Australia’s favourite portrait exhibition, the Archibald Prize, will head to the Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG) in early 2022 as part of its tour throughout New South Wales and Victoria.
The prestigious showcase, which attracted more than 900 entries in 2021, eventually featured 52 finalists – 26 women and 26 men, gender parity for the first time.
In another milestone for the decorated competition, there were more works submitted by women than men in the combined Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes.
In the centenary year of the Archibald, a portrait by Peter Wegner of 100-year-old artist Guy Warren (himself an Archibald winner in 1985) took out the prize, while the Packing Room honours went to Kathrin Longhurst, which focused on Aussie songstress Kate Ceberano.
The touring extravaganza will provide a valuable opportunity for the widespread Hunter community to see all the finalists in the Archibald Prize 2021.
One of Australia’s oldest and most respected art awards, the portraits feature many prominent figures of Australian culture, from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists, and are judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW.
“Nothing beats an exhibition loaded with history, tradition, celebrity and even controversy,” MRAG director Gerry Bobsien said.
“The Archibald Prize captures everyone’s attention and creates opportunities for us to marvel at the way artists capture a character on canvas.
“The [Maitland Regional Art] gallery hosted the prize seven years ago.
“So, we’re thrilled to be partnering with the Art Gallery of NSW to bring the Archibald Prize to Maitland once again.”
MRAG will host the exhibition from 22 January to 6 March 2022.
Tickets will be on sale from December 2021.
For further information, visit www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au