Home@735 Gallery in pleased to announce we will be exhibiting an early Brett Whiteley painting – Figure Of A Young Man 1958, oil on board in our upcoming show opening on Thursday June 15th.
Brett Whiteley (1939 – 1992) is one of Australia’s most celebrated artists. He won the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes several times, and his artistic career was bolstered by his celebrity status in Australia and abroad.
Whiteley started working as a commercial artist in 1956, began life-drawing classes at the Julian Ashton Art School and joined John Santry’s sketch club where he became friends with Australian landscape painter Lloyd Rees, who was a strong influence. On weekends Whiteley painted around the towns of Bathurst, Hill End and Sofala, producing works such as Sofala 1958. In 1959 he was awarded the Italian Government Travelling Art Scholarship, which was judged by Australian artist Russell Drysdale at the Art Gallery of NSW. Whiteley remained in Europe for the next decade, exhibiting his work regularly in group exhibitions in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin, establishing an international reputation. He also lived in the USA, staying at New York’s Chelsea Hotel where he socialized with celebrities such as musicians Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan.
Returning to Sydney in 1969, Whiteley moved to Lavender Bay and became involved in the Yellow House artists’ collective in Kings Cross. His work became highly collectable, in particular his Matisse influenced large-scale interiors and landscapes. In 1976 he won both the Archibald Prize for portraiture and the Sulman Prize for genre painting. The following year, he was awarded the Wynne Prize for landscape. He won all three prizes in 1978 (the first artist to do so) and the Wynne a third time in 1984. In 1991 he was awarded an Order of Australia.
Brett Whiteley died in Thirroul on the New South Wales south coast in 1992. His last studio and home in Sydney’s Surry Hills is now a museum managed by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Located at 2 Raper Street in Surry Hills, the studio is open to the public Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-4pm.