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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

Daily 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. 2Patrick White, 1987 Max Dupain. 3Patrick White, Castle Hill, Sydney, 1963 (printed 2000) David Moore. 4Patrick White with Tom Jones, 1956 Axel Poignant. 5Patrick White, 1990 Rick Amor.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
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.