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Australian art

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Caresse de l'Astre

(circa 1959)


Ian Fairweather

Scotland, Australia

29 Sep 1891 - 20 May 1974


"Am sending today one package of paintings ... They are also (mostly) without titles - for they really refer (mostly) to nothing in particular - sort of soliloquies - I suppose will have to come under the heading of abstracts."
- Ian Fairweather 1959

The spiritual aspect of the Chinese aesthetic, which encompasses the idea that a finished work should 'emerge' from the sheet, impressed Fairweather profoundly, and directed his method of making pictures.

'Caresse de l'astre' was painted at Bribie Island off the coast of Brisbane, where Fairweather settled permanently in 1953. Around the middle of the decade, his work began to evolve from clear figuration to being almost completely abstract by 1959-60.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2000


Place where the work was made

Bribie Island Queensland Australia


(circa 1959)

Media category


Materials used

gouache on hardboard


73.6 x 97.8 cm board; 82.8 x 108.0 x 6.3 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner with monogram, black gouache "IF". Not dated.


Purchased 1959


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Ian Fairweather

Artist profile

Works in the collection



Where the work was made
Bribie Island

Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 6 publications


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 122 (colour illus.).

Murray Bail, Mary Eagle, Drusilla Modjeska, Martin Armiger, Joanna Capon and Pierre Ryckmans, Fairweather, Australia, 1994, 109 (colour illus.), 143. plate no. 37

Murray Bail, Ian Fairweather, 'The necessity of movement', pg. 130-140, Sydney, 2009, 138 (colour illus.), 256. plate no. 119; 160

Paula Dredge, Margaret Sawicki, Steven Miller and Lindsay Parker, S.A. Parker Framing Works, 'Works in the collection with known Parker frames', pg. 27-68, Sydney, 2004, 68 (illus.).

Queensland Art Gallery (Curator), Fairweather: a retrospective exhibition, South Brisbane, Jun 1965. 38; not paginated

Editor Unknown (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, Sydney, Jul 1965, 244.