This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

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!

This Week

Tiny Homes

A 'Minimum Dwelling' Studio Apartment That Maximises Every Inch

Minimal interventions and clever partitioning make the most of this this tiny studio apartment in Fitzroy.
Sasha Gattermayr

Art

Milly Dent Is Taking The Cliché Out Of Porcelain

The Sydney-based ceramicist uses skills she picked up in China for her new show, 'Wishful Thinking'.
Sasha Gattermayr
49.15

Podcast

TDF Talks With Textile Designer Cassie Byrnes

A hilarious chat with the celebrated Melbourne designer about new motherhood, the joys and perils of small business, and the benefit of bit...

News

A Valentine’s Day Pop-Up At Hattie Molloy

The experimental florist will hold a one-day-only pop-up at her Melbourne store.

Shopping

Julia Green Brings Morocco To Australia In This New Textiles Collection!

Stylist Julia Green launches a debut collection of rugs, textiles and ceramics handmade by artisans in Morocco.
Sasha Gattermayr

Food

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's Roasted Tomato Summer Soup With Mozzarella

Celebrating the best of easy summer eating with this sweet roasted tomato soup, creamy mozzarella and a drizzle of basil oil.
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

News

Australia’s Biggest Urban Art Festival Transforms A Kensington Warehouse

Can’t Do Tomorrow is an epic 10 day festival featuring local and international street art heavy hitters in Melbourne this month!
Sponsored

Homes

A Well-Balanced Home In Hawthorn

In nutritionist and meditation teacher Briony Goldsmith's balanced home, all the energies align!
Lucy Feagins
  2 hours ago

Dream Job

How Lucy Folk's Marketing Manager Landed Her Dream Job

Gemma Leslie spills the beans on what its like working at one of Australia's coolest companies.

Architecture

A Compact And Curvy Family Home In Glebe

Arched windows and internal voids converge in this mind-bending spatial marvel in suburban Sydney by Chenchow Little Architects.
Sasha Gattermayr
  18 hours ago

Gardens

A Native Garden Made With Recycled Renovation Debris

This Sydney garden by Fig Landscapes maximises drought tolerant plant life, and inventive upcycling!
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

An Enchanting, Rustic Rental In The Macedon Ranges

Lisa Hodge lives in this Macedon rental property, after making the tree change from Melbourne six years ago.

Architecture

A Multigenerational, Modern Farmhouse

Two houses are better than one, in this beach house for two families by Tom Robertson Architects.

Stays

An Old School Campground Transformed Into A Beachside Paradise

A tired holiday camp in Esperance, WA, is now a picture-perfect boutique accomodation offering.

The Good Room

A Stylist's Good Room In South Yarra's Most Coveted Apartment Building!

Heather Nette King shows us around 'THE room' in her apartment in Melbourne's Beverly Hills apartment complex.
Lisa Marie Corso

View Comments

Similar Stories

Art

7 Women Shaking Up The Australian Art Scene

The trailblazing artists making their own unique mark on Australia's creative landscape. 
Elle Murrell

Art

The Next-Gen Australian Artists You Need To Know

Australia's brightest young student artists on show at the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Elle Murrell

Art

2018 Archibald Prize Finalists Unveiled

Showcasing some of the finalists of Australasia’s most prestigious portraiture award.
Elle Murrell

This Week

49.15

Podcast

TDF Talks With Textile Designer Cassie Byrnes

A hilarious chat with the celebrated Melbourne designer about new motherhood, the joys and perils of small business, and the benefit of bit...

Homes

An Enchanting, Rustic Rental In The Macedon Ranges

Lisa Hodge lives in this Macedon rental property, after making the tree change from Melbourne six years ago.

Shopping

Julia Green Brings Morocco To Australia In This New Textiles Collection!

Stylist Julia Green launches a debut collection of rugs, textiles and ceramics handmade by artisans in Morocco.
Sasha Gattermayr

Dream Job

How Lucy Folk's Marketing Manager Landed Her Dream Job

Gemma Leslie spills the beans on what its like working at one of Australia's coolest companies.

Homes

A Well-Balanced Home In Hawthorn

In nutritionist and meditation teacher Briony Goldsmith's balanced home, all the energies align!
Lucy Feagins
  2 hours ago

The Good Room

A Stylist's Good Room In South Yarra's Most Coveted Apartment Building!

Heather Nette King shows us around 'THE room' in her apartment in Melbourne's Beverly Hills apartment complex.
Lisa Marie Corso

Architecture

A Multigenerational, Modern Farmhouse

Two houses are better than one, in this beach house for two families by Tom Robertson Architects.

News

A Valentine’s Day Pop-Up At Hattie Molloy

The experimental florist will hold a one-day-only pop-up at her Melbourne store.

Food

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's Roasted Tomato Summer Soup With Mozzarella

Celebrating the best of easy summer eating with this sweet roasted tomato soup, creamy mozzarella and a drizzle of basil oil.
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Stays

An Old School Campground Transformed Into A Beachside Paradise

A tired holiday camp in Esperance, WA, is now a picture-perfect boutique accomodation offering.

Gardens

A Native Garden Made With Recycled Renovation Debris

This Sydney garden by Fig Landscapes maximises drought tolerant plant life, and inventive upcycling!
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Compact And Curvy Family Home In Glebe

Arched windows and internal voids converge in this mind-bending spatial marvel in suburban Sydney by Chenchow Little Architects.
Sasha Gattermayr
  18 hours ago

News

Australia’s Biggest Urban Art Festival Transforms A Kensington Warehouse

Can’t Do Tomorrow is an epic 10 day festival featuring local and international street art heavy hitters in Melbourne this month!
Sponsored

Art

Milly Dent Is Taking The Cliché Out Of Porcelain

The Sydney-based ceramicist uses skills she picked up in China for her new show, 'Wishful Thinking'.
Sasha Gattermayr

Tiny Homes

A 'Minimum Dwelling' Studio Apartment That Maximises Every Inch

Minimal interventions and clever partitioning make the most of this this tiny studio apartment in Fitzroy.
Sasha Gattermayr

Similar Stories

Art

7 Women Shaking Up The Australian Art Scene

The trailblazing artists making their mark on Australia's creative landscape. 
Elle Murrell

Art

The Next-Gen Australian Artists You Need To Know

Australia's brightest young student artists on show at the NGV and the Art Gallery of NSW.
Elle Murrell

Art

2018 Archibald Prize Finalists Unveiled

Showcasing some of the finalists of Australasia’s most prestigious portraiture award.
Elle Murrell