 1980, screenprint with offset lithography on paper, 55 x 77 cm
                May. 21, 2024

                Brett Whiteley, (1939-1992), The Garden in Sanur, Bali, 1980, screenprint with offset lithography on paper, 55 x 77 cm

                Est: $10,000 - $15,000

                Brett Whiteley (1939-1992) The Garden in Sanur, Bali, 1980 screenprint with offset lithography on paper edition: 81/100, numbered and signed below image '81/100, Brett Whiteley'

                Shapiro Auctioneers
              • Brett Whiteley, (1939-1992), Another Way of Looking at Vincent Van Gogh 1888-1889, 1983, etching on paper, 37 x 21 cm, 21 x 26 cm, 26 x 20 cm
                May. 21, 2024

                Brett Whiteley, (1939-1992), Another Way of Looking at Vincent Van Gogh 1888-1889, 1983, etching on paper, 37 x 21 cm, 21 x 26 cm, 26 x 20 cm

                Est: $12,000 - $18,000

                Brett Whiteley (1939-1992) Another Way of Looking at Vincent Van Gogh 1888-1889, 1983 etching on paper Self Portrait One of a Dozen Glimpses, The Back of The Asylum St Remy, Sons of The Sun, 1983 (Suite of 3), edition: 79/100, each numbered, signed and stamped below image '79/100, Brett Whiteley'

                Shapiro Auctioneers
              • Brett Whiteley, (1939-1992), Male Torso, 1982, charcoal, pencil and wash on paper, 75 x 55 cm
                May. 21, 2024

                Brett Whiteley, (1939-1992), Male Torso, 1982, charcoal, pencil and wash on paper, 75 x 55 cm

                Est: $60,000 - $80,000

                Brett Whiteley (1939-1992) Male Torso, 1982 charcoal, pencil and wash on paper signed, titled, inscribed and dated l.r.c. 'Brett Whiteley, Male Torso, Kingo's sketch club, March '82'

                Shapiro Auctioneers
              • BRETT WHITELEY (1939-1992) Nude No. I 1974 brush and ink on paper 76 x 50cm
                May. 20, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939-1992) Nude No. I 1974 brush and ink on paper 76 x 50cm

                Est: $40,000 - $60,000

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939-1992) Nude No. I 1974 brush and ink on paper signed and dated lower right: Brett Whiteley 74 titled on Australian Galleries label verso 76 x 50cm PROVENANCE: Fischer Fine Art, London Australian Galleries, Melbourne 1994, reference number 5043-3 (label verso) Private collection, Melbourne Thence by descent EXHIBITIONS: Australian Galleries, Melbourne, August 1994 (label verso) LITERATURE: Sutherland, K., Brett Whiteley: Catalogue Raisonné, Schwartz Publishing, Melbourne, 2020, vol. 3, pp. 205 (illus. as black and white), 299, vol. 5, p. 88, cat. no. 55.74 OTHER NOTES: Brett Whiteley was one of the most prominent Australian artists of the 20th century, known for his remarkable versatility and prolific output across various artistic mediums. Whiteley embraced a range of styles, techniques, and influences with a sense of urgency and intense curiosity. His admiration for different artists evolved over time, shaping his unique artistic vision, and leading him to view art as an adventurous journey into his own perceptions and emotions. Brett Whiteley's exceptional skill as a draughtsman and his passion for portraying the nude emerged in London during the early 1960s, as his style transitioned from abstraction to figuration. During this period, he created a collection of drawings and paintings that highlighted the curvaceous form of his wife Wendy. These intimate and evocative works of love and desire were just the beginning of Whiteley's enduring fascination with the female form, a central theme in his oeuvre. Whiteley's nudes are dynamic and passionate, blending both intimacy with tenderness. Despite the exaggerated forms that characterise them, Whiteley's assured, fluid, and sensuous lines with smooth contours, highlight the artist's inspiration derived directly from life. These artworks reflect both a deeply personal expression of Whiteley's experience with sensuality and sexuality expressed through his brilliantly mastered calligraphic lines and his ongoing quest to achieve what he termed 'the great nude'; the highest form of artistic creativity. In 1989, Whiteley adeptly conveyed his profound interest in the nude subject matter when he stated: "The nude has been predominant really…a very major part of my work. Even when I was painting abstractions, in a way I was painting the nude, but out of focus with no specific definition, and when I broke into figuration, it was the bathroom pictures, it was pictures of my wife in the bath".(1) Nude no.1 from 1974, offers an intimate portrayal of a soft, curvaceous nude figure turned away from the viewer, her buttocks resting on her left foot that is tucked beneath her. Although her face remains concealed, the texture of her loose hair, with its carefully rendered strands cascading over her arm, echoes Whiteley's admiration for the ink and brush techniques of Chinese landscape artists and calligraphers. Whiteley's great admiration for Zen philosophy and his affinity with calligraphy emerged at a time when the Asian aesthetic, particularly the brushwork of Chinese and Japanese calligraphy, permeated Australian visual culture in the 1960s. This resulted in ample inspiration for Whiteley's practice and lead to the creation of this work, Nude no.1, where the fluid brushwork reflects a lyrical response to this calligraphic style. Nude No. 1 was originally purchased by Stuart Purves, the National Director of Australian Galleries in 1994. He recalls "I have a good recollection of this particular drawing by the artist, and in fact it was amongst several that I purchased from a private collection on a visit to the UK several decades ago now. This piece stood out as is was on yellow paper. All the others were on white paper, and I can only surmise that there was a piece of yellow paper handy that Whiteley took advantage of…" Amanda North Art Specialist (1) Brett Whiteley, The Figure, Art Gallery of NSW; https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/artboards/brett-whiteley/the-figure/#:~:text=The%20nude%20has%20been%20predominant,my%20wife%20in%20the%20bath © Wendy Whiteley/Copyright Agency 2024

                Leonard Joel
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, decorative print, 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1.9 in.)
                May. 15, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, decorative print, 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1.9 in.)

                Est: $200 - $300

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995 decorative print

                Lawsons
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, decorative print, 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1.9 in.)
                May. 15, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, decorative print, 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1.9 in.)

