NSW Art Gallery (August 2017)
The Varnished Culture has previously waxed acidic about the Archibald Prize, so it was with twitching, skeptical smiles that we traversed the crowded rooms of daubs of slebs. Wisely, the curators had again combined this well-known but somewhat debased portraiture competition with those for landscape painting or figurative sculpture (the Wynne Prize) and for subject, genre or mural painting (the Sulman Prize).
So we could admire something other than the mugs of B-listers, such as this very busy Australian copse by Nicholas Harding…
or this taste of Corot:
or this nice slice of magic realism:
Of the portraits themselves, there was a predominant methodology to gladden the heart of Scratchy Impasto, and the usual mix of the good, the bad, and the ecchhh!
The good included:
The bad (the ho hum) offered the likes of Lisa Wilkinson and her asymmetrical feet:
and the lady painted with a trowel:
And that tricky third category? We present a representative entry, without comment –
We mentioned that, sans a portraitist of the likes of Rembrandt or Velasquez, the landscape and genre painting proved of greater interest.
Our day was made by Tim Storrier (“The Arcadian repose”) (above). Storrier is an artist based in Bowral, and has just [Oct. 2017] won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize for his take on fellow-artist McLean Edwards, The Lunar Savant.
We also liked the superb agglomeration (below) by Juz Kitson:
or this stylish meld of evening gown and ancient tree:
and this little chap:
The exhibits were very well attended. If prizes draw them in, we guess that the more gongs the better! Here’s some more nice things: