The Astounding Finalists Of The 100th Archibald Prize

After a record-breaking year in 2020, Australia’s most prestigious portrait prize has returned for its one hundredth anniversary.

From the 938 entries (the second highest number ever, just behind last year’s count!), 52 finalists for the Archibald Prize have been announced. And for the first time ever, there is gender parity among the entrants, with 26 women artists represented alongside 26 men.

Here are some of our favourites of the the always astounding finalists, and look out for the winner announcement next Friday.

Sasha Gattermayr

‘Rachel Griffiths’ by Natasha Bieniek.

‘Professor Chandini Raina Macintyre’ by Karen Black.

‘The green suit, a self-portrait’ by Kirthana Selvaraj.

‘A mind–body dualism portrait of Joanna Capon’ by Dapeng Liu.

‘Dark dad / extremis’ by William Mackinnon.

‘I listen and they tell me the bush news’ by Julianne Ross Allcorn.

‘Self (bogong moth jumper)’ by Lucy Culliton.

‘Inside out’ by Jude Rae.

‘Autoportrait’ by Sally Ross.

‘Me and my sisters’ by Eunice Djerrkŋu Yunupiŋu.

‘The sea within’ by Julia Ciccarone.

Left: ‘Making noise’ by Kirsty Neilson. Right: ‘Professor Mabel Lee’ by Hong Fu.

‘ Portrait of Guy Warren at 100’ by Peter Wegner.

‘Kate’ by Kathrin Longhurst. Winner of Packing Room Prize 2021.

‘Stop pouting, you’ve had your turn’ by Peter Berner.

Left: ‘Repose’ by Mirra Whale. Right: ‘The white shirt – portrait of Tané Andrews’ by Nick Stathopoulos.

‘Two town camp stories’ by Sally M Nangala Mulda.

‘Filipiniana (self-portrait in collaboration with Maella Santiago Pearl)’ by Marikit Santiago and her daughter.

‘Fozzy’ by Julian Meagher.

‘Mara reading, in the kitchen at Mount Lofty’ by Tom Carment.

‘Trent mango tree, all the colours of the rainbow, Trent’ by Victoria Atkinson.

Sasha Gattermayr
28th of May 2021

The Archibald Prize started in 1921 and has steadily grown to become Australia’s most celebrated art award. It reached new heights last year, with a record number of entrants and First Nations winners in each of the Archibald, Wynne, Sulman and Packing Room awards. Vincent Namatjira’s win marked the first time in the prize’s 99 year history an Indigenous artist had taken out the top honour.

This centenary year heralds another first for diversity, with gender parity achieved among the shortlisted entrants. From the 52 finalists, 26 are women and 26 are men, with women making up the majority of portrait subjects.

One of these works was a portrait of musician Kate Ceberano by Kathrin Longhurst, which has been awarded this year’s Packing Room Prize. Other subjects of prominent Australian figures include Australian of the Year Grace Tame, artist Del Kathryn Barton, Arrernte and Kalkadoon filmmaker Rachel Perkins, actor Firass Dirani, and presenter and refugee advocate Craig Foster.

Many of TDF favourite artists were on the shortlist – Sally M. Nangala Mulda, Karen Black, Thea Perkins, Julian Meagher, Sally Ross and more – as well as an entry from last year’s Wynne Prize winner, Marikit Santiago, made in collaboration with her seven-year-old daughter and a vibrant self-portrait by art therapist Kirthana Selvaraj.

The winner of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes will be announced on Friday June 4th.

The shortlisted works will be on exhibition at Art Gallery of New South Wales from 5 June to 26 September 2021, after which it will travel to six regional galleries in NSW and Victoria from October. Find out more information here.

Recent Art