                Est: $200 - $300

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995 decorative print

                Lawsons
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Nude Figure, decorative print, 65 x 35.5 cm. (25.5 x 13.9 in.), frame: 90 x 61 x 2 cm. (35.4 x 24.0 x 0.7 in.)
                May. 15, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Nude Figure, decorative print, 65 x 35.5 cm. (25.5 x 13.9 in.), frame: 90 x 61 x 2 cm. (35.4 x 24.0 x 0.7 in.)

                Est: $150 - $250

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Nude Figure decorative print unsigned

                Lawsons
              • BRETT WHITELEY, BACK VIEW, 1976
                May. 14, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, BACK VIEW, 1976

                Est: $8,000 - $10,000

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) BACK VIEW, 1976 etching on paper 60.0 x 44.5 cm (image) 88.5 x 70.5 cm (frame) edition: 10/60 signed and numbered below image PROVENANCE Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane Private collection, Melbourne, acquired from the above c.1976 LITERATURE Mandy, R., Brett Whiteley: The Complete Graphics, 1961 – 1982, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, 1983, p. 24 (illus., another example), cat. 24 Brett Whiteley: The Graphics 1961 – 1992, Deutscher Fine Art, Melbourne, 1992, pp. 33 (illus., another example), 111, cat. 23 RELATED WORK Nude, Bath, c.1976, pencil on paper, 36.0 x 27.0 cm, private collection Screen as the Bathroom Window, 1976, oil on canvas, 203.0 x 187.0 cm, in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Another edition of this print is held in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra © Wendy Whiteley/Copyright Agency, 2024 This work is located in our Melbourne Gallery

                Deutscher and Hackett
              • BRETT WHITELEY, 1939 - 1992, The Green Mountain, Fiji, 1969, decorative print after original, 21 x 18 cm. (8.2 x 7.0 in.), Frame: 45 x 33 x 3 cm. (17.7 x 12.9 x 1.1 in.)
                May. 08, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, 1939 - 1992, The Green Mountain, Fiji, 1969, decorative print after original, 21 x 18 cm. (8.2 x 7.0 in.), Frame: 45 x 33 x 3 cm. (17.7 x 12.9 x 1.1 in.)

                Est: $200 - $300

                BRETT WHITELEY 1939 - 1992 The Green Mountain, Fiji, 1969 decorative print after original Gallery frame with True Vue UV Glass

                Lawsons
              • BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Balcony II decorative print after original 17 x 31 cm (frame: 33 x 45 x 3 cm) Gallery frame with True V...
                May. 08, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Balcony II decorative print after original 17 x 31 cm (frame: 33 x 45 x 3 cm) Gallery frame with True V...

                Est: $200 - $300

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Balcony II decorative print after original 17 x 31 cm (frame: 33 x 45 x 3 cm) Gallery frame with True Vue UV Glass

                Lawsons
              • Brett Whiteley (1939-1992) The Ferry Coming In - Lavender Bay, 1977
                May. 07, 2024

                Brett Whiteley (1939-1992) The Ferry Coming In - Lavender Bay, 1977

                Est: $300,000 - $400,000

                Brett Whiteley (1939-1992) The Ferry Coming In - Lavender Bay, 1977 stamped upper left with artist's monogram: 'BW' titled lower left: 'The ferry coming in - Lavender Bay Dec/9/77' signed lower right: 'brett whiteley' brush and ink on paper on board 143.5 x 152.0cm (56 1/2 x 59 13/16in).

                Bonhams
              • Brett Whiteley Studio
                May. 02, 2024

                Brett Whiteley Studio

                Est: $20 - $50

                Brett Whiteley Studio

                Lawsons
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Self Portrait, One of a Dozen Glimpses (From Another Way of Looking at Vincent Van Gogh 1888 - 1889), etching and aquatint, ed. 56/100 (AF), 26 x 20.5 cm (frame: 56 x 47 x 3 cm)
                May. 01, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Self Portrait, One of a Dozen Glimpses (From Another Way of Looking at Vincent Van Gogh 1888 - 1889), etching and aquatint, ed. 56/100 (AF), 26 x 20.5 cm (frame: 56 x 47 x 3 cm)

                Est: $10,000 - $15,000

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Self Portrait, One of a Dozen Glimpses (From Another Way of Looking at Vincent Van Gogh 1888 - 1889) etching and aquatint, ed. 56/100 (AF) editioned and signed under image "56/100, Brett"

                Lawsons
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, decorative print, 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1.9 in.)
                May. 01, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, decorative print, 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1.9 in.)

                Est: $200 - $300

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995 decorative print

                Lawsons
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, decorative print, 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1.9 in.)
                May. 01, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, decorative print, 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1.9 in.)

                Est: $200 - $300

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995 decorative print

                Lawsons
              • Brett Whiteley, Australia (1939-1992), The Honeyeater, Etching ed. 54/75
                Apr. 29, 2024

                Brett Whiteley, Australia (1939-1992), The Honeyeater, Etching ed. 54/75

                Est: $2,000 - $4,000

                Brett Whiteley Australia (1939-1992) The Honeyeater Etching ed. 54/75 Signed lower margin

                Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
              • Brett Whiteley, Australia (1939-1992), Towards Sculpture I 1977, Lithograph ed/29/50
                Apr. 29, 2024

                Brett Whiteley, Australia (1939-1992), Towards Sculpture I 1977, Lithograph ed/29/50

                Est: $10,000 - $12,000

                Brett Whiteley Australia (1939-1992) Towards Sculpture I 1977 Lithograph ed/29/50 Signed lower margin Artist's monogram upper right

                Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
              • Brett Whiteley The Balcony Two Print Of The Original Signed in the Plate Lower Left Image 50cm x 90cm Frame 66cm x 106cm.
                Apr. 28, 2024

                Brett Whiteley The Balcony Two Print Of The Original Signed in the Plate Lower Left Image 50cm x 90cm Frame 66cm x 106cm.

                Est: -

                Brett Whiteley The Balcony Two Print Of The Original Signed in the Plate Lower Left Image 50cm x 90cm Frame 66cm x 106cm.

                Pottle Auctions
              • Brett Whiteley - Lyre Bird. Print Of The Original. Signed In The Plate Lower Right. Image Size 66cm x 60cm With Frame 83cm x 75cm.
                Apr. 28, 2024

                Brett Whiteley - Lyre Bird. Print Of The Original. Signed In The Plate Lower Right. Image Size 66cm x 60cm With Frame 83cm x 75cm.

                Est: -

                Brett Whiteley - Lyre Bird. Print Of The Original. Signed In The Plate Lower Right. Image Size 66cm x 60cm With Frame 83cm x 75cm.

                Pottle Auctions
              • Brett Whiteley - Self Portrait. Print Of The Original. Image Size 19.5cm x 25.5cm With Frame 32cm x 44cm.
                Apr. 28, 2024

                Brett Whiteley - Self Portrait. Print Of The Original. Image Size 19.5cm x 25.5cm With Frame 32cm x 44cm.

                Est: -

                Brett Whiteley - Self Portrait. Print Of The Original. Image Size 19.5cm x 25.5cm With Frame 32cm x 44cm.

                Pottle Auctions
              • Brett Whiteley - Screen In Bathroom Window. Print Of The Original. Signed In The Plate Lower Left. Image Size 53cm x 48cm With Frame 69cm x 64cm.
                Apr. 28, 2024

                Brett Whiteley - Screen In Bathroom Window. Print Of The Original. Signed In The Plate Lower Left. Image Size 53cm x 48cm With Frame 69cm x 64cm.

                Est: -

                Brett Whiteley - Screen In Bathroom Window. Print Of The Original. Signed In The Plate Lower Left. Image Size 53cm x 48cm With Frame 69cm x 64cm.

                Pottle Auctions
              • Brett Whiteley - Interior With Time Past. Print Of The Original. Signed In The Plate Lower Right. Image Measures 47cm x 48cm With Frame 69cm x 64cm.
                Apr. 28, 2024

                Brett Whiteley - Interior With Time Past. Print Of The Original. Signed In The Plate Lower Right. Image Measures 47cm x 48cm With Frame 69cm x 64cm.

                Est: -

                Brett Whiteley - Interior With Time Past. Print Of The Original. Signed In The Plate Lower Right. Image Measures 47cm x 48cm With Frame 69cm x 64cm.

                Pottle Auctions
              • BRETT WHITELEY, PRELIMINARY FOR ‘RIVER AT CARCOAR’, 1977
                Apr. 24, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, PRELIMINARY FOR ‘RIVER AT CARCOAR’, 1977

                Est: $60,000 - $80,000

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) PRELIMINARY FOR ‘RIVER AT CARCOAR’, 1977 ink on paper 90.5 x 56.0 cm signed lower right: brett whiteley dated and inscribed lower left: Preliminary for 'River at Carcoar' 16/4/77 stamped lower right with artist's monogram PROVENANCE Private collection, Brisbane, acquired directly from the artist c.1977 Deutscher~Menzies, Melbourne, 8 September 2004, lot 6 Private collection, Melbourne and Sydney, acquired from the above LITERATURE Sutherland, K.,  Brett Whiteley: Catalogue Raisonné, Schwartz Publishing, Melbourne, 2020, cat. 101.77, vol. 7, p. 405 RELATED WORK River at Carcoar (Autumn), 1977, oil on plywood, 203.0 x 121.9 cm, Private collection, illus. in Sutherland, K., vol. 3, p. 467  Sketch of the River at Carcoar, c.1977, ink on paper, 96.0 x 50.0 cm, formerly in the Cbus Collection of Australian Art, illus. in Deutscher and Hackett, 100 Highlights from the Cbus Collection of Australian Art, Melbourne, 27 July 2022, lot 53 ESSAY 'Across Brett Whiteley’s stellar career, the landscape served as both a conceptual and very real escape from the realities of daily existence, the expectations of the art world and ever-growing success, and the largely self-created pressures he came to experience in a life fuelled by creativity and addiction. From bases in London, and later, in New York and Australia, travel throughout Europe and Africa, and extended periods in Fiji and Bali, relaxed the artist’s body and mind and charged the imagination, providing material that would populate his oeuvre for years to come. While places like Sydney’s Lavender Bay – which became the subject of some of artist’s most well-known and highly celebrated works after the Whiteleys moved there in 1970 – are clearly recognisable, more often than not the landscape is an abstracted, generalised place; an amalgam of the artist’s diverse experiences in and connection to nature.1 For Whiteley, the natural world and the act of making were deeply entwined: ‘Don’t just interpret nature, become its rival. Try and operatively work in the manner that rivals nature so that you do challenge God… There is sometimes that supernatural, superhuman sort of feeling when you’re creating that you are causing a world… From something that didn’t exist – here, this thing does exist.’2 Painted around the same time as he was awarded the prestigious Wynne Prize for landscape painting twice in two consecutive years3, Preliminary for ‘River at Carcoar’, 1977 offers a superb example of the pen and wash sketches, that Whiteley routinely completed – often en plein air – in preparation for many of his universally acclaimed pastoral paintings from this period, including Summer at Carcoar, 1977 (Newcastle Art Gallery); Paddock – Late Afternoon, 1979 (private collection), painted at nearby Oberon; and the magnificent The Wren, 1978 offered in this auction (lot 6). Like such masterpieces, the present similarly features the artist’s signature mesmerising, sinuous river meandering through the centre of the composition, flanked by burgeoning weeping willows and intermittent strewn granite boulders, with the sensuous, rounded curves of the mountains beyond. In his untiring efforts to depict this landscape in all its myriad seasons and moods, Whiteley recognised in such works a tendency which he described as ‘Chinese’, not only in his use of the calligraphic medium reminiscent of the Asian art he so admired, but more fundamentally perhaps, in the repetition of certain motifs to symbolise states of mind. The arabesques of rivers echoed the flight paths of birds, which in turn mirrored the artist’s relaxed journey through his own domain; as Sandra McGrath observed of the oil painting based upon the same composition, ‘ The River at Carcoar borders on the surreal, having none of the convincing details to suggest that this is not a river of his own mental landscape.’4 1. Gellatly, K., essay for lot 42, Brett Whiteley, The Olgas, 8am, 1985, in catalogue accompanying Deutscher and Hackett, Important Australian + International Fine Art, Melbourne, 16 August 2023, p. 146 2. Brett Whiteley, cited in Featherstone, D., Difficult pleasure: a film about Brett Whiteley, Film Finance Corporation Australia Limited, 1989 3. Whiteley won the Wynne Prize for Landscape painting three times: in 1977 with The Jacaranda Tree (On Sydney Harbour); in 1978 with Summer at Carcoar; and in 1984 with The South Coast After Rain. 4. McGrath, S., Brett Whiteley, Bay Books, Sydney, 1979, p. 210 © Wendy Whiteley/Copyright Agency, 2024  

                Deutscher and Hackett
              • BRETT WHITELEY, BATHER ON THE SAND, 1975 – 76
                Apr. 24, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, BATHER ON THE SAND, 1975 – 76

                Est: $1,000,000 - $1,500,000

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) BATHER ON THE SAND, 1975 – 76 oil on canvas 122.0 x 90.0 cm signed and dated lower right: brett whiteley 75–76 PROVENANCE Australian Galleries, Melbourne Private collection, Melbourne, acquired from the above in September 1976 Australian Galleries, Melbourne Private collection, Melbourne, acquired from the above in November 1984 EXHIBITED Recent Interiors, Still Lifes, Windowscapes, Sculptures and Ceramics, Australian Galleries, Melbourne, 21 September – 5 October 1976, cat. 30 (label attached verso) Brett Whiteley: Recent Nudes, the artist's studio, Sydney, 3 – 31 October 1981, cat. 44 (illus. in exhibition catalogue) An Exhibition by Brett Whiteley - Eden and Eve, Australian Galleries, Melbourne, 12 – 28 July 1984, cat. 33 (illus. in exhibition catalogue) On long term loan to Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria, December 2005 - March 2024 LITERATURE McGrath, S., Brett Whiteley, Bay Books, Sydney, 1979, p. 73 (illus.) Pearce, B.,  Brett Whiteley: Art and Life, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1995, pl. 64 (illus.), p. 230 Sutherland, K.,  Brett Whiteley: Catalogue Raisonné, Schwartz Publishing, Melbourne, 2020, cat. 209.75, vol. 3, p. 320 (illus.), vol. 7, p. 348 RELATED WORKS Justine, Bondi, 1986, oil, charcoal and collage on plywood, 152.3 x 122.0 cm, private collection, Melbourne, illus. in Sutherland, K., op. cit., cat. 74.86, vol. 4, p. 343 After the Swim, Tangier, 1986 – 87, oil, ink, glass eye, sunglasses and cotton t-shirt on board, 152.0 x 122.0 cm, private collection, Sydney, illus. in Sutherland, K., op. cit., cat. 75.86, vol. 4, p. 345 Preliminary sketch for ‘Bather on the Sand’, 1975 – 76, pencil and ink on paper, illus. in McGrath, S., op cit., p. 72 ESSAY A celebration of the female nude, established canon of Western art history, became one of the most fertile themes within Brett Whiteley’s oeuvre. Catalysed by his semi-abstract ‘Bathroom’ nudes of 1960s London, Whiteley pursued this theme through various media in the 1970s and 1980s, in the form of totemic wooden carvings and languorous sexually charged paintings and drawings of sun-kissed antipodean shores. Looking to the guiding figures of modernist masters Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon, Whiteley considered the nude to be an integral theme within his work. He wrote in the catalogue foreword for a 1981 exhibition devoted entirely recent works of this subject, in which featured Bather on the Sand, 1975 – 76: ‘if genius is the atheist’s word for God… then to attempt to visualise the great nude would be the highest point of creation, for perfection is impossible and no distortion can be extreme enough.’1 Painting Australia’s glittering, busy shore with the ceaseless wonderment of a returned (libidinous) expatriate, Whiteley has rightly since been celebrated as the ‘great Australian painter of female sexuality at the beach’.2 The Whiteleys were seasoned travellers, and throughout the 1960s they had lived in and visited dozens of cities throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and America. Bather on the Sand, 1975 – 76 was Whiteley’s first major painting of bathers by the sea since returning to Australia in December 1969. An iconic painting within his oeuvre, Bather on the Sand crystallised the distinctive form of the reclining bather in Whiteley’s iconography, inspired by a rapid ink sketch of Wendy at Bondi, with waves lapping in the background – ( Study for ‘Bather on the Sand’), 1975 – 76, ink drawing in artist’s sketchbook. A version of this figure study appears pinned to the wall of the artist’s Lavender Bay living room within his Archibald-prize-winning Self Portrait in the studio, 1976 (Art Gallery of New South Wales), echoed by the vertical forms of his contemporaneous wood carving, Her, 1975. Perhaps by virtue of this constant visual presence in Whiteley’s working and living environment, the winged shape of the reclining bather reappears in several of his major paintings of the beach during the final decades of his life. These include the large landscape painting Balmoral, 1975 – 78, painted around the same time as Bather on the Sand, and then revisited over ten years later in Justine, Bondi, 1986 and After the Swim, Tangier, 1986 – 87 and even within his unfinished Beach Polyptych, 1984/1991 – 92 (all held in private collections).  Stretching out on a faint small towel in a featureless vertical expanse of sand, in the bleaching light of noonday, this buxom bather could be enjoying any stretch of Australian shoreline. Amongst its related paintings, Bather on the Sand, as the title would suggest, is uniquely devoid of even the slightest sliver of blue sea or rolling waves to orientate the viewer. Having recently completed an entire suite of detailed Wave paintings, Whiteley likely appreciated the stark graphic emphasis on his nude. Her body dominates the canvas, intimately observed in Whiteley’s compressed pictorial space. Although this painting is geographically unspecific, its preliminary sketch appeared in the artist’s notebook amongst sketches of lounging and frolicking bathers at Bondi, which Whiteley had been refining into a busy landscape painting (never realised) titled ‘The Beach’ Revisited. Referring to his 1965 – 66 Pop collage masterpiece painted during a brief Australian sojourn at Whale Beach, The Beach, these sketches continued Whiteley’s hedonistic beach voyeurism and provided source material small group of closely connected paintings developing what Kathie Sutherland qualified as ‘the possibilities of distortion and exaggeration.’3 The restricted chromatic palette of honey tones and stark composition of Bather on the Sand highlight this plastic manipulation of Whiteley’s figure, turning her into a Matissian arabesque of intertwined limbs. Brett Whiteley’s nudes all find their genesis in the early ‘Bathroom’ nudes of Wendy created in London between 1962 – 64, whose tender, tense and ambiguous forms were immediately compared to the works of Pierre Bonnard and Francis Bacon.4 Although Whiteley had met the latter, a titan of London’s art scene, while living there in the early 1960s, his influence would become much more dominant in his next series of nudes, the tortured Christie paintings (1964 – 65). Whiteley’s interaction with Bacon continued even when he had moved back to Australia, through to the mid-1980s when he painted Bacon’s portrait for the Archibald Prize (twice, in 1984 and 1989). Whiteley clarified Bacon’s influence on his nascent figurative works: ‘I wasn’t absorbed at all by Bacon but coming back into figuration, I could see that he had arrived at devices of expression, especially with the face, that if one was going to paint figuratively, there was no way one couldn’t use some of these discoveries.’5 Whiteley’s bather lies on her belly, although instead of reclining horizontally like a romantic odalisque she faces the viewer, staring with wide eyes ringed with large lashes. Reprising a vulnerable and joyful pose with bent elbows raised frequent in Henri Matisse’s works, cited by Pablo Picasso the following year in the iconic Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907, the sweeping loops of her elongated arms draw attention to her foreshortened Baconian face. The distorted Janus-face of Whiteley’s ink sketches is repeated here in paint, with aquiline profile and frontal views combined with a startling dash of ultramarine blue around her left eye. The bather’s gaze appears unabashed, meeting the artist’s eye with alluring defiance and pouting red lips. She is enjoying and inviting his looming voyeurism. The rhythmic loops of her arms are mirrored by the emphatic arches of her breasts in the foreground (her bikini-top lying open underneath her) and her fleshy derrière, which expands voluptuously through the centre of this painting. It is easy to imagine Whiteley delighting in and emphasising these hilly contours, stretching his own arms across the large canvas to trace the distinctive outline of his subject’s curves. Bather on the Sand reprises Whiteley’s preferred motif of the bather stretching, arms held aloft in a double-arched shape, first explored after observing his wife’s toilette, washing her hair with a hand-held showerhead ( Wendy Under the Shower, London, 1962, private collection). Whiteley was not afraid to follow in Matisse’s footsteps, enacting the same sacrifice of polished modelling in favour of ‘violent transitions and emphatic simplifications’ that Kenneth Clark identified in this predecessor’s most daring nudes.6 While Whiteley’s bathroom paintings toed the line between graphic abstraction and sensual power, their related forms in paintings of bathers by the sea were decidedly less abstract, which only heightened their overt eroticism. This is particularly true of Bather on the Sand, whose pose is boldly legible against an empty, monochrome background, creating ‘rhythmic patterns and the impression of a rocking movement on the sand.’7 Whiteley’s two-toned sunbather, oblivious to the dangers of overexposure, is not caught in her own reverie as are many bathers in art. In later compositions she pretends to be occupied. She reads books, coyly eyeing the artist over the top of her sunglasses and paperback. Occasionally these accoutrements provide a layer of psychological depth to the painting, weaving into the image literary themes of sexually emancipated women and complex love triangles. In Bather on the Sand, as she is in the larger landscape composition Balmoral, 1975 – 78, the figure is accompanied only by a tiny toy-like transistor radio. Brett Whiteley was fanatical about music, listening to records while he painted and often incorporating musical themes into his artworks. Here, we can only guess to what music is emanating from the portable device and colouring the bather’s playful wordless interaction with the artist. While other paintings of bathers Whiteley is self-referential, including in the composition a little mise-en-abyme of his own hand copying the scene onto clipboard (for example within the lower right-hand corners of The Beach, 1966 and Sketching at Bondi, 1986 – 87), Bather on the Sand includes no such distancing device between the artist and his observed subject. Here, Whiteley is entirely in the moment. In 1994, historian Geoffrey Dutton described Whiteley as ‘Australia’s supreme artist of the hedonism of the beach, as well as of sexual comedy [where] abandonment rules.’8 In 1974 Brett Whiteley and his wife Wendy purchased the Lavender Bay home that they had been renting since 1970. This period of settled belonging in Australia and a stable loving relationship heralded the beginning of Whiteley’s mature phase as a painter, his house’s sublime views of Sydney Harbour leading to the creation of his most celebrated works. Announcing a new aesthetic manifesto in the exhibition catalogue for his show at Australian Galleries in November 1974, Whiteley wrote: ‘The paintings in this exhibition begin from the premise of recording the glimpse seen at the highest point of affection - points of optical ecstasy, where romanticism and optimism overshadow any form of menace or foreboding.’9 As it had been briefly for the artist in 1965 at Whale Beach, the potent spectacle of sun and sand of Sydney beaches became a vessel to reimagine his relationship with the country of his birth. The artist wrote in his diary, with his distinctive stream-of-consciousness prose, of idyllic days of summer lassitude with libidinous overtones: ‘Tumbling and telescoping into days, old ways – grinning and brimming apricot hot desire on transparency blue days, of honey-legged girls and half-baked mateship warming sand to a haze. And what a haze! So gentle – delicious sunny indifference – the freedom of stupor.’10 1. Whiteley, B., ‘Recent Nudes’, exhibition catalogue, Artist’s Studio, Sydney, 1981, n.p. 2. Featherstone, D., The Beach, Australian Broadcasting Company and Featherstone Productions; Sydney, 2000 3. Sutherland, K., ‘Essay: The Nude: the Bathroom, the Bedroom and the Beach’, in her Brett Whiteley: Catalogue Raisonné, Schwartz Publishing, Melbourne, 2020, vol. 7, p. 23  4. op. cit., vol. 7, p. 11  5. Brett Whiteley, cited in McGrath, S., Brett Whiteley, Bay Books, Sydney, 1979, p.58 6. Clark, K., The Nude. A Study in Ideal Form, Princeton University Press, 1990, reprinted by the Folio Society, London, 2010, p. 262 7. Sutherland, op cit. vol. 7, p. 23  8. Dutton, G., On the Beach, On the Beach, Australian Artists at the Shore, Museum of Modern Art at Heide, Bulleen, 1994, p. 17  9. Brett Whiteley, 1974, cited in McGrath, S., Brett Whiteley, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1992, p. 130 10. Brett Whiteley, cited in McGrath, 1979, op. cit., p. 75 LUCIE REEVES-SMITH © Wendy Whiteley/Copyright Agency, 2024

