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Tag: Archibald Prize

Sydney Morning Herald Column

A Retrospective of Chinese Archibald Finalists

Saturday, August 1st, 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When the Archibald Prize was first awarded in 1921 it was a strictly Caucasian affair. There was not much colour to the artists or their paintings – mostly brown pictures of men in suits. The riotous creations currently lining the walls at the Art Gallery of NSW would have seemed like bad jokes to the […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Archibald Prize 2015

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There was such a hullaballoo about the Packing Room Prize this year one might have thought that former Frenchman, Bruno Grasswill, had won both the Archibald and several versions of the Nobel Prize. In fact, he had won the kiss-of-death award, traditionally given to a picture of a good bloke or a good sort, as […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Salon des Refusés 2014

Saturday, August 9th, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

So much has already been written about Sydney’s $9.3 million public sculpture proposals that I’m in two minds whether to comment or leave it alone. Nevertheless, it’s an issue that won’t go away. It’s depressing that the very idea of a city council spending money on art brings out the philistine in a large proportion […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Archibald Prize 2014

Saturday, July 19th, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Imagine if the Archibald Prize banned all portraits that relied on photographs. The number of entries would drop from 884 to something less than 100, while the exhibition would be dominated by amateurs and unknown artists. Even the subjects would be strangers to most viewers because it’s unlikely that anyone mildly famous could spare the […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Salon de Refusés 2013 & Jenny Sages

Saturday, April 20th, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

This year’s Archibald Prize was one of the most even contests in decades, but also one of the least memorable. There have been pictures in previous competitions that would have romped home in this year’s field, but the luck and timing was with Del Kathryn Barton, not with the ghosts of Archibalds past. If there […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Archibald Prize 2013: A Review

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

This column comes from Japan, where like a character in a horror story pursued by an implacable nemesis, I’m writing about… the Archibald Prize! This venerable portrait competition is an Australian institution that is simply incomprehensible to the rest of the world. To outsiders the popularity of the prize, and of portraiture in general, is […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Archibald Prize 2013: A Comment

Friday, March 22nd, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

This year’s Archibald throws up one nagging question: “What’s that animal Hugo Weaving is holding?” Perhaps it’s something the special effects crew from the Matrix movies dreamt up. According to the news reports, Del Kathryn Barton, says the indefinable creature “demonstrates facets of the actor’s personality” – an explanation that raises more questions than it […]

Art Essays

Archibald Prize 2012

Saturday, March 31st, 2012 Art Essays, Australian Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

At that dreaded time of year when the Archibald Prize rolls around, the Trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW strap on their armour and prepare to be criticised, condemned, lampooned and humiliated. Admittedly they often bring this fate on themselves by their choice of a show or a winner. The only difference this time […]

Art Essays

Margaret Olley 1923 – 2011: An Appreciation

Monday, July 25th, 2011 Australian Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“Hurry, hurry, last days!” Margaret Olley would cry when someone tried to involve her in another hopeful project. It usually involved Margaret making a donation of some sort, or simply gracing an event with her presence. At the end she found it easier to write a cheque rather than face a room full of people […]

Art Essays

The 2011 Archibald Prize

Saturday, April 16th, 2011 Australian Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s appropriate the Archibald Prize should coincide with Easter, because the Trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW have repented of their sins of last year and asked to be forgiven. Not in so many words, of course. They have simply chosen a better, more credible exhibition and tried to put the horrors of 2010 […]