Born in Sydney in 1939, Whiteley was sent to boarding school in Bathurst in 1948. When he finished school ihn 1956 he returned to Sydney and commenced work as a commercial artist and began life-drawing classes at the Julian Ashton Art School, painting on the weekends. In 1959 he was awarded the Italian Government Travelling Art Scholarship, and spend most of the 1960s in England and Europe working and exhibiting in group exhibitions in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin and establishing his reputation as an international artist. He returned to Sydney in late 1969 and established a studio at Lavender Bay in Sydney. He won both the Art Gallery of New South Wales Archibald Prize and the Sulman Prize in 1976, the Wynne Prize in 1977 and all three prizes in 1978. In 1991 he was awarded an Order of Australia. His self-portraits from the late 1970s began to trace his heroin addiction, and these impacted his life and career. Whiteley died of a drug overdose on New South Wales south coast in 1992, and his last studio and home in inner Sydney is now a museum.
Brett Whiteley is one of the most prolific of the artists listed in our database, with the number of works offered for sale by auction since 1971 of 3,421, of which 2,575 (75%) were sold. The highest price recorded for the artist is $6,136,364 for Henri's Armchair 1974-75 sold by Menzies in November 2020. In addition to this sale, a further 37 works by this artist have been sold for over $1 million. This year 84 works have been offered for sale. Works by Brett Whiteley are held by the Art Gallery of NSW, National Gallery of Australia and a further seven major public national galleries (see list below).
Brett Whiteley is listed in the following standard biographical references:
Could the second and subsequent works by this artist sold after June 9, 2010 for over $1,000 be liable for the Artists' Resale Royalty? More info…
Yes, eligible, subject to the artist satisfying the residency test. The artist is alive or has been deceased for less than 70 years. Contact the Copyright Agency for information on the residency test.
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