50th anniversary of The Drunken Buddah celebrated - Art Collector

Ian Fairweather, On the lake, 1964. Synthetic polymer paint and gouache on paper on composition board, 67.3 x 96.5cm. Courtesy: the artist

A special limited edition of Ian Fairweather’s The Drunken Buddha has been published in celebration of the translation’s 50th anniversary.

Fairweather was one of Australia’s most important and influential artists, regarded by some critics as Australia’s greatest 20th century painter. His lifelong fascination with Chinese culture and Buddhism inspired him to translate the popular Chinese novel The Drunken Buddha, based on the exploits and misadventures of the 13th century Buddhist monk Chi-tien.

First published in 1965, the story is illustrated with Fairweather’s iconic artworks, on display at the TarraWarra Museum of Art in the Yarra Valley until 15 March. The exhibition brings together all available works from Fairweather’s The Drunken Buddha series for the first time since their original showing at Macquarie Galleries in Sydney in 1965.

The Drunken Buddha is being exhibited in conjunction with two related exhibitions — Tony Tuckson’s Paintings and Drawings and Gosia Wlodarczak’s Found in Translation. Together, all three exhibitions address the dynamic art of the drawn line, as well as highlighting the artists’ cross-cultural interests.

The exhibition is open at present, and will remain open until 15 March. Click here to view the website.

Larissa Bricis



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