Mitch Cairns, Agatha Gothe-Snape, oil on linen. Winner 2017 Archibald Prize.Friday I went to see the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prize finalists at the Art Galley of NSW. The finalists for this and previous years including photos of some of the works can be found here:
Overall, I thought the 2017 standard across the prizes was better than the last few years, although in each of the previous years there have been some interesting and sometimes quirky works. Three noticeable features this years were the number of self-portraits, the number of Aboriginal entries and the almost complete absence of the environmental themes that had been such a feature.
Noel Thurgate, Homage to Peter Powditch, oil and mixed media on board
As nearly always happens, I disagreed with the Archibald Prize choice. Going in, this portrait by Noel Thurgate of artist Peter Powditch was my favourite and remained so, although there were a number of other works that I really liked. It's just such an interesting work that captures the eye and the imagination.
Mind you, and this will not be clear from the reproduction, the mixed media would probably make it an absolute bastard from a conservation viewpoint!
This year's Young Archie Competition (this is open to young artists between 5 and 18) had some very impressive entries indeed. There is clearly a strong crop coming through.