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Ken Whisson : Painting and Drawing - Quentin Sprague

Ken Whisson

Painting and Drawing

By: Quentin Sprague

Hardcover | 14 November 2023

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A richly illustrated study of Australian modernist painter Ken Whisson's life and work.

Ken Whisson (1927-2022) was one of Australia's foremost artists, widely acclaimed for an unwaveringly idiosyncratic practice that charted a singular course through seven decades of modern and contemporary Australian painting.

Celebrated in his lifetime with the 2012 retrospective exhibition, Ken Whisson: As If, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, Ken Whisson: Painting & Drawing presents the first comprehensive study of Whisson's life and work. Richly illustrated, including with over 300 plates, and drawing on extensive interviews and archival research, it covers the artist's early decades in Melbourne, his long residence in the Italian city of Perugia, and his return to Australia in 2014. The picture that emerges is of an artist driven by the vagaries of memory and an enduring belief in creative intuition: a combination that resulted in one of the most original bodies of work in Australian art.

About the Author

Quentin Sprague is a writer based on Australia's southeast coast, on Wadawurrung country. His essays and criticism have regularly appeared in The Monthly, as well as in The Australian, Art & Australia, and Discipline, and in artist monographs and exhibition catalogues published by (among others) The National Gallery of Victoria, The Monash University Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and the University of Western Australia Press. He has worked variously as a curator, academic, art coordinator and artist. His first book, The Stranger Artist, won the 2021 Prime Minister's Literary Award for nonfiction.

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