My bestest art buddy and I went to the Art Gallery of NSW yesterday to see the Archibald Prize before it closes this weekend.
The Archibald always leaves me with mixed feelings after viewing it. There are some very talented artists, some whose work I will never understand, and for some reason a focus on extremely large portraits, when slightly larger than real life would do. The winning entry by Tim Storrier (The Histrionic Wayfarer) is quirky, and much better viewed in real life than in a picture in a newspaper or online. I think that you could view it many times over and still find something new to focus on. Another portrait that I was drawn to was a Self Portrait by Marcus Callum.
But I will go again next year to see what the judges deem worth hanging on the walls of the Art Gallery.
The Wynne and Sulman Prizes are also hanging in the gallery. In the Wynne Prize I was particularly taken with a landscape by Nicholas Harding (Pandanus). It is a very Australian landscape, the quality of the light quite luminous and my eyes were drawn back to it many times as I wandered around the room. I discovered and was inspired by Nicholas Harding’s work last year whilst studying when I came across his ink drawings.
After touring the Prizes, we visited the Art of Dreams exhibition which explores the Symbolist movement in Australian Art in the late 1800s, early 1900s; we wandered around the open areas of the gallery and viewed some paintings we hadn’t seen before and revisited some old favourites.
After some lunch and a visit to the Art gallery bookshop (where too much money is easily spent!) we wandered across the Domain to the Mitchell Library, another wonderful old building.
I always hope to go and visit a few more places on a day in the city, but when it includes a visit to the Art Gallery I don’t usually end up with much time to wander anywhere else… and I don’t mind that at all!