(Australia, England 07 Apr 1939–15 Jun 1992)
triptych: left panel 91.9 x 79.6 x 7.8cm; centre panel 211.8 x 130.6 x 8.0cm; right panel 31.2 x 31.2 x 7.3cm:
a - left panel; 90.4 x 77.2cm
b - centre panel; 230 x 122cm
c - right panel; 31.1 x 31.1cm
When Brett Whiteley and his family arrived back in Sydney permanently at the end of 1969 after a decade abroad, his reputation with illicit drugs preceded him spectacularly. Seven years later his controversial ‘Self-portrait in the studio’, which was awarded the Archibald Prize for 1976, was at once the image of an expansive life on the shores of Lavender Bay, and symbolic of a cage of serious heroin addiction within which Whiteley had found himself, and that would bring about his eventual demise.
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2008
Two years on Whiteley entered another controversial self-portrait into the Archibald - ‘Art, life and the other thing’ - and it too made an immediate impact. That year he got the trifecta, awarded all three prizes including the Wynne and Sulman. However now, his self-portrait was a far more bold, almost grotesque confessional, an elongated image of himself referencing the infamous debate over William Dobell’s Archibald-winning portrait of Joshua Smith of 1943, flanked on one side by a simian beast howling with anguish as a ghostly hand delivers it a syringe, and on the other a photograph of the artist looking serenely normal.
Unlike ‘Self-portrait in the studio, critics were divided about ‘Art, life and the other thing’, perhaps because of its sheer sensationalism, and lack of subtlety of the earlier work. Almost too brutally honest, it seemed like the final flaring of a dying star. Many who were close to Whiteley, then aged thirty-nine, felt sure he would not survive beyond forty. However he did survive for another fourteen years, finally succumbing fatally to his addiction in a motel room at Thirroul on the south coast of New South Wales in 1992.
Janet Hawley (Author), Artists in conversation, Richmond, 2012, 95.
Sotheby's Australia (Australia), Sotheby's Sydney: Important Australian Art (31 August 2010), Melbourne, 2010, 50. General reference to 1979 Robin Gibson exhibition
'On our selection: a moonlit mix' by John MacDonald, pg. 16-17., The Sydney Morning Herald 21 Feb 2009-22 Feb 2009, 21 Feb 2009-22 Feb 2009, 17. NOTE: Review of 'Great Collections' exhibition.
9 Shades of Whiteley 2008, 2008, 3.
John McPhee (Author), Great collections, New South Wales, 2008, 108 (colour illus.).
Cambridge visual arts: stage 4 2008, 2008, 122 (colour illus.).
'What lies beneath 95% of gallery's art collection hidden in basement' by Frank Walker, pg. 18., Herald Sun 30 Dec 2007, 30 Dec 2007, 18 (colour illus., detail).
'Figures of speech/ Figure retoriche: Verbal and Visual in Brett Whiteley' by Margherita Zanoletti, pg. 192-208., Literature and aesthetics: the journal of the Sydney Society of Literature and Aesthetics [vol 17, no 2] Dec 2007, Dec 2007, 192, 198, 199 (illus.), 200-206.
Peter Ross (Australia) (Author), Let's face it: the history of the Archibald Prize, Sydney, 2005, 76 (colour illus.), 77, 146 (colour illus.).
Jane Hylton (b.1950) (Author), William Dobell: portraits in context, Kent Town, 2003, 10.
'Intoxicated dreamers', 7-9, Drugs: a social history 2003, 2003, 6 (colour illus.). Exhibition guide produced by the Justice & Police Museum for the exhibition 'Drugs: a social history', 25 October 2003 - 10 October 2003.
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Whiteley with words, Domain, 2000, 8.
Red, black and Whiteley 2000, 2000.
Peter Ross (Australia) (Author), Let's face it: the history of the Archibald Prize, Sydney, 1999, 78 (colour illus.), 136 (colour illus.).
Barry Pearce (Australia) (Author), Brett Whiteley Art & Life, London, 1995, 38, 173 (colour illus.), 233. plate no. 114
'Self-Portraits and Other Intimacies' by Barry Pearce et al., Brett Whiteley education pack 1995, 1995, (colour illus.). card no. 9 in education pack
'Still life' by Janet Hawley, pg. 18-24., Good Weekend Magazine 02 Jul 1994, 02 Jul 1994, 21 (colour illus.), 22.
Susan Hunt (Author), The Archibald Prize 1921-1993, Sydney, 1993, cover (colour illus.), 8 (colour illus.).
'Artist was the $1m man' by Peter Cochrane, pg. 17., The Sydney Morning Herald 17 Jun 1992, 17 Jun 1992, 17 (illus.).
'Whiteley: The fatal flaw' by David Evans and Elizabeth Fortescue., Daily telegraph mirror 17 Jun 1992, 17 Jun 1992, (illus., detail).
'Brett Whiteley: the art of the warrior' by Janet Hawley, pg. 16-26., Good Weekend Magazine 17 Feb 1990, 17 Feb 1990, 22.
'The Archibald prize' by Anna Waldmann, pg. 213-236., Art and Australia (Vol. 20, No. 2) Summer 1982, Summer 1982, 235 (colour illus.).
Mervyn Horton (Australia, b.1917, d.1983) (Editor), Anna Waldmann (Australia) (Author), The Archibald Prize: an illustrated history 1921-1981, Sydney, 1981, 235 (colour illus.).
Art Gallery of New South Wales (Australia, estab. 1874), Archibald, Wynne & Sulman Prizes for 1978, Domain, 1978, 5. Archibald Prize: cat.no. 36
Archibald, Wynne and Sulman (1978), Art Gallery of New South Wales, 16 Dec 1978–29 Jan 1979.
Brett Whiteley: van Gogh self portraits, Greenhill Galleries, 27 Jan 1987–22 Feb 1987.
Brett Whiteley Art & Life (1995-1996), Art Gallery of New South Wales, 16 Sep 1995–19 Nov 1995.
Brett Whiteley Art & Life (1995-1996), Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, 13 Dec 1995–28 Jan 1996.
Brett Whiteley Art & Life (1995-1996), Art Gallery of Western Australia, 22 Feb 1996–08 Apr 1996.
Brett Whiteley Art & Life (1995-1996), Art Gallery of South Australia, 09 May 1996–16 Jun 1996.
Brett Whiteley Art & Life (1995-1996), Art Gallery of New South Wales, 02 Jul 1996–26 Aug 1996.
Brett Whiteley Art & Life (1995-1996), Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 18 Sep 1996–17 Nov 1996.
Inaugural permanent display, National Portrait Gallery [Old Parliament House], 04 Mar 1999–04 Mar 2000.
Whiteley with words (2000), The Brett Whiteley Studio, 08 Apr 2000–16 Jul 2000.
Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000.
Great collections (2009), Campbelltown Arts Centre, 12 Dec 2008–18 Jan 2009.
Great collections (2009), Tweed River Regional Art Gallery, 06 Feb 2009–15 Mar 2009.
Great collections (2009), Western Plains Cultural Centre, 03 Apr 2009–10 May 2009.
Great collections (2009), Albury Regional Gallery, 29 May 2009–05 Jul 2009.
Great collections (2009), Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, 24 Jul 2009–30 Aug 2009.
Endlessnessism (2010-2011), The Brett Whiteley Studio, 28 Aug 2010–03 Jul 2011.