Shui (Water Wader) 1978-79 signed 'Brett Whiteley' lower right oil and mixed media on board 106.0 x 82.0cm (41 3/4 x 32 5/16in).
PROVENANCE Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney Private collection, Sydney Eva Breuer Art Dealer, Sydney Private collection, Sydney
EXHIBITED Birds & Animals, Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney, 10 April - 5 May 1979, cat. 16 (illus)
"People ask me 'why paint birds?' and I look at them dumbfounded! I've got no answer, except that they are the most beautiful creatures" Brett Whiteley1
Shui (Water Wader) 1978-79 was painted during a remarkable five-year period during which Whiteley won the illustrious Archibald Prize together with the Sulman Prize (each twice in 1976 & 1978) as well as the Wynne Prize (twice in 1977 & 1978), a remarkable achievement and a testament to his versatility and singular vision as an artist across such a diverse range of genres. This was a wonderfully successful period for Whiteley professionally, and his self-assurance as an artist certainly impacts on his approach to technique and theme.
Shui (Water Wader) explores a theme that Whiteley pursued during the late sixties, seventies and eighties through a series of paintings depicting birds. Whiteley's bird paintings are some of the acclaimed and commercially successful within his oeuvre. In fact three of Whiteley's most memorable solo exhibitions explored the theme of birds in 1979, 1983 and 1988.
Shui (Water Wader) owes much of its stylistic ingenuity to Whiteley's developing interested in the aesthetics and ideology of the Orient, which for the most part supported his interest in simplicity of design and the search for peace and tranquility. His exposure to Asian art through his travels and through the growing appreciation among Australian artists of the time, effectively widened Whiteley's visual vocabulary with extraordinary results.
1 Animals and Birds [Press Release], Art Gallery of NSW Press Office, 2002, np
This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.
ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.
If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.
Buyers' Premium and Charges
For all Sales categories excluding Motor Cars and Motorcycles:
Buyer's Premium Rates 22% on the Hammer Price
GST at the current rate of 10% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges.
For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.