Sunday, August 3, 2014

Art Prize Season

Note, that I did not deliberately try to choose three I liked from each category. It just turned out that way,

The Archibald Prize is awarded annually to the best portrait, 'preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia’. The Archibald Prize was first awarded in 1921. In establishing the prize, JF Archibald’s aim was to foster portraiture as well as support artists and perpetuate the memory of great Australians. Archibald himself was a jornalist, and published the original Bulletin. It should not be forgotten that he was a racist pig.

L to R: Jude Rae's portrait of Judith Peirse; Mariola Smarzak's portrait of Wendy Arnold; and Mirra Whale's portrait of Tom Urwn.
I think the Uren portrait is a good representation of a deeply interesting man reaching the end of this life.

he Wynne Prize is awarded annually for 'the best landscape painting of Australian scenery in oils or watercolours or for the best example of figure sculpture by Australian artists’. The prize was established following a bequest by Richard Wynne, who died in 1895, and first awarded in 1897, in honour of the official opening of the Gallery at its present site.

L to R: "Axis Mundi", by Tim Johnson; "Man moves Mountain" by Alexander McKenzie; and, "Where do we go now?" by Andrew Tompkins
The Tompkins work is outstanding, and even better in person.

The Sulman Prize is awarded for the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project by an Australian artist. A genre painting is normally a composition representing some aspect or aspects of everyday life, and may feature figurative, still-life, interior or figure-in-landscape themes. A subject painting, in contrast, is idealised or dramatised. Typically, a subject painting takes its theme from history, poetry, mythology or religion. In both cases, however, the style may be figurative, representative, abstract or semi-abstract. A mural is a picture fixed directly to a wall or ceiling as part of an architectural and/or decorative scheme. Established within the terms of Sir John Sulman’s bequest, the prize was first awarded in 1936.

L to R: "A different kind of Eden" by Leo Robba; "Martina Navratilova vs Chris Evert" by Chris Hayes; and, "T-rex, tyrant lizard king by Andrew Sullivan.
The Hayes work is a grand conceit which I think he has to have based upon the "Where's Wally" concept.