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Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes

  • Art, Galleries
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  1. Detail of 'Head in the sky, feet on the ground' by Julia Gutman
    Photograph: AGNSW/Jenni Carter | Detail of 'Head in the sky, feet on the ground' by Julia Gutman
  2. Archibald Prize 2023 Installation image
    Photograph: AGNSW/Jenni Carter
  3. Archibald Prize 2023 Installation image
    Photograph: AGNSW/Jenni Carter
  4. Archibald Prize 2023 Installation image
    Photograph: AGNSW/Jenni Carter
  5. Archibald Prize 2023 Installation image
    Photograph: AGNSW/Jenni Carter

Time Out says

Check out all the artistic takes on famous faces at Australia's favourite art prize – along with its stunning sibling exhibitions

It’s the face that stops the nation. Australia’s favourite portrait prize is back for 2023, and as always it's a delight to see which famous faces have made it into the mix of painterly interpretations. This year, 949 paintings were submitted, and you can now peruse the 57 finalists at the Art Gallery of NSW from May 6 to September 3, after which they’ll ship off around the country.

So who took out the top gong? Sydney-based artist Julia Gutman has won the Archibald Prize 2023, taking home $100,000 for her portrait ‘Head in the sky, feet on the ground’ of singer-songwriter Montaigne.

The 29-year-old first-time Archie finalist is one of the youngest winners in the 102-year history of the prize. Gutman’s win also marks the 13th time the Archibald Prize has been awarded to a woman (the 11th woman to win) since it began in 1921. Gutman is a multi-disciplinary artist who reuses found textiles to produce painted ‘patchworks’ that merge personal and collective histories to explore themes of femininity, intimacy and memory.

“Like many contemporary artists, Julia is interested in the expanded field of painting,” said Art Gallery of NSW director Michael Brand. “In this remarkable tender portrait of a young musician who is making her way in a tough business, we see an intimacy and vulnerability that is truly compelling. I congratulate Julia on creating this magnificently worthy winner.”

Montaigne is the first female musician to be the subject of an Archibald Prize winning portrait. The Sydney-based singer has become an important figure on the Australian indie music scene. She represented Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, and in 2016 won an ARIA award for Best Breakthrough Artist. Time Out recently caught up with Montaigne ahead of her appearance in Aretha, A Love Letter to the Queen of Soul at the Sydney Opera House in June.

It’s a big year for women at the Archies. The Archibald’s coveted Packing Room Prize was awarded to regional artist Andrea Huelin for her colourful portrait of comedian Cal Wilson

Our other top picks include the piercing blue eyes of Daniel Johns in Matt Adante’s painting ‘Echoes of a teenage superstar’; the soft-masc beauty of Kim Leutwyler’s ‘Zoe’, depicting Sydney-based trans-masculine actor Zoe Terakes; the diminutive size and big impact of Natasha Walsh’s self-portrait 'Dear Ben, ‘The scream’ (after Pope Innocent X)'; and Studio A artist Emily Crockford’s 'Jeff’s pink daisy eyelash clash', depicting colourful Sydney artist and cardboard jewellery maestro Jeff McCann

Along with the Archies, the Wynne Prize for the best landscape painting of Australian scenery was awarded to first-time finalist Zaachariaha Fielding for his painting ‘Inma’, which depicts the sounds of Mimili, a small community in the eastern part of the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, South Australia.

The Sulman Prize for the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project was awarded to Senior Luritja artist Doris Bush Nungarrayi for her work ‘Mamunya ngalyananyi (Monster coming)’, depicting several Mamus, or ‘cheeky ones’, the ominous and malevolent spirits that terrify Aṉangu.

Now in its 11th year, the Young Archie competition is also packed with some gorgeous artworks by young Aussies aged between five and 18 years.

The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes are open to visit from May 6-Sep 3 at the Art Gallery of NSW. The Gallery is open every day from 10am to 5pm, and open late until 9pm on Wednesdays. Tickets are timed and start at $20 for members, $25 for adults, $22 for concessions, $13 for youth, and children under 12 get in for free (good on ‘em). You can snap up your tickets here.

Did you know? Last year’s Archibald winner Blak Douglas has a solo exhibition in Sydney right now

Want more? Here is your guide to where to see all the best art to see in Sydney this month.

Alannah Le Cross
Written by
Alannah Le Cross


Opening hours:
Daily 10am-5pm, Weds 10am-9pm
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