Pop art, surrealism, and 20th century painter Francis Bacon all had an effect, as did Japanese and Chinese masters' brush-and-ink works and floating landscapes. Each contributed a new layer of influence to Brett Whiteley's work and the art for which he has become famous.
Brett Whiteley (1937-1990) was an Australian artist who had a profound effect on modern painting. His use of bright colors and abstract shapes in his paintings made him one of the first international artists to be referred to as "pop" or "pop art". He had a profound effect on many younger artists, including Peter Doig, Robert Jacks, and Richard Larter.
Brett Whiteley was born on 31 August 1937 in Melbourne, Victoria. His father was a doctor who later became director of nursing at the Royal Children's Hospital. When Brett was nine years old, his family moved to London where they would eventually settle in Chelsea, a neighborhood then popular with artists. It was here that Brett Whiteley developed an interest in art.
In 1955, when he was only 18 years old, Whiteley showed his work for the first time at the London Gallery. The exhibition was a success and it led to more shows across England. In 1960, Whiteley returned to Australia where he spent three years traveling around the country with his friend and fellow artist Tony Cawdron.
Brett Whiteley's works were included in the Recent Australian Painting exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in 1961, and he quickly gained recognition. The Tate Gallery acquired his "Red Painting" from that exhibition, becoming him the gallery's youngest artist to be so honored. Since then, his work has been displayed in major museums worldwide.
Whiteley studied at the East Sydney Technical College before moving to London in 1958. There, he became one of Australia's leading artists and was part of a group known as the London School. His works can be seen in many public collections, including those of the National Gallery of Australia.
He died of cancer in 1978 at the young age of 36. Today, he remains one of Australia's most renowned painters.
Whiteley studied at the Julian Ashton art school in Sydney and spent several months in Italy on a traveling art scholarship. In London, he was an instant success in the "Recent Australian Painting" exhibition (1961) at Whitechapel Gallery. He returned to Australia and in 1962 had his first solo show at the Sidney Myer Gallery in Melbourne.
Whiteley's early works are very much influenced by Italian Renaissance painting. But from about 1965, he started exploring other subjects too, such as boxing matches and music festivals.
He also did some beautiful drawings during this time.
In 1970, Whiteley had one of his first major exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria. And the following year he won the Archibald Prize.
Since then, he has been one of Australia's most popular artists. His works can be found in museums all over the world including the British Museum in London, the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney.
Have a look at some of these images:
Brett Whiteley - The Boxing Match (1967)
Brett Whiteley - Concert in Town Hall, Perth (1968)
Brett Whiteley - Dingo (1969)
Whiteley, who was born in Sydney, was transferred to a boarding school in Bathurst in 1948. When he returned to Sydney in 1956, he began working as a commercial artist at the Lintas Advertising Agency's Sydney office, enrolled in life-drawing lessons at the Julian Ashton Art School, and occasionally joined John Santry's sketch group,...
Bathurst is a city in New South Wales, Australia. It is the capital of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). At the, Bathhurst had an estimated population of 22,073 people. The main industry is agriculture with some mining activity nearby.
Bathurst was founded in 1827 when Charles Sturt passed through the area while searching for fresh water. He named the river crossing "Bathurst Inlet" after the town of Bathurst in New York State. The town was then established as a port for the rich agricultural lands around it. After the discovery of gold in Victoria, Australia in 1851, Bathurst became a major cross-country route until the construction of the Main Western Railway in 1889. Today, there are only about 15,000 people living in the city center, but this number increases significantly during summer months when tourists visit the region.
Bathurst is known for its historic buildings and arts scene. There are more than 300 listed buildings in the city center alone. The city's gallery hosts several exhibitions each year featuring local and international artists.