                Deutscher and Hackett
              • BRETT WHITELEY, THE WREN, 1978
                Apr. 24, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, THE WREN, 1978

                Est: $2,000,000 - $3,000,000

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) THE WREN, 1978 oil on canvas 168.0 x 153.0 cm signed lower right: brett whiteley PROVENANCE Australian Galleries, Melbourne Joan Clemenger AO and Peter Clemenger AO, Melbourne, acquired from the above in July 1978 EXHIBITED Brett Whiteley: paintings, drawings and three scrolls plus one bronze from 1960 Italy never before shown in Australia, Australian Galleries, Melbourne, 12 – 25 July 1978, cat. 48 (label attached verso) LITERATURE Makin, J., ‘Which Brett is for real?’, The Sun, Melbourne, 19 July 1978, p. 32 Sutherland, K.,  Brett Whiteley: Catalogue Raisonné, Schwartz Publishing, Melbourne, 2020, cat. 243.78, vol. 3, p. 556 (illus.), vol. 7, p. 457 RELATED WORK (Blue Wren), c.1979, mixed media and collage on card, 101.5 x 76.0 cm, private collection, illus. in Sutherland, K., op. cit., cat. 176.79, vol. 3, p. 636 ESSAY ‘Of all the subjects Whiteley painted in his career, landscape gave him the greatest sense of release…’1 After a tumultuous decade abroad, in 1969 Brett Whiteley returned to Australia and, in the tradition of many expatriate artists before him, thus embarked upon an artistic pilgrimage to rediscover his homeland. Captivated afresh by the beauty, vastness and variety of the Australian landscape, he thus explored the shifting chromatic illusions and ‘optical ecstasy’ of Sydney’s Lavender Bay in sumptuous tableaux redolent of Matisse, before subsequently revisiting the country of his boyhood in the central west of New South Wales – returning ‘to the rounded, monumental, full-breasted hills and open spaces that surround Bathurst’.2 Today universally acclaimed among the most relaxed and quietly assured paintings of Whiteley’s career, the resultant landscapes immortalising the central west thus exuded a distinct lightness and easy spontaneity – an intimacy derived from the artist’s deep identification with this region’s geography over the span of three decades. Capturing the shimmering heat that descends on these rolling hills and gentle vales during the blaze of an Australian summer, The Wren, 1978 represents a particularly magnificent example from this celebrated period within Whiteley’s oeuvre – evoking both the detached grandeur of classical Chinese painting, and the close emotional engagement of his spiritual and artistic hero, Vincent Van Gogh. Hailing from that auspicious year when Whiteley was at the very height of his fame – his annus mirabilis of 1978 in which he became the first artist ever to win all three of the country’s most coveted art prizes (namely the Archibald Prize for Portraiture; the Wynne Prize for Landscape and Sulman Prize for Genre) – indeed the work is Whiteley at his finest, elegantly encapsulating his luminous colour, sensual line and characteristic verve all in poignant homage to the landscape where his journey as a painter first began. In February 1948, amidst the demands of managing a business and maintaining their hectic social schedule, Clem and Beryl Whiteley made the steely decision to uproot their children – Brett, aged eight and sister, Frannie, aged ten – and pack them off to boarding schools some three hundred kilometres away from Sydney.3 Seething with frustration at his loss of freedom and the regimentation of boarding life at The Scots School, Bathurst, not surprisingly Whiteley felt banished, rejected and angry; as he later reflected, ‘The days were so long – it was all so stretched out. A term seemed three years. It really was a punishment and there was nothing else to do but to invent my own world – to set up a device to deal with it.’4 Notwithstanding such negatives, there were also triumphs and with hindsight, the Bathurst experience proved crucially important to Whiteley’s future development as a painter – influencing his understanding of the landscape and its seasons in a way that could not have been possible had he remained in Sydney during these formative childhood years. Notably, his teachers were perspicacious and supportive of their reluctant student’s precocious artistic talent, encouraging him to set up an easel at the back of the classroom from which he could paint the view through the window – whether it be ‘a wren that landed on a tree branch’ or ‘the hills, the sort of caressed breasts of Bathurst’.5 Moreover, on Sundays during his final years of high school, Whiteley and his close friend, Vernon Treweeke, were granted special permission to leave the school grounds to explore and paint en plein air the surrounding Bathurst countryside – with one composition from such excursions earning Whiteley first prize in the Young Painters section of the 1956 Bathurst Show.6 Significantly, after leaving school and while working at the Lintas advertising agency in the city, Whiteley would continue to make weekend sketching expeditions over the Blue Mountains to Bathurst, Ulladulla, Sofala and Hill End, and notably, it was a central west landscape from this time, Around Bathurst, 1959 (private collection) that won him the Italian Government Travelling Art Scholarship for 1960.7 If these seminal experiences nurtured the beginning of a profound and enduring attachment to the landscape of the New South Wales central west – a connection Whiteley described as ‘a sense of feeling close to the earth’8 – his response was also inevitably conditioned by a boundless admiration for that great visual rhapsodist of the region, Lloyd Rees. As famously recounted, Whiteley first made the serendipitous discovery in 1954 when, as a curious, wide-eyed fifteen year old dressed in his school’s cadet uniform, he wandered into a solo exhibition of Rees’ recently painted landscapes at Macquarie Galleries in Sydney.9 Deeply poetic in their contemplation of soft curves and arabesques all rendered with impeccable tonality, such images instinctively appealed to a young Whiteley in his ‘obsession’ with the sensuality of the landscape – with the child prodigy believing he had found in Rees a kindred artistic spirit. Indeed, Rees’ interpretations of the landscape left such an indelible impression upon his consciousness that decades later Whiteley not only dedicated an entire series to celebrating the master’s creative genius, but would write to his frail mentor to pay tribute: ‘I wanted to convey to you just how important an influence you have been on my life and on my art, how one event in 1954 had a profound effect on my understanding of what painting was and could be, and that the realisation that day has continued to influence and inspire me to this day.’10 Although attracted to the overtly sexual elements he perceived in Rees’ landscape, Whiteley nevertheless doubted that ‘old Reesey’ would have recognised such allusions in his own work.11 Years after the encounter at Macquarie Galleries, Whiteley would repeatedly visit Bathurst and Orange with fellow artist Michael Johnson, ‘hunting for Reesey’s hills’, remarking ‘Look at those rolling contours, he’s modelling the torso…’. As Johnson recalls, ‘We got so excited thinking of the landscape as a female figure, but we’d never say any of this to Lloyd. Lloyd was a nineteenth-century man, settled into what he was, and we were twentieth-century kids, searching for the new.’12 Today one need only consider Whiteley’s early landscapes, such as The Black Sun, Bathurst, 1957 (private collection) – a portrait of melancholia prompted by his mother’s departure for an indefinite period overseas following the breakdown of her marriage to Clem – alongside Rees’ iconic south coast painting, The Road to Berry, 1947 (Art Gallery of New South Wales) to appreciate the master’s defining influence. And in turn, the debt of both artists to the surrealist landscapes of British abstractionist Graham Sutherland – in particular, his Welsh Mountains, 1937, one of the few international modern paintings hanging in the Art Gallery of New South Wales at the time.13 Beyond the sensual abstracted forms of his soulful landscapes moreover, Whiteley also absorbed Rees’ predilection for intentionally leaving visible pentimenti or traces of the artwork’s evolution within the finished composition – a dynamic painterly technique that would become a hallmark of the younger artist’s oeuvre. As Whiteley recalled of his landscapes at the Macquarie Galleries’ exhibition, ‘…they contained naturalism but also seemed very invented, and the adventure of them was that they showed the decisions and revisions that had been made while they had been painted. I had never seen anything like that before… it set me on a path of discovery that I am still on today – namely that change of pace in a painting is where the poetry begins.’14 Still reeling from his experience of living the turbulent, not-quite ‘American dream’, it is of little surprise that Whiteley should seek out the landscape of the central west for solace and inspiration upon his return to his homeland. As Barry Pearce, emeritus curator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, has noted: ‘…if in many of his other themes Whiteley confronted the difficult questions of his psyche, landscape provided a means of escape, an unencumbered absorption into a painless, floating world.’15 Oscillating between periods of extreme dependence on narcotics and restorative sojourns in the countryside (where the Whiteleys would invariably stay at the home of influential radio host, John Laws, in Oberon, or Michael Hobbs in Carcoar), thus the years that ensued witnessed the production of some of the most beautiful, highly acclaimed landscapes of Whiteley’s career – aptly earning him the epithet of ‘chronologist of the golden paddocks, sensual hills and willow-strewn rivers of the central west.’16 Culminating most famously in his highly successful solo show, ‘Rivers’, held at Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney in March 1977, as well as the two Wynne-Prize winning paintings – River at Marulan (…Reading Einstein’s Geography), 1976 (private collection) and Summer at Carcoar, 1977 (Newcastle Art Gallery) – such large-scale landscapes poetically captured the region in its myriad moods and seasons, featuring birds, rivers, trees, rocks, skidding insects and shy mammals (both painted and assemblage), all brought together with elegiac majesty.  