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2019 Archibald Prize Finalists Unveiled!

Art

It’s a big day for the Australian art world today, with the finalists for the country’s most prestigious portrait award, The 2019 Archibald Prize, announced this morning.

Featuring a wonderfully diverse cast of notable Australians painted in a wide range of styles, the annual Prize has this year attracted a record-breaking number of submissions, with 51 finalists selected out of 919 entries. Amazing!

We take you through some of our favourites (including the winner of the annual Packing Room Prize, selected by the Art Gallery New South Wales head packer) ahead of the overall Prize winner next week!

2nd May, 2019

Through the looking glass by Tessa Mackay, oil on linen, 210 x 330.5 cm. Photo – courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.  Please note artworks are not pictured to scale.

(left to right) Mrs Singh by Tsering Hannaford, oil on board, 104 x 101 cm. Benjamin Law: happy sad by Keith Burt, oil on canvas, 59.5 x 59.5 cm. Photo – courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.  Please note artworks are not pictured to scale.

Christian by Thea Anamara Perkins, acrylic on clay board, 61 x 46 cm. Photo – courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.  Please note artworks are not pictured to scale.

Nakkiah in her dressing room by Laura Jones, oil on linen, 84 x 68.5 cm. Photo – courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.  Please note artworks are not pictured to scale.

Self-portrait by Kendal Gear, oil on linen, 91 x 116.5 cm. Photo – courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.  Please note artworks are not pictured to scale.

(left to right) Leigh by Mirra Whale, oil and acrylic on board, 42 x 42 cm. Crow (Maddy Madden) by Mathew Lynn, oil on linen, 213.5 x 137.5 cm. Photo – courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.  Please note artworks are not pictured to scale.

Multi-limbed self-portrait (after ceramic figures) by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, synthetic polymer paint and oil on canvas, 102 x 76 cm. Photo – courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.  Please note artworks are not pictured to scale.

Mariam Veiszadeh by Angus McDonald, oil on canvas, 73.5 x 63 cm. Photo – courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.  Please note artworks are not pictured to scale.

(left to right) Sally. And her boys by Jonathan Dalton, oil on canvas, 155 x 155.5 cm. Faustina by Kim Leutwyler, oil and acrylic on canvas, 76 x 76.5 cm. Photo – courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.  Please note artworks are not pictured to scale.

Akira by Jessica Ashton, oil on board, 56.5 x 46.5 cm. Photo – courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.  Please note artworks are not pictured to scale.

Mao’s last dance – Li Cunxin by Jun Chen, oil on canvas, 165 x 112.5 cm. Photo – courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.  Please note artworks are not pictured to scale.

Karla by Bridgette McNab, oil on polycotton, 71 x 93 cm. Photo – courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.  Please note artworks are not pictured to scale.

Tjuparntarri – women’s business by David Darcy, oil on linen, 240.5 x 180.5 cm. Photo – courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.  Please note artworks are not pictured to scale.

Idris Murphy and his dog Wally by Marc Etherington, acrylic on marine plywood, 117 x 87 cm. Photo – courtesy of Art Gallery NSW.  Please note artworks are not pictured to scale.

Sally Tabart
Thursday 2nd May 2019

51 artworks have been shortlisted out of a record-breaking 919 entries for Australia’s most prestigious portraiture competition, the 2019 Archibald Prize. The annual accolade celebrates paintings of notable figures that reflect Australian culture across areas including art, media, entertainment, politics, sports and more.

First established in 1921, the Prize takes its namesake from the founding editor of The Bulletin magazine (an Australian politics and business periodical that remained in circulation for 128 years!), Jules Francois Archibald, who was a passionate supporter of Australian journalism and the arts.

The subjects of this year’s shortlisted paintings include Afghan-born Australian lawyer and writer Mariam Veiszadeh by Angus McDonald with a breathtaking modern take of Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring; a wonderfully playful multi-limbed self-portrait by Sydney-based artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran; a simultaneously soft and strong portrayal of beloved author, journalist and LGBTQI activist Benjamin Law by Keith Burt; and a hyper-realistic depiction of respected elder of the Warakurna community and Ngaanyatjarra people of Western Australia, Daisy Tjuparntarri Ward, by David Darcy.

28-year old Western Australian artist Tessa MacKay has taken out the 2019 Archibald Packing Room Prize for her captivating portrait of actor David Wenham, who sits in the window of a cafe, contemplating the world beyond.

Following tradition, the Art Gallery of New South Wales head packer Brett Cuthbertson and his packing room team awarded the prize. ‘I love the reflection of the glass and that David’s in a reflective mood too. We blokes have a lot to think about these days!’, Cuthbertson said!

‘Sydney had to be part of David’s portrait, but I wanted to nestle David within a figurative essence of Sydney,’ Tessa said, ‘Painting the streetscape reflections merging into the cafe interior meant that I could depict Sydney in a more interesting and playful way and it gave me the space to capture a multi-layered and complex urban world.’

Archibald finalists along with shortlisted works for the Wynne and Sulman prizes will be exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW from May 11th – September 8th, and winners will be announced on Friday, May 10th. Stay tuned!

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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