Loading

Sorry, there are no upcoming session times for Whiteley at Dendy Newtown

Synopsis

Between the gigantic and minute, between struggle and grace, between wonder and rage, somewhere there is "it” – Brett Whiteley

A visual journey into the private life and creative legacy of Australia’s most iconic artist, Brett Whiteley, told “in his own words” using personal letters, notebooks, and photographs, interwoven with reconstructions, animations, archival interviews, and rare footage.

25 years after his untimely death, there has never been anyone like Brett Whiteley in the history of Australian art. A talented self-taught illustrator and painter, he was catapulted out of Sydney at 20 when he won a travelling art scholarship to Italy. So began a stellar career which saw him budding in Europe, flourishing in London, and almost disintegrating in New York.

Returning to Australia in 1969, Whiteley helped to define the young nation’s unique creative voice, as it emerged from colonial conservatism and independently entered an ambitious, cosmopolitan era. Whiteley combined the influence of Lloyd Rees (his own Australian role model) with eclectic inspirations gathered overseas, forming an illuminating personal style that propelled him into the global limelight.

Whiteley’s constant muse was his wife, Wendy. Both a catalyst for his creative passions and a witness to their incendiary consequences, she remains the sole custodian of his artistic legacy. When they met, she was an art student, almost 16, and 17-year-old Whiteley was instantly spellbound by her.

Together, the wide-eyed teen sweethearts grew into international art rockstars, with Brett’s increasingly complex and contradictory persona swinging them from triumph to disaster. Wendy was the subject of some of his most famous and popular paintings, and the mother of their only child, Arkie.

Like so many brilliant artists, Whiteley’s ambitious ascent to dizzying heights would eventually meet with a tragic downfall. Having built a tower of artistic statements exploring monumental ideas like Love, Evil, War, Beauty and “Endlessnessism”, he irretrievably fell from it.

Whiteley’s artworks were made across just 30 years, but their ongoing impact on Australia’s creative culture is extraordinary: he blazed a trail that still lights a path forward for a new generation of artists.

Release Date 11 May 2017
Running Time 1hr 40m
Rating M | Mature themes and occasional coarse language
Cast Brett Whiteley
Director James Bogle

You May Also Like

Left
loading... Exclusive

The Coming Back Out Ball Movie

MA15+ Documentary

In the middle of Australia’s divisive marriage equality vote, Melbourne hosted a gala event to honour and celebrate its LGBTIQ elders. These are their stories.

loading... Exclusive

Kusama - Infinity

M Documentary

Now one of the world’s most celebrated artists, Yayoi Kusama broke free of the rigid society in which she was raised, and overcame sexism, racism, and mental illness to bring her artistic vision to the world stage. At 88 she lives in a mental hospital and continues to create art.

loading... 6 Jun 2019

EOS: Degas - Passion For Perfection

E Documentary

EXHIBITION ON SCREEN journeys from the streets of Paris to the heart of a superb exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, whose extensive collection of Degas’ works is the most representative in Britain.

loading... 14 Feb 2019

Vincent Van Gogh - A New Way of Seeing

TBC Documentary

Perhaps more than any other artist, Van Gogh’s life has long captured the imagination of storytellers. Delving deep into his fascinating and sometimes deeply troubled world comes this definitive, award-winning documentary directed by David Bickerstaff.

loading... Limited Sessions

Free Solo

E Documentary

Live beyond fear.

Right