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2017 Archibald Prize Finalists

Art

This afternoon we showcase a selection of 2017 finalists from Australasia’s iconic portraiture award, the Archibald Prize, announced just this morning.

We also speak with Art Gallery of NSW curator Anne Ryan, and unveil the winner of the staff-choice Packing Room Prize – so much local talent to celebrate, both painting the canvases and posing for them!

20th July, 2017

This morning the finalists for the 2017 Archibald Prize were announced. Artworks: Keith Burt’s ‘Bare Tarragh’ oil on canvas (40x40cm), and Madeleine Winch’s ‘Facing the canvas’ oil on canvas (100x100cm). Photos – copyright of the artists, courtesy of Felicity Jenkins for Art Gallery of NSW.

Yvette Coppersmith’s ‘Professor Gillian Triggs’ oil on linen (137.5x110cm). Photo – copyright of the artist, courtesy of Jenni Carter for Art Gallery of NSW.

Andrew Lloyd Greensmith’s ‘The inner stillness of Eileen Kramer’ oil on linen (86 x51cm). Photo – copyright of the artist, courtesy of Felicity Jenkins for Art Gallery of NSW.

Jon Campbell ‘Two sunny boys (Peter and Jeremy Oxley)’ enamel on plywood (90x120cm). Photo – copyright of the artist, courtesy of Jenni Carter for Art Gallery of NSW.

Dee Smart’s ‘The mayor of Bondi ‘ oil and acrylic on canvas (77x77cm), and Marc Etherington’s ‘Paul (Paul Williams in his studio)’ acrylic on canvas (144x164cm). Photos – copyright of the artists, courtesy of Jenni Carter and Felicity Jenkins for Art Gallery of NSW.

Kimberley Leutwyler’s ‘Heyman’ (soccer player Michelle Heyman) oil on canvas (152x102cm). Photo – copyright of the artist, courtesy of Jenni Carter for Art Gallery of NSW.

Anh Do’s ‘JC’ (actor Jack Charles) oil on linen with unicorn hologram, dead insects found in garden and other mixed media (240x200cm). Photo – copyright of the artist, courtesy of Mim Stirling for Art Gallery of NSW.

WilliamHLuke’s ‘Remy QC’ acrylic on linen (41x41cm), and Jonathan Dalton’s ‘Lottie and James’ oil on linen (154x167cm). Photos – copyright of the artists, courtesy of Jenni Carter and Felicity Jenkins for Art Gallery of NSW.

The Packing Room Prize was awarded to Peter Smeeth’s ‘Lisa Wilkinson AM’ oil on linen (100x150cm). Photo – copyright of the artist, courtesy of Felicity Jenkins for Art Gallery of NSW.

Andrew Bonneau’s ‘Portrait of Ayako Saito’ oil on linen (60x50cm). Photo – copyright of the artist, courtesy of Mim Stirling for Art Gallery of NSW.

A portrait of Art Gallery of NSW’s long-serving storeman, Steve Peters who has today adjudicated over his last (26th!) Packing Room Prize. Lucy Culliton’s ‘Finished packing’ oil on canvas (170x145cm). Photo – copyright of the artist, courtesy of Jenni Carter for Art Gallery of NSW.

Elle Murrell
Thursday 20th July 2017

‘It is a uniquely popular art exhibition that has managed to capture the imagination of the public in a way unlike any other exhibition in the country’

This morning the finalists for the 2017 Archibald Prize, Australasia’s iconic portraiture painting award, were announced.

Among the diverse 43 finalists honoured are celebrity polymath Anh Do, recent-headline-making artist Jon Campbell, former actor Dee Smart, The Boys of Sydney Grammar Edgecliff Preparatory School, and one artist simply going by the pseudonym ‘what’.

The winner of the $100,000 prize is to be announced on July 28th, the day before the exhibition featuring all finalists opens at the Art Gallery of NSW. ‘It is a uniquely popular art exhibition that has managed to capture the imagination of the public in a way unlike any other exhibition in the country,’ tells Anne Ryan, curator of Australian Art at the Art Gallery of NSW. ‘It is art painted by Australians, about Australians. There’s nothing else quite like it.’

Since 1921, the Archibald Prize, has been awarded annually to the best portrait, ‘preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia’, as judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW. It was first established by journalist and trustee JF Archibald in the hope that it would foster portraiture as well as support artists and perpetuate the memory of great Aussies, with many prominent artists participating and highly successful subjects gracing their canvases. Past winners include John Olsen for ‘Self portrait Janus Faced’, Guy Maestri for ‘Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu’, and last year, Louise Hearman for ‘Barry’, her portrait of comedian Barry Humphries.

Just a couple of hours ago, artist Peter Smeeth’s 34th Archibald entry into the competition: an oil-on-linen portrait of broadcaster ‘Lisa Wilkinson AM’, was awarded the popular Packing Room Prize. This special honour is chosen by the Gallery staff who receive, unpack and hang the entries, with 51 per cent of the vote going to the Gallery’s storeman, Steve Peters – after 26 Packing Room Prizes and 35 Archibald Prizes, this year marks the veteran employee’s final adjudication!

‘I looked at the painting and thought, that’s a great likeness. It’s how Lisa looks every morning on the telly. She looks like she’s laughing at something Karl said!’ Steve told the Art Gallery of NSW. ‘Mind you, Lisa’s been in the wars recently, so I reckon the safest place for her to stay for a while is right on that couch – just like me in my comfy chair in my portrait by Lucy Culliton (pictured above right). That’s where I intend to spend lots of time too in the coming weeks,’ he added.

Finalists of the Wynne Prize (landscape paintings of Australian scenery in oils or watercolours or figure sculpture), and the Sulman Prize, (subject paintings, genre paintings or mural projects in oil, acrylic, watercolour or mixed media), as well as the Young Archie, showcasing the creativity of budding artists between the ages of five and 18, were also revealed. ‘They are looking at the key subjects that have been the bedrock of art for hundreds of years – landscape, sculpture, and genre/subject painting,’ says curator Anne Ryan. ‘Together with the Young Archie and Packing Room Prize, they embrace our youngest artists and popular taste as well as the latest ideas of contemporary painters and sculptors in this country.’

‘Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2017’
July 29th to October 22nd
Major Exhibition Gallery, Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery Rd, Domain, Sydney.

For more information visit the Art Gallery of NSW website, here.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net