Friday, April 15, 2011

And the horses are in!

And its all about Margaret Olley!

Ben Quilty has won this years Archibald Prize with an up close and personal portrait of one of this countries great art figures - Margaret Olley. For the last few years Ben has been close to attaining this prestigious painting prise; the one that has alluded him and his very illustrious career to date. But it was Margaret who has helped him win this years prize with a very loose and very accurate rendering of Margaret in her synonymous straw hat.

In Ben's words....‘She’s such an inspiration... She was a feminist ahead of her time. She’s vigorously passionate about social and political issues, as well as art, and is enormously compassionate. Margaret has such an infectious attitude to both life and death. Recently, I was amazed at how many new works she had on the go. She said to me, “I’m like an old tree dying and setting forth flowers as fast as it can, while it still can.” I thought that was such a powerful metaphor.’

Can everyone remember this portrait for the 1948 Archibald Prize? Mr William Dobell painted a very young and beautiful friend - Miss Margaret Olley from Brisbane - and it still is talked about in art theory classes at universities across the country.

I don't think this work by Ben will be as famous. But for now it is THE painting of the moment and will be on display at the AGNSW to be studied by the next group of judges - a.k.a the public over the next few months!

Also just announced was the 2011 winner of The Wynne Landscape prize which was taken out by Richard Goodwin with this sculptural piece called Co-Isolated Slave.
And last, but not least, The Sulman Prize was won by Peter Smeeth with his oil painting called The Artists' Fate. And a gruesome fate it is too. Wonder what tales Peter could tell about his time being an artist?!

The Archibald, Wynne & Sulman Prizes

Open to the public until June 26

Art Gallery of NSW

Art Gallery Road The Domain 2000

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