Whiteley, Brett

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Whiteley, Brett Gender: M
born on 7 April 1939 at 06:10 (= 06:10 AM )
Place Longueville, Australia, 33s50, 151e10
Timezone AEST h10e (is standard time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 16°08' s_mo.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 20°19 Asc.s_aricol.18.gif 15°04'

Brett Whiteley (Front of the Brett Whiteley gallery in Surry Hills, Sydney)
photo: * Photo: 1717 at en.wikipedia * Depicted work: Brett Whiteley, license gfdl


Australian avant-garde artist, represented in the collections of all the large Australian galleries, and twice winner of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes. He held many exhibitions, and lived and painted in Australia as well as Italy, England, Fiji and the United States. In November 2020, his painting Henri's Armchair, from his iconic Lavender Bay series, broke the Australian record, selling at auction for A$6.136 million.

He was a student at the Julian Ashtron School before winning a travelling scholarship to Italy in 1959. In 1961 he was chosen to represent Australia at the UNESCO Young painters' Convention in Paris and received wide publicity when he won the international prize at the Paris Biennale. Whiteley returned to Australia in 1961 but by the late '70s, the struggle and tension that had charged his early work had been diverted into his personal life and his battle with heroin became public knowledge.

Part of his work Alchemy (1972–1973) was featured on the cover of the Dire Straits live album Alchemy (1984) although it had the addition of a guitar with lips held by a hand.

On 16 January 1976, his Self-Portrait in a Studio, where the haunted face of an addict peers from the canvas, won the Archibald Prize, which he won again on 20 January 1978 with Art, Life and the Other Thing, where his hand is caught between a brush and a syringe. He also won the Wynne Prize for landscapes in 1977, 1978 and 1984 and the Sulman Prize in 1976 and 1978. The year 1978 was the only one in which all three prizes have been won simultaneously by the same person.

On 15 May 1962, Whiteley married Wendy Julius and they had a daughter, Arkie Whiteley, born in London in 1964, who became an actress. The couple divorced in 1989. On 15 June 1992 at age 53 he was found dead from opiate overdose in a motel room in Thirroul, north of Wollongong.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • friend relationship with Dylan, Bob (born 24 May 1941)
  • neighbor relationship with James, Clive (born 7 October 1939). Notes: London, England
  • other kin relationship with Carlisle, Daniel (born 30 July 1974). Notes: Uncle/ nephew
  • (has as) other hierarchical relationship with Blundell, Graeme (born 7 August 1945). Notes: Biographer/ subject


  • Financial : Gain significant money 1959 (Won a travelling scholarship to Italy)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1961 (Represented Australia at UNESCO)
  • Work : Prize 1976 (Won the Sulman Prize)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 16 January 1976 (Painted "Self-Portrait in a Studio")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Prize 1977 (Won the Wynne Award)
  • Work : Prize 1978 (Won the Wynne Award)
  • Work : Prize 1978 (Won the Sulman Prize)
  • Work : Prize 20 January 1978 (Awarded second Archibald Prize)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Prize 1984 (Won the Wynne Award)

Source Notes

Dennis Sutton quotes him, given in Sutton's 50 Australian charts, published in 1996.


  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Drugs (Heroin addiction)
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (From 1962)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (One daughter)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids - Noted (Arkie Whiteley, actress)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Grant, Scholarship, etc.
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate (Australia to Europe, USA to Australia)
  • Personal : Death : Illness/ Disease (Heroin overdose)
  • Vocation : Art : Fine art artist
  • Notable : Awards : Vocational award (Numerous prizes)