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Brett Whiteley: Another Way of Looking—Van Gogh

Art Gallery of NSW / Sydney / Art

When the Australian painter Brett Whiteley, at age 13, came across a book on Vincent van Gogh, it was life-changing—he suddenly saw the world differently. Less than 10 years later he became the youngest living artist to sell a work to the Tate (the abstract expressionist Untitled Red Painting, 1960). Because Whiteley never stopped taking inspiration from van Gogh, the NSW curators have chosen 60 Whiteley works that pay homage to the Dutch post-Impressionist, including Whiteley’s 1971-72 The Night Café, a rethink of Van Gogh’s 1888 original. The light bulbs are still pools of heat, but a single vanishing point seems to suck the scene into a psychedelic wormhole. —J.V.

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