Ian Whittlesea

Studio Paintings
1995 - ongoing

Studio Painting – Gertrude Stein
1998–2016
Acrylic on canvas
35 x 104 cm
Price on request

Studio Painting – Marcel Duchamp
1995–2012
Acrylic on canvas
35 x 95 cm
Price on request

Studio Painting – Paul Gauguin
2000
Acrylic on canvas
35 x 50 cm
Price on request


Ian Whittlesea’s work has consistently been concerned with the intersection of language and space, using the lives, words and works of other artists as its source. He has been described as an artist of fascinatingly rigorous refinement and his work as a paradigm of concision and single-mindedness.

Studio Paintings is a series of paintings of the addresses where artists and writers, including Marcel Duchamp, Paul Gauguin, Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein, and Henri David Thoreau, worked. They are an ongoing series, begun in 1995.

(...) In Whittlesea’s hands words become vessels to carry us on a long journey. They conjure up not only some of the absent locations themselves, but also a range of attendant thoughts. When we read the words on the paintings, just as the text disappears, we momentarily occupy a new space - neither the space of the gallery nor the space described by the painting, but the space of reverie.
These metaphors of reverie and the journey are central for the artist.
(...) he has made an ongoing series of paintings generically called ‘Studio Paintings’ which show the address at which other artists or writers have worked. In part these paintings are a meditation on exile - whether the inward journey of Proust in his cork lined room, Gauguin’s escape to Tahiti or the self-imposed exile of James Joyce as he travelled around Europe. An implicit connection is drawn between the long, solitary hours necessary to produce this work and the more flamboyant exile of others. In the space of the studio, as in the ‘oblivion’ of reading, one is simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. – Simon Morly