9 May, 2016. 09:30
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | Contact
In what has been described as a “disappointing compromise” for the trustee board of the famous Archibald Portrait Prize, the Art Gallery of New South Wales has today told The Age that all announcements regarding the 2015 finalists will be postponed from July until early October.
“This has nothing to do with the artists, gallery or trustees – this is about the community,” said board spokesperson, Michael Brand.
“There have been external pressures to postpone all announcements until a later date. Finalists will be announced in early October and the winners will be announced in the weeks following,”
“In the meantime, any artists looking to enter should be aware that all submission deadlines remain the same”
Initially thought to be a result of the upcoming renovations of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Mr Capon says the postponing of the announcements have been put down to the availability of media coverage in the wake of the NRL State Of Origin series which is expected to dominate households around the country from June 1 – July 13th.
“Members of the board and gallery recognise the importance of professional sport to both the Australian media and Australian society at large,”
“Upon correspondence with both the ABC, Channel Nine and 2GB radio – we have resolved in postponing all announcements until the weeks following the AFL and NRL grand finals”
In it’s 95th year, the Archibald Prize is touted as one the most prestigious art prizes in the country – with approximately 800 entrants each year submitting portraits-of-photographs of B-list Australian actors, other artists, and moderately well-known Labor politicians.
Michael Brand has stated that the controversial decision to postpone is part of the Art Gallery’s new rebranding process.
The “new look” is set to include a $400 million make-over with Tokyo architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA ArchiArch- which will begin shortly after the Archibald winner has been announced.
“There looks to be a much younger contingent in this year’s entrants. It’s because of this that we are being quite mindful in making sure we don’t have to compete with any other events in the Sydney social calendar,”
“We have been made aware that both the AFL, Super Rugby and NRL competitions are going through exciting stages, and our media partners have asked that we respect that”
Despite the change of calendar dates, Mr Brand says the trustees remained undeterred from the task at hand.
“The trustees are very well aware that this will be a star-studded occasion, with both artists and subjects,”
With the likes of Anh Do (IGA Ambassador and author) Noah Taylor (Game Of Thrones actor) and Frances Abbott all expected to enter portraits, the pressure is on for no-name artists to deliver something that can outweigh the reputations of previous Sydney-based winners and obscure celebrities.
“We are very excited to see which Channel Nine mini-series actors end up being painted. We are hoping to get the entire cast of House Husbands hung as finalists” says Mr Capon.
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