Flag to Replace the Red and Blue Ensigns (Flag of My Disposition No.14), 1980 inscribed 'FLAG TO / REPLACE THE RED / AND BLUE ENSIGNS / 9-10-80 / AND 22-10-80' verso oil on linen 100 x 120cm (39 3/8 x 47 1/4in).
PROVENANCE: James Mollison, Melbourne Purchased from 312 Lennox Street Gallery, Melbourne in July 1989
EXHIBITED: Ken Whisson - A Survey, Pinacotheca, Melbourne; Shepparton Art Gallery, Shepparton; Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Ballarat; Warnambool Art Gallery, Warnambool; Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong 1990 - 1991, cat. no. 23 Making it New: Focus on Contemporary Australian art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 8 September - 11 November 2009 Laverty 2, Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, Newcastle, 14 May - 14 August 2011 Ken Whisson: As If, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 17 March - 15 July 2012; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 28 September - 25 November 2012
LITERATURE: Ken Whisson - A Survey, exh. cat., Pinacotheca, Melbourne, 1990 - 1991, cat. no. 23, p.15 (illus.) Ken Whisson Paintings 1947 - 1999, Niagara Publishing, Melbourne, 2001, cat. no. 34, p.50 (illus. cover) Making it New: Focus on Contemporary Australian art, exh. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2009, p.187, p.176 (illus.) 'Ken Whisson: Between Psyce and Spirit', Artist Profile, Issue 10, 2010, p.53 (illus.) Glenn Barkley & Lesley Harding, Ken Whisson: As If, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne & Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2012, p.144-145 (illus.)
In 1977 Ken Whisson moved to Perugia, Italy where his work underwent a major technical shift as he abandoned board and moved to canvas. The series of works known as the Flag paintings, of which Flag to replace the Red and Blue Ensigns (Flag of My Disposition No.14) (1980) is a key composition, ushered in a radical reinvention in the way his paintings were constructed.
The painting includes many of the established motifs and forms he had developed over the previous twenty years such as ships and planes but it looks forward to an emphasis on the increasing interplay between linear description and solid shapes.