It’s a record-breaking year for the Archibald Prize. The 2023 finalists of the prestigious portrait prize have been announced, with 30 entries painted by women and 27 by men represented — marking the first time women have topped the shortlist.
Among the finalists is Cairns-based artist Andrea Huelin, whose painting of comedian Cal Wilson took out the anticipated Packing Room Prize, as judged by the Art Gallery of NSW staff. Three members of the Packing Room team — Timothy Dale, Monica Rudhar and Alexis Wildman — who collectively selected the winner of the $3000 prize, said the work work ‘jumped out’ as soon as it arrived. ‘The bright colours really popped, and we immediately recognised Cal as a familiar face,’ says Alexis.
Other familiar faces among the finalists include actor Claudia Karvan featured in Claudia (the GOAT) by Sydney artist Laura Jones, and Anh Doh’s emotive oil painting of beloved Gunditjmara and Bundjalung singer-songwriter Archie Roach, who died in last year. Artists also chose to depict non-binary actor Zoe Terakes, professional boxer Harry Garside, and former Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns.
Some of TDF’s favourites include David Fenoglio’s painting of Meriam and Yupungathi artist Christopher Bassi, Eliza Gosse’s dual portrait of herself and her husband, and former Archibald Prize winner Yvette Coppersmith’s portrait of philanthropist Lady Primrose Potter AC.
This year was also the highest number of finalist works by Aboriginal artists, with 38 represented across the Archibald, Wynne, and Sulman prizes.
The 2023 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman winners will be announced Friday May 5. The Wynne Prize is awarded to the best landscape painting of Australian scenery, or figure sculpture, while the Sulman Prize is given to the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project in oil, acrylic, watercolour or mixed media.
The shortlisted Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize works will be on exhibition at Art Gallery NSW from May 6-September 3. Find tickets here.