Monumental in scale and conception, The Wren exemplifies brilliantly this genre – complementing the dominant vertical perspective of the gliding river that ascends the picture plane with an acute attention to detail to exquisitely depict the tough beauty of a drought-ravaged landscape in mid-summer. Indeed, as Jeffrey Makin, art critic for the Sun astutely observed upon the painting’s unveiling at Australian Galleries in 1978, ‘As a performer Whiteley knows few equals. His understanding of the mechanics of composition are [sic] often excellent as evidenced in ‘The Wren’. Here the relationship between flattened space and incident – ie. that bouncy blue bird – is beautifully balanced.’17 Recalling the legacy bequeathed by artistic predecessors Russell Dysdale and Sidney Nolan in their stark portrayal of the country’s parched interior, thus the composition similarly evokes all the colour and drama of drought – presenting a theatre of death and survival in the same reductive palette of pale desiccated yellows punctuated by cobalt blue highlights that Whiteley so favoured in masterworks such as River at Carcoar; To Yirrawalla, 1971 (Art Gallery of New South Wales); and Blue River, 1977 (private collection).  Yet, as intimated by the painting’s title, it could well be argued that Whiteley’s focus here is as much upon the motif of the little blue wren as it is the expansive landscape. Occupying a poignant place in his iconography from early in his artistic journey, birds embodied for Whiteley not only peace and tranquility – a refuge from the internal demons that haunted him – but in his later work particularly, represented a yearning at once for both domestic stability and personal freedom. As Margot Hilton and Graeme Blundell elaborated, ‘Whiteley so loved birds, loved the way they hung overhead, tacking against the breeze, sliding sideways, wheeling and screeching away. He loved their freedom, the mindless glide of them. They were like a blessing on his life, an indication that the hand of God was at work…’18, they were ‘the essential symbol of the song of creation’19. Whether painted, drawn , collaged or stuffed and mounted, ornithological creatures populate Whiteley’s most important works – from the hummingbird and eagle appearing in his chaotic multipaneled American Dream, 1968 – 69 (Art Gallery of Western Australia) and the lyrebird, blue wren and even Donald Duck nestled within Alchemy, 1972 – 73 (Art Gallery of New South Wales), to his individual portraits dedicated to particular species – for example, Orange Fruit Dove, Fiji, 1969 (private collection, Brisbane); Pink Heron, 1969 (Art Gallery of New South Wales); Lyrebird, 1972 – 73 (private collection, Sydney); Hummingbird and Frangipani, 1986 (private collection) and even a Butcher Bird with Baudelaire’s Eyes, 1972 (private collection, Sydney). And of course, there are the whimsical avian sculptures – a Picasso-esque owl created from a boot; pelicans fashioned from dried palm fronds; and giant egg sculptures atop Brancusian pole-plinths. Bereft of any hint of angst or menace and ‘motivated more by love than despair’20, not surprisingly such bird paintings remain among Whiteley’s most universally admired achievements; in the words of Sydney poet, Robert Gray, ‘In Whiteley’s bird paintings is embodied his finest feeling; they are to me his best work. I like in the bird shapes that clarity; that classical, haptic shapeliness; that calm – those clear, perfect lines of a Chinese vase. The breasts of his birds swell with the most attractive emotion in his work. It is bold, vulnerable and tender.’21 Situated both thematically and chronologically between the two legendary late 1970s solo shows that explored the themes of the Bathurst landscape and birds respectively – namely his 1977 ‘Rivers’ and 1979 ‘Birds and Animals’ exhibitions, both held at Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney – thus The Wren encapsulates Whiteley at his most lyrical, with his signature sweeping calligraphic line, dominant palette of sun-bleached yellows and luminous blues, and refreshing sense of freedom, optimism and contentment. An arcadian refuge of tranquil release and contemplation that seems almost beyond time in its stillness, indeed the masterpiece betrays an elegance and harmony unmistakably redolent of the Chinese art that Whiteley so admired, with the ‘repetition of motifs symbolising states of mind…the arabesques echoing the flightpaths of birds, which in turn mirrored the artist’s relaxed journey through his own domain.’22 In stark contrast to his more gruelling, visually demanding canvases of previous years, here there is no complex artifice, no anthropomorphic forms, nor flamboyant burlesques. Rather, Whiteley simply offers a romantic celebration of Nature in all her sensuality and rugged beauty, paying tribute to the landscape of his boyhood which first inspired his journey as a painter all those years ago. As the artist himself reflected upon such landscapes at the time, ‘…Sometimes I have to paint pictures that have an effortless naturalness, not artificial or synthetic, not manufactured – pictures that have no affectation through mental tricks but are graceful and according to nature.’23 1. Pearce, B., Brett Whiteley: Art and Life, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1995, p. 196 2. McGrath, S., Brett Whiteley, Bay Books, Victoria, 1979, p. 206 3. Sutherland, K., Brett Whiteley: A Sensual Line, 1957 – 67, Macmillan, Sydney, 2010, p. 15 4. Brett Whiteley, cited in McGrath, op. cit., p. 18 5. Brett Whiteley in Interview with Phillip Adams, radio 2UE, Sydney, September 1986 6. Sutherland, op. cit. 7. In November 1959, Whiteley was awarded Italian Government Travelling Art Scholarship for 1960, judged by Sir Russell Drysdale at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Whiteley submitted four entries: Sofala; Dixon Street; July c.1959; and Around Bathurst, 1959 the painting that won him the scholarship. 8. Brett Whiteley, cited in McGrath, op. cit., p. 18 9. Lloyd Rees: 22 European Paintings, 17 March 1954, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney.  10. Brett Whiteley, cited in Klepac, L., Lloyd Rees – Brett Whiteley: On the Road to Berry, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 1993, p. 7 11. According to Wendy, Rees was reportedly astounded when Whiteley pointed out to him the overt sexual elements that he had found in his paintings: see Hawley, J., ‘Whiteley and Rees: An Inspiring Friendship’, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 8 July 1992, pp. 13 – 17, cited in Sutherland, op. cit., p. 19 12. Michael Johnson, cited in Hawley, ibid., p. 17 13. Graham Sutherland, Welsh Mountains,1937, oil on canvas, 56.0 x 91.0 cm, Art Gallery of New South Wales. For discussion of the influence of this work upon both artists, see Pearce, op. cit., p. 18 and Sutherland, op. cit., p. 19 14. Brett Whiteley, cited in Klepac, op. cit. 15. Pearce, op. cit. 16. Hopkirk, F., Brett Whiteley 1958 – 1989: The Central West, Orange Regional Gallery, Orange, 1990 17. Makin, J., ‘Which Brett is for real?’, The Sun, Melbourne, 19 July 1978, p. 32   18. Hilton, M and Blundell, G., Whiteley: An Unauthorised Life, Macmillan, Sydney, 1996, p. 215 19. Pearce, B., Australian Artists, Australian Birds, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1989, p. 144 20. McCulloch, A., ‘A Letter from Australia’, Art International, October 1970, pp. 69 – 70 21. Gray, R., ‘A Few Takes on Whiteley’, Art and Australia, vol. 24, no. 2, Summer 1986, p. 222 22. Pearce, B., Brett Whiteley: 9 Shades of Whiteley (Education Kit), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2007, p. 25 23. Brett Whiteley cited in McGrath, op. cit., p. 216 VERONICA ANGELATOS © Wendy Whiteley/Copyright Agency, 2024

