For the second year running, Geelong Gallery has announced it will host, in a Victorian exclusive, one of Australia’s most prestigious art awards, the 2018 Archibald Prize, on display from 22 September 2018.
Eagerly anticipated and often controversial, the Archibald Prize is awarded to the best portrait painting, featuring a who’s who of Australian culture, with subjects often including politicians, celebrities, sporting heroes, authors and artists.
“We are excited to present the Archibald Prize in Geelong for the second time in two years,” said Jason Smith, Director Geelong Gallery. “There is much anticipation in the region for the return of the Prize and we look forward to presenting our community with extended opportunities to engage with artists, sitters and more generally with the genre of portraiture.”
Since its inception in 1921, the Archibald Prize has been engaging art enthusiasts, and challenging the way we see ourselves and our society. Over the years, the prize has been awarded to many of Australia’s most prominent artists.
57 portraits are featured in this year’s exhibition including 2018 Archibald Prize winner, Yvette Coppersmith’s Self-portrait (after George Lambert), and the Packing Room Prize winner, Jamie Preisz for his portrait of Jimmy Barnes.
There is a strong local connection between Geelong and the Archibald Prize. Christened John Feltham, JF Archibald was born in Geelong West on 14 January 1856 and lived in the region beginning his journalism career in Warrnambool when he was 15 years old.
Archibald was a passionate supporter of a distinctly Australian style of nationalism, journalism and the arts. In establishing the prize his aim was to foster portraiture as well as support artists and perpetuate the memory of great Australians.
Furthermore, a number of finalists in the 2018 Archibald Prize have connections to the region. Actor and 2018 Archibald Prize portrait subject of Anne Middleton, Guy Pearce was born and schooled in Geelong. There are also portraits by artists who are represented in the Geelong Gallery collection including Del Kathryn Barton, Graeme Drendel, Fiona McMonagle and Sally Ross.
Artists Yvette Coppersmith, Fiona McMonagle, Sally Ross and Amber Boardman, as well as Benjamin Aitken’s Archibald Prize subject Natasha Bieniek, are all shortlisted in the 2018 Geelong contemporary art prize – currently on show at Geelong Gallery).
The 2018 Archibald Prize will be exhibited at the Geelong Gallery: 22 September – 18 November. For more information, visit: www.geelonggallery.org.au for details.
Image: Yvette Coppersmith Self-portrait, after George Lambert © the artist (detail)