"Well, my real working used to be to carry around a small sketchbook and make studies from various things I saw, but in time I got interested only in a few subjects and I didn't want to go around looking for any more subjects. The problem was to do the one subject, and so it practically boiled down to that. By one subject I mean ... people."
- Ian Fairweather 1965
As Ian Fairweather's work developed it grew more summary and monumental, giving way to symbolic abstraction. Style and subject became unified, his final works increasingly painterly and meditative, with a profound influence on younger abstract artists in Sydney in particular.
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000
(circa 1970-circa 1971)
synthetic polymer paint on paperboard on hardboard
106.1 x 75.2 cm board; 122.6 x 91.5 x 6.5 cm frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
© Ian Fairweather/DACS. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Shown in 4 exhibitions
Two centuries of Australian painting, a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Orange Regional Gallery, Australia, 19 Apr 1986–15 Jun 1986
Older Australian masters: an exhibition of works by major Australian artists executed in the later years of their careers, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 16 Mar 1992–12 Apr 1992
- 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
Murray Bail, Mary Eagle, Drusilla Modjeska, Martin Armiger, Joanna Capon and Pierre Ryckmans, Fairweather, Australia, 1994, 136 (colour illus.), 143. plate no. 64
Murray Bail, Ian Fairweather, Sydney, 1981, 213, 216, 217 (colour illus.), 248. plate no. 112; cat.no. 204
Murray Bail, Ian Fairweather, 'Last paintings', pg. 220-235, Sydney, 2009, 225, 235 (colour illus.), 260. plate no. 202; cat.no. 231; titled '(Elephant)'
Deborah Edwards, Two centuries of Australian painting: a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Introduction', pg. 8-14, Sydney, 1986, 40 (illus.). cat.no. 43
John McDonald, Australian painters of the twentieth century, 'Ian Fairweather', pg. 28-39, Sydney, 2000, 39 (colour illus.).
Leon Paroissien (Editor), Australian Art Review, 'Ian Fairweather', p140-143, Rozelle, 1982, 141 (colour illus.).
Barry Pearce., Older Australian masters: an exhibition of works by major Australian artists executed in the later years of their careers, 'Preface', Sydney, 1991, (colour illus.). not paginated; no catalogue numbers
Barry Pearce, Southern reflections: 10 contemporary Australian artists, 'An Introduction to Australian Art', pg. 34-42, Sydney, 1998, 39 (colour illus.). figure no. 10
Jill Sykes, Look, 'Breaking the territorial mould: some thoughts from a new head curator', pg. 30-31, Sydney, Sep 2011, 31 (colour illus.).
Aida Tomescu, Look, 'Aida Tomescu: the art that made me', pg. 14-15, Sydney, May 2015, 15 (colour illus.).