                Deutscher and Hackett
              • BRETT WHITELEY PARIS REGARD DE COTE
                Apr. 21, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY PARIS REGARD DE COTE

                Est: $50 - $100

                Brett Whiteley Paris Regard de Cote. Australian Galleries (1990). Paperback in good condition. 24cm x 29cm

                Sydney Rare Book Auctions
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Swinging Monkey 2, 1965, screenprint, ed.1/10, 76.5 x 54.5 cm. (29.7 x 21.4 in.), frame: 110 x 78 x 4 cm. (43.3 x 30.7 x 1.5 in.)
                Apr. 18, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Swinging Monkey 2, 1965, screenprint, ed.1/10, 76.5 x 54.5 cm. (29.7 x 21.4 in.), frame: 110 x 78 x 4 cm. (43.3 x 30.7 x 1.5 in.)

                Est: $4,000 - $6,000

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Swinging Monkey 2, 1965 screenprint, ed.1/10 signed lower right, editioned lower left, titled in plate lower left | Published: Marlborough Fine Art, London

                Lawsons
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, decorative print, 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1.9 in.)
                Apr. 17, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, decorative print, 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1.9 in.)

                Est: $200 - $300

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995 decorative print

                Lawsons
              • BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, decorative print, 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1.9 in.)
                Apr. 17, 2024

                BRETT WHITELEY, (1939 - 1992), Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995, decorative print, 96 x 62 cm. (37.8 x 24.4 in.), frame: 108 x 68 x 5 cm. (42.5 x 26.7 x 1.9 in.)

                Est: $200 - $300

                BRETT WHITELEY (1939 - 1992) Brett Whiteley Retrospective Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1995 decorative print

                Lawsons
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