'The pool' is one of Fairweather's masterpieces. It has clear references to Cézanne, revealing Fairweather's deep admiration for his work, with linear patterning derived from a fascination with Chinese calligraphy. His indebtedness to the famous bathing subjects of Cézanne is clearly signified by the figures, entangled mysteriously within the picture plane. It indicates the growing complexity of Fairweather's images from the late 1940s, juxtaposing positive over negative forms and painting in many accumulating layers. This is one of four major paintings from 1959 to 1962 in which Fairweather added the Chinese characters for the word 'auspicious' to his signature, indicating his own satisfaction with them.
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000
synthetic polymer paint on cardboard on hardboard
96.5 x 117.8 cm board
Signature & date
Signed l.r. corner, black synthetic polymer paint "IF" [monogram]. Not dated.
Purchased with funds provided by the Cézanne Dinner Fund 1999
© Ian Fairweather/DACS. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Where the work was made
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Recent Australian Painting, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, Jun 1961–Jul 1961
The Kim Bonython Collection, Museum of Modern Art in Australia, Melbourne, 1963–1963
Fairweather: a retrospective exhibition (1965-1966):
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 03 Jun 1965–04 Jul 1965
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 21 Jul 1965–22 Aug 1965
- National Gallery of Victoria [Swanston Street], Melbourne 09 Sep 1965–10 Oct 1965
- National Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 26 Oct 1965–21 Nov 1965
- Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth 09 Dec 1965–16 Jan 1966
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart 10 Feb 1966–13 Mar 1966
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 01 Oct 1994–27 Nov 1994
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 17 Dec 1994–19 Feb 1995
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 22 Mar 1995–07 May 1995
Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000
Referenced in 10 publications
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2000, 'Year in review', pg. 8-20, Sydney, 2000, 5 (colour illus.), 8.
Murray Bail, Ian Fairweather, 'Anak Bayan', pg. 141-157, Sydney, 2009, 155, 156 (colour illus.), 256. plate no. 133; cat.no. 164
Murray Bail, Mary Eagle, Drusilla Modjeska, Martin Armiger, Joanna Capon and Pierre Ryckmans, Fairweather, Australia, 1994, 33, 107 (colour illus.), 143. plate no. 35
Murray Bail, Ian Fairweather, Sydney, 1981, 154, 155 (colour illus.).
Deborah Edwards, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Mosaic and figure', pg. 213-214, Sydney, 2000, 231 (colour illus.), 300.
Ross K Luck, A guide to modern Australian painting, Melbourne, 1969, 34 (colour illus.).
John Douglas Pringle, Australian Painting Today, London, 1963, 72 (colour illus.).
Queensland Art Gallery (Curator), Fairweather: a retrospective exhibition, South Brisbane, Jun 1965. cat.no. 37; not paginated
Laurie Thomas, Modern Australian painting and sculpture: a survey of Australian art from 1950-1960, 'Introduction', pg. 1-10, Adelaide, 1960, 49 (colour illus.). titled 'Pool'; Collection of Kym Bonython, Adelaide;
Whitechapel Art Gallery (Compilator), Recent Australian Painting, London, 1961, 19 (illus.). cat.no. 23; plate no. XIX; titled "Pool".