The Archibald is back

and on tour around Australia

· Exhibition news,Events

Just saw the 2023 Archibald Prize travelling exhibition and it was worth it. A display of 57 portraits of public figures, cultural identities and quite a few artist self-portraits.

The winner was Julia Gutman with a work she described as 'painting with fabric' of the singer /song writer Montaigne. Most interesting aspect was the use of fabric from her own clothing that was integrated into the piece. While the base was an oil painting, the figure is made up if 'found' fabrics and embedded into the work.


I’m also noticing the range of works accepted as ‘portrait’ as time goes by, the shift to the use of textiles in 2023, and from extraordinary hyper realism to more naive interpretations, with so much colour. Plus the sizes – very large and miniatures.

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Julia Gutman, oil, found textiles and embroidery on canvas. 198 x 214 cm

It's also a study in what is categorised as a 'portrait', many of the works this year told a story with multiple images captured in the piece.

There’s something really special about portrait painting, especially of everyday Australians, some famous and some made famous. It reflects a changing country - one that’s moved beyond the early days of the prize made up of portraits of politicians, lawyers and basically white men in the 19th century European style. A significant number of first nations artists and sitters are represented and gender parity also evident and growing each year.

I love that anyone can enter, very democratic, like the sausage sizzle at our elections.

Where did it come from? In 1919 JF Archibald , the editor of The Bulletin , left a bequest to establish the prize

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Natasha Bieniek , self protrait, oil on wood

8 x 6 cm ....yep a real gem of a miniture protrait.

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Andrea Huelin, Clown Jewels

oil, 120 X 120 cm

Winner of the Packing Room Prize

RIP beautiful Cal Wilson