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art prize | John McDonald

art prize

The Archibald Prize 2018

May 11, 2018

Well I got it completely wrong this year, although Vincent Namatjira got a “highly commended” as runner-up. Yvette Coppersmith’s Archibald Prize winner: Self-portrait after George Lambert wouldn’t have been in my top 20. After due consideration, it still wouldn’t be in my top 20. It seems to me like a stiff, mannered picture that bears … More


Pablo Picasso & the Dobell Prize for Drawing 2011

December 10, 2011

According to Hendrik Kolenberg, the Art Gallery of NSW’s Senior Curator of Australian Prints, Drawings and Watercolours, the Dobell Prize for Drawing is the most serious art award in Australia. This doesn’t mean the show is all grey and humourless, it is essentially a comment on the medium. Drawing is the armature of an artist’s … More


The Portia Geach Memorial Award

October 29, 2011

One of the small paradoxes of colonial Australian art is the question as to why there were so few notable female artists at a time when women art students continually outnumbered their male counterparts. Looking at photos of the graduating classes of the National Gallery of Victoria School in the late 1800s, there is always … More


The 60th Blake Prize Exhibition

October 1, 2011

In recent years I have cheerfully avoided the Blake Prize and might have done so again in its 60th anniversary year, had not Rachael Kohn from Radio National asked me to comment on the show. The reason why I generally avoid the Blake is not because I’m irreligious – which I freely admit – but … More