An image of Portrait of Tao Triebels

David Fairbairn

(Australia, England, Zambia 28 Dec 1949 – )

Portrait of Tao Triebels

Other titles:
White portrait, Tao Triebels
Not on display
Further information

The subject of this drawing is an environmental engineer, Tao Triebels, who lives near the artist in the Macarthur region, south-west of Sydney. It is from a large ongoing series of monumental drawings of heads, all of local people and drawn from life, made by David Fairbairn over several years. In these he aims to present something of the subject’s personality, as well as appearance: ‘Ideas that are embodied in the works include contours, mapping and landscape – think of the head as something you walk across … ’ (David Fairbairn, 1999). 'Portrait of Tao Triebels' is drawn in charcoal, ink and chalk over four joined drypoint etchings. The latter were made using traditional intaglio tools as well as grinders, power tools and drills that resulted in deeply scored, printed black marks. A selection of related drawings, including other portraits of Tao Triebels, was exhibited in 'Headstrong: works by David Fairbairn' at the Casula Powerhouse in 2000.

This work won the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 1999 and was acquired by the Gallery in 1999.

Place of origin
Wedderburn, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Drawing, Print
charcoal, white chalk, brush and black ink drawn on four sheets of white wove paper
142.7 x 110.5 cm sheet, overall; 151.7 x 121.0 x 3.8 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r.corner, pen and ink "David Fairbairn '98".

Gift of the Trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation 1999
Accession number
© David Fairbairn