‘Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes’ exhibition 2020

Presented by the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), the ‘Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes’ are one of Australia’s most loved events on the annual arts calendar. The ‘Archibalds’ as they are fondly known showcase the exceptional artistic skill of artists from across the nation.

The winning works in all three prize categories are currently on display alongside the finalists works at the AGNSW until 10 January 2021. The showcase includes the ‘Young Archies’ competition and exhibition of works created by talented young artists aged 5-18 years old (winners will be announced 24 October). Following its presentation at the AGNSW the ‘Archibald Prize’ exhibition of 55 artists will tour regional NSW and Queensland galleries from 27 January to 5 December 2021.

Vincent Namatjira, Stand strong for who you are, acrylic on linen, 152 x 198cm. Winner Archibald Prize 2020. Courtesy the artist and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

The $100,000 ‘Archibald Prize’ is awarded to an Australian artist for the best portrait, ‘of a man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia’. The $50,000 ‘Wynne Prize’ celebrates the best landscape painting of Australian scenery or figurative sculpture, and the $40,000 ‘Sir John Sulman Prize’ is granted to the best genre painting, subject painting or mural project by an Australian artist in oil, acrylic, watercolour or mixed media. Prizes were announced at the AGNSW on Friday 25 September.

Western Arrernte man and artist Vincent Namatjira, the great-grandson of renowned watercolour artist Albert Namatjira, set new ground in 2020 as the first Aboriginal artist to win the ‘Archibald Prize’ in its 99-year history. Vincent’s winning work titled Stand strong for who you are depicts the artist proudly united with Adam Goodes, former AFL football player and Australian of the Year 2014.

Aboriginal artist Hubert Pareroultja took out the ‘Wynne Prize’ with his beautifully detailed painting, which represents the story of giant caterpillars called the Yeperenye that became the Tjoritja (West MacDonnell Ranges, NT). Marikit Santiago is the winner of the ‘Sulman Prize’ for a portrait of her three children titled The divine, exploring faith, creation stories, motherhood, cultural heritage and gender roles.

Marakit Santiago, The divine, acrylic, oil, pen, pyrography and 18 carat gold leaf on ply, 179.5 x 120.5cm. Winner of the Sir John Sulman Prize 2020. Courtesy the artist and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

The ‘Archibald Prize’ presents portraits across a range of painterly styles. To note just a few of the artists and their sitters is Wendy Sharpe’s portrait of comedian Magda Szubanski, Julie Fragar’s study of artist and activist Richard Bell, and Paul Newtown’s portrayal of fashion, publishing and media personality Maggie Tabbera. Pitjantjatjara artist Kaylene Whiskey submitted a self-portrait alongside her hero Dolly Parton in an imagined visit by the singer-songwriter to the artist’s home on the APY Lands. John Ward Knox captured New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at home, and Jane Guthblen presents a playful depiction of Australian political journalist, commentator and television host Annabel Crabb.

Writing in the sand by Blak Douglas captures the powerful gaze of Arrernte and Garrwa youth Dujuan Hoosan, who at the age of 12 was the youngest person to ever take the stand at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in 2019 where he raised concerns for juvenile incarceration in Australia. To explore all 55 finalist works in the ‘Archibald’ online click here.

The ‘Wynne Prize’ is showcasing a magnificent display of works from artists Del Kathryn Barton, Lucy Culliton, Guy Maestri, Lucy O’Doherty, Noŋgirrŋa Marawili, Gareth Sansom, Luke Sciberras and Aida Tomescu, among many others. Click here to explore the full array of works in the ‘Wynne Prize’.

The ‘Sulman Prize’ presents a diverse range of works by artists including Abdul Abdullah, Joanna Braithwaite, John Honeywill, Noel McKenna, Philjames, Jason Phu and Tom Polo, again to name just a few. The ‘Sulman Prize’ finalist works can be viewed online here.

Visit the AGNSW website to purchase entry to the ‘Archibald, Wynne and Sulman’ prizes. In keeping with Covid-19 capacity restrictions, tickets are dated and timed. Don’t forget to have your say in the ANZ People’s Choice award while you are there. Voting closes on 13 December 2020.

In the lead up to the Archibald’s 100th birthday celebrations the AGNSW is seeking information from the public about past ‘Archibald Prize’ works for the ‘Archie 100’ exhibition in mid-2021. Find out more about how you can help here.

Archibald Prize Exhibition Tour Dates in 2021
Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre: 22 January to 7 March
Cairns Art Gallery: 19 March to 2 May  
Griffith Regional Art Gallery: 14 May to 27 June
Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery: 9 July to 22 August
Shoalhaven Regional Gallery: 3 September to 17 October
Penrith Regional Gallery: 29 October to 5 December