The Archibald Prize celebrates 100 years with a line-up of dazzling finalists
Attention, art lovers! It’s finally Archibald Prize time and 2021 marks 100 years of Australia’s oldest and most-loved portrait award. Bestowed upon the best portrait painting, the Archibald Prize is a who’s who of Australian culture – from politicians and celebrities to sport icons and artists. Taking over the Art Gallery of NSW from June 5 to September 26, this year’s centenary celebration of Australian art is truly putting on a show …
This year’s Archibald Prize saw 938 entries with a total of 52 finalists selected – and in a first for the beloved exhibition, there is gender parity with an equal amount of 26 women and 26 men selected as finalists. It’s also the first time there has been more works by women than men in the combined Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes exhibition. In other good news, painter and former Archibald finalist Kathrin Longhurst has been awarded the Packing Room Prize for her portrait of singer-songwriter Kate Ceberano, marking the first time a female artist’s portrait of a female sitter has won. Talk about girl power.
The line-up of famous faces who made the 2021 finalist selection is nothing short of spectacular – notable portrait picks feature actress Rachel Griffiths, former Socceroo and human rights campaigner Craig Foster, NSW Governor Margaret Beazley, 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame and photographer Cameron Bloom and his wife Sam, whose inspiring story is the subject of the film Penguin Bloom starring Naomi Watts. To peep the full line-up of finalists, pop over here.
The Archibald Prize exhibition will be open at the Art Gallery of NSW from June 5 to September 26, 2021.
Image credit: Grace Tame via Instagram