Brett Whiteley (1939-1992) Platypus, 1970
Lot 1
Brett Whiteley
(1939-1992)
Platypus, 1970
Sold for AU$ 54,900 (US$ 41,316) inc. premium

Lot Details
Brett Whiteley (1939-1992)
Platypus, 1970
signed and dated lower right: 'brett whiteley 1970'
charcoal, collage and applied feathers on paper
72.0 x 53.0cm (28 3/8 x 20 7/8in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE
    Bonython Gallery, Sydney
    Australian Galleries, Melbourne (label attached verso)
    Private collection
    Goodmans Auctioneers, Australian & European Paintings, Sydney, 3 August 1999, lot 122
    Eva Breuer Art Dealer, Sydney (label attached verso)
    Private collection, Sydney, acquired from the above in 2001

    EXHIBITED
    Sounds, Paintings, Sculpture, Film, Drawings, Jottings, Innuendos, and Sideglances, Bonython Galleries, Sydney, June 1970; then Australian Galleries, Melbourne, 9 - 30 August 1970 (illus. as screenprint exhibition poster)

    RELATED WORKS
    Platypus, screenprint, exhibition poster for Australian Galleries, 1970
    Platypus, screenprint, advertising poster for Festival of Perth, 1971

    Whilst Brett Whiteley's 1970 exhibitions with Bonython Galleries in Sydney and Australian Galleries in Melbourne were uncatalogued and untitled, we can be certain given its use on the exhibition poster to promote the show that our work, Platypus, was included. With his recently completed The American Dream, as its centrepiece, the exhibition also included a 3 metre portrait of Baudelaire as well as 'a Japanese room, and images of Australia - The Olgas, Kookaburras, Aboriginal totems, pictures of the Opera House and Sydney falling into the sea. There were gloriously decorative honeyeaters and frangipanis from the paradise which had rejected him. It was overwhelming to almost all who viewed it.

    There was also sound, as Laurie Thomas noted: "A sound like a million cicadas pierces the eardrums when you go into Brett Whiteley's exhibition at Bonython Gallery. The cicadas becoming screaming sirens, police sirens and female sirens, and the medley and the cacophony of cities, sex, despair, joy, evil and beauty. This is no cool withdrawal from life."'1

    We gratefully acknowledge the kind assistance of Kathie Sutherland in cataloguing this work.

    1. Laurie Thomas, 'Passion and Power in Whiteley Exhibition', The Australian, 16 June 1970
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