PECULIAR BUT GRAND

UNKNOWN OUTSIDE AUSTRALIA, THE PROUD AND ISOLATED IAN FAIRWEATHER BRILLIANTLY MIXED THE STYLES OF EAST AND WEST

By now, you would think, all the first-rate Western artists of our fading century are known and labeled. Not necessarily. Consider Ian Fairweather, a Scot by birth, who, after a long life in China, Bali and Australia, died in 1974 at age 83. Totally unknown in America and Europe, he was the best abstract painter-though "abstract" does no justice to the imagistic subtlety of his work-that Australia ever harbored, and one of the very few modern artists to make a convincing bridge between Eastern calligraphic traditions and Western drawing. He was also-suspect though the term has become in our time of...

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