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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

White Whiteley

The portrait of Patrick White by Brett Whiteley

Previous exhibition from Thursday 10 May 2012 until Sunday 29 July 2012

To celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of Patrick White's birth, the Gallery will display eleven works by Brett Whiteley, centred around his scintillating 'Patrick White at Centennial Park 1979-1980'.

Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979-1980 by Brett Whiteley

This focus display brings the glowing finished representation together for the first time with sketches Whiteley made as the portrait took shape in his imagination. It brings to life, too, the incendiary association between two of Australia's blazing cultural stars.

Patrick White won the Nobel prize for ‘introducing a new continent to literature’. Coinciding with the one hundredth anniversary of White’s birth, the National Portrait Gallery will display eleven works centring on Brett Whiteley’s scintillating Patrick White at Centennial Park 1979–1980. The wild young artist painted White while the author was working on his autobiography, Flaws in the Glass; the two portraits, painted and written, developed together. The finished painting is one of Australia’s great portraits, but White felt betrayed by elements of the work. Drawn from the collections of the New South Wales State Parliament and the Brett Whiteley Studio, Art Gallery of New South Wales, this focus display brings to life the incendiary association between two of Australia’s blazing cultural stars.

6 portraits

1Patrick White, 1980 William Yang. © William Yang. 2Patrick White, 1987 Max Dupain. © Max Dupain/Copyright Agency, 2020. 3Patrick White, Castle Hill, Sydney, 1963 (printed 2000) David Moore. © Lisa, Michael, Matthew and Joshua Moore
http://davidmoorephotography.com.au/. 4Patrick White with Tom Jones, 1956 Axel Poignant. © Estate of Axel Poignant. 5Patrick White, 1990 Rick Amor. © Rick Amor/Copyright Agency, 2020.

Related information

Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980
Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980
Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980
Patrick White at Centennial Park, 1979–1980

Listomania

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Sarah Engledow describes the fall-out once Brett Whiteley stuck Patrick White’s list of his loves and hates onto his great portrait of the writer.

Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes

Patrick White by William Yang

Portrait story

An interview with photographer William Yang who recalls his encounters with the author Patrick White.

Sydney city (Patrick White and Tom Uren, Hiroshima Day demonstration), 1984
Sydney city (Patrick White and Tom Uren, Hiroshima Day demonstration), 1984
Sydney city (Patrick White and Tom Uren, Hiroshima Day demonstration), 1984
Sydney city (Patrick White and Tom Uren, Hiroshima Day demonstration), 1984

The activist A-list

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2007

Dr Sarah Engledow examines a number of figures in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery who were pioneers or substantial supporters of the seminal Australian environmental campaigns of the early 1970s and 1980s.

Dame Mary Gilmore, c. 1938 Lyall Trindall
Dame Mary Gilmore, c. 1938 Lyall Trindall
Dame Mary Gilmore, c. 1938 Lyall Trindall
Dame Mary Gilmore, c. 1938 Lyall Trindall

Painting writing

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2007

Dr Sarah Engledow explores the portraits of writers held in the National Portrait Gallery's collection.

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© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.