“I always kind of skip through the Wynne Prize.”, I told my friend Michaela. We were visiting the Archibald Prize, Australia’s most prestigious portraiture award. This year’s competition saw a record number of entries, with over 1000 works.
The unanimous winner was a portrait of singer Jessica Cerro, better known as Montaigne. She represented Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest a few years ago. Critics said Gutman’s painting captured the artist’s energy and charisma, while also conveying a sense of vulnerability. I thought it was okay.
The Archibald Prize is about portraits, the Wynne Prize is about landscapes, and the Sulman Prize is about contemporary art. All three are featured each year at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Of the three, I often like the Sulman Prize works the best. They tend to be more cutting-edge. They often feature a wider range of subjects and styles than the Archibald Prize works. And they often feature more diversity in terms of the artists who create them.
I think the Sulman Prize is a great way to see the latest and greatest in Australian contemporary art.
These are some of my favorites from all three competitions this year.
And then there’s the Young Archy, which features work by under 18s. Sometimes that’s the best of all.