Now in its 101st year, the Archibald Prize has cemented itself as Australia’s oldest and most celebrated art award.
Last year’s record number of 938 entries proved tricky to match, however an impressive 816 artists submitted their works, among which were 20 Aboriginal artists – a record number of entries to date. In another first, this year also saw the highest number of Aboriginal finalists in the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes overall.
This year’s Packing Room Prize was awarded to Claus Stangl, for his 3D-style portrait of New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi.
‘I wanted to create a portrait that captured Taika’s sense of humour and to execute it in a playful cinematic style, reminiscent of the 1970s and ‘80s that were playing when he was a child,’ says Claus. ‘This piece is part portrait and part performance – an apt execution for a man who is as comfortable in front of the camera as he is behind it.’
Other portraits of prominent subjects include Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott, artists Patricia Piccinini and Reko Rennie, and author Benjamin Law as Venus.
The Archibald Prize 2020 winner, Western Aranda man Vincent Namatjira, is back this year (for the fifth time!) with a vibrant self portrait, inspired by classic royal portraiture.
Another past winner, Yvette Coppersmith, is also among the finalists with her beautiful portrait of climate activist and high school student Ella Simons.
Other TDF favourites include Natasha Walsh’s self portrait, eight-time finalist Tsering Hannaford’s painting of artist and activist Sally Scales, Michael Zavros’ self portrait at the British Museum and Daniel Boyd’s portrait of hip-hop group OneFour.
The winner of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes will be announced Friday May 13th.
The shortlisted works will be on exhibition at Art Gallery New South Wales from Saturday May 14 to August 28, after which it will travel to six regional galleries in NSW and Victoria from September.