Whiteley & Rees: more affinities, at the Brett Whiteley Studio, revisits the unique relationship and continuity of vision between Brett Whiteley and Lloyd Rees. It features works drawn from the collections of the Studio and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, beginning with the sublime poetry of a 1930s landscape painting of Bathurst by Rees and ending with an elegiac, river-swathed image of Paris of 1989 by Whiteley.
The younger man first saw Rees' work when only fourteen years old, at an exhibition in Sydney in 1954. This had an enormous influence on the impressionable schoolboy, eventually establishing between the artists a common ground of the subject of landscape, which endured for each throughout their distinguished careers.
A deep love of Sydney and its environs was expanded by Whiteley into a passionate search to understand the broader psyche of the Australian landscape and it was Rees who provided him with a new way of seeing. "I'd carry my easel around Sydney Harbour, work out where he'd stood to paint his pictures, and copy from him, learning from my master," Whiteley recalled years later.
Beautiful vistas of land and sea provided fertile motifs for both artists, with some of their most inspirational paintings and drawings born out of a sensory immersion in the space and rhythm that became, by the end of the twentieth century,indelibly part of a national identity of place.
But more importantly perhaps, this exhibition highlights an extraordinary relationship of mutual respect - one that began for two great Australian painters as mentor and protégé, and finished as equals.
The Brett Whiteley Studio, 2 Raper St, Surry Hills The Brett Whiteley Studio, where Whiteley lived and worked from 1988 to 1992, offers visitors a unique insight in to the artist. Changing exhibitions show different aspects of Whiteley's art.