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Fairweather Room

Ian Fairweather, 'Cafe tables' 1957

Ian Fairweather
Scotland/Australia 1891–1974
Café tables 1957
Gouache, watercolour and synthetic polymer paint on cardboard adhered to composition board
53.2 x 37.8cm (irreg.)
Purchased 2004 with funds from The Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Fairweather Art Appeal, Jan and Spencer Grammer and the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
© Ian Fairweather, 1957. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney 2007

Fairweather Room

December 2006 –

In 1965, a retrospective of the work of Ian Fairweather opened at the Queensland Art Gallery. Fairweather’s significance and mythic stature in Australian art were recognised in the most extensive exhibition of the artist’s work mounted during his lifetime.

Since that time, the Gallery has continued to acknowledge Fairweather’s importance, and in 1994 presented a second retrospective, with guest curator and author Murray Bail. The Gallery has also maintained a program to acquire key works from the artist’s oeuvre, the most recent being Cafe tables 1957, which was purchased with the assistance of a public appeal through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation in 2004.

In December 2006 the Fairweather Room opened in the newly refurbished Queensland Art Gallery, part of the major re-installation of the Gallery’s historical collection undertaken to coincide with the opening of the Gallery of Modern Art. The expanded display opportunities afforded by the Fairweather Room continue the Gallery’s history of documentation and scholarship of Fairweather’s work and provide an opportunity for ongoing consideration of his achievements. The Gallery’s holdings will serve as the basis for rotating displays, focusing in turn on the strengths within the Collection and on particular themes, supported by loans from other collections. The first theme for the series of displays for the Fairweather Room centred on one of the artist’s main subjects and abiding concerns: the relationship between mother and child.

As one of the institutions responsible for preserving Queensland’s cultural heritage, the Gallery researches and exhibits the work of artists who have made an important contribution to the development of the state’s visual culture. Ian Fairweather chose to spend the last 21 years of his life in Queensland, and produced his most significant paintings during this time. He is undoubtedly one of the state’s cultural icons, and it is with great satisfaction that the Gallery presents the Fairweather Room for the enjoyment of current and future audiences.

Selected Collection highlights

Bathing scene, Bali 1933

Two nudes 1934

Outside the walls of Peking 1935  

Palm Sunday 1951

Baby 1955

Composition 1955

Café tables 1957

Glasshouse Mountains 1958  

Kite flying 1958