# 27660

WHITELEY, Brett (1939 - 1992)

Poem for a lover, 1988

$22,000.00 AUD

Offset lithograph printed in 9 colours, with additional hand colouring by the artist, 77.5 x 79.8 cm (image), 110.6 x 96.5 (sheet), signed lower right, titled and editioned by the artist lower left. Printed in an edition of 80 signed copies. Framed in timber, framed size 111 x 111 cm)

The following description is sourced from the Cairns Art Gallery who hold another example:

Poem for a Lover (1988) by Brett Whiteley is a hand-coloured silk screen, edition 31 out of 80 and has been generously donated by the artist’s former wife, Wendy Whiteley. The print is based on an earlier painting titled The dove and the plum tree (1982) which is an oil and collage on board. In his notebook, Whiteley made a list of works he wanted to complete in 1985. These included another Francis Bacon style painting, a plum tree landscape (‘Gorkyesque’ style), stork and heron bird sculptures, a beach triptych, an airbrush style painting (to ‘describe a wave in a new way’), a still life with magnolia, and a series of eight new erotic drawings (‘get porn magazines’).

The plum tree, cloud and bird in Poem for a Lover provide viewers with a deep sense of calm and a sense of the surreal. There is no room for menace or contradiction in this work, or other works included in his exhibition in 1988. This exhibition was dedicated to the spirit of Japan and a constant theme was birds, depicted in paintings, sculptures and a screen print. Whiteley recalled 1988 (the year of completing Poem for a Lover), as the most extraordinary year of his life; a year in which he felt his work belonged to more than ‘my will and my conscious’. For the first time, without the use of drugs, he felt there was a ‘clearness of light, form and issue, a kind of effervescence’. – https://www.cairnsartgallery.com.au/collections/poem-for-a-lover



SUTHERLAND, Kathie. BRETT WHITELEY Catalogue Raisonné : 1955 – 1992, Melbourne : Schwartz City, 2020, volume 5, p. 192 (illustrated)

Sutherland 155p

Brett Whiteley : the graphics 1961-1992, Melbourne : Deutscher Fine Art, 1995, p. 94 (illustrated)

Deutscher 99


Collections (other examples):

Cairns Art Gallery


Provenance :

Olsen/Irwin, Sydney (gallery label on back of frame)