Self-Portrait – Black and White Series is directly related to the artist’s 1976 Self-Portrait which consisted of nine comparable or identical images of her hands, taken when she was experimenting one day in her studio with a piece of wire and a hand-held camera. The 1976 version of Self-Portrait was produced in an edition of three, two of which are currently in private collections. This version was exhibited in Whittome’s solo exhibition Consonance at the Centre international d’art contemporain, Montreal in 1995.
The three sets of proofs are a special edition, each housed in a black coffret made by Jacques Fournier, measuring 45.5 x 40 x 3.5 cm. Each print is signed on the rear and initialled on the front lower right hand side.
Irene F. Whittome is one of Canada’s senior artists with a significant career spanning over thirty years. She ranks with such artists as Betty Goodwin, Michael Snow, Gerald Ferguson and Arnaud Maggs in the ongoing history of contemporary Canadian art. Her work has been exhibited in solo shows across Canada, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d’art contemporain in Montreal, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. In 1997 her work was the subject of a critically acclaimed six-month exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain, which ultimately toured within Canada and in 1998 she had a solo exhibition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. In 2000 the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec organized a one-person exhibition Bio-fictions, which in 2002 travelled to La Louvière, Belgium. In 2003 she had a solo show, Conversations Stanstead, at the Colby-Curtis Museum, Stanstead, and in 2004 a one-person exhibition Conversations Adru at the Art Gallery of Bishop’s University, Lennoxville.