Good morning and welcome to our coverage of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes for 2024.

These are three of the most coveted prizes in the Australian art world and we are expecting winners to be announced from noon today.

Some of the finalists in the 2024 Archibald Prize.

Some of the finalists in the 2024 Archibald Prize.

The $100,000 103-year-old Archibald Prize for portraiture was first awarded in 1921. This year, it attracted more than 1000 entries, reduced to 57 finalists.

The $50,000 Wynne Prize is Australia’s oldest art prize for Australian scenery or sculpture. It was first held in 1897.

The $40,000 Sulman Prize for genre painting or mural projects dates back to 1936.

The exhibition featuring artworks by the three art prize finalists opens on June 8 and continues until September 8. It will then tour regional NSW and the Northern Territory.

It’s always difficult to choose a favourite, but this year I’ve landed on Thea Anamara Perkins’s piece, Mum (Hetti).

Shown on Country in Mparntwe/Alice Springs, where her mother lives now, the landscape behind is almost as significant in the work as the woman. In Hetti’s expression, her daughter has captured strength, tenderness and wisdom.

Archibald Prize 2024 finalist, ‘Mum (Hetti)’ by Thea Anamara Perkins.

Archibald Prize 2024 finalist, ‘Mum (Hetti)’ by Thea Anamara Perkins.

In her artist statement, the Arrernte and Kalkadoon artist – a four-time Archibald finalist, also short-listed for this year’s Wynne Prize – says: “I wanted to include Country as another figure in her portrait.”

There’s a lovely serendipity to the piece, as Hetti worked at the Art Gallery of NSW for 13 years as senior curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art.

Hetti Perkins is a writer and trailblazing curator of visual arts in this country. Her sister Rachel is an acclaimed filmmaker, and in the next generation, Thea Anamara Perkins is a visual artist producing brilliant work in her distinctive style.

While the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes have toured to Victoria in recent years, this year they will not.

Last year, the exhibition was at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, in 2022 it was at Bunjil Place in Narre Warren and in 2021, the centenary year for the prize, Archie 100, a selection of favourites over the century was at the Geelong Gallery. But this year Victorian art lovers will have to travel interstate to see the exhibition.

According to an Art Gallery of NSW spokesperson: “The Archibald Prize is a truly national prize, the Art Gallery of NSW shares the tour with keen audiences in other states and territories across the country.”

Every year, the Archibald Prize tours to regional NSW and one other state (this alternates).

“We’re very excited to tour this year’s prize with audiences in the Northern Territory when it travels to Araluen Arts Centre in April 2025. We do however love our Victorian audiences so the Archibald Prize regional tour will return to Victoria in the coming years.”

I have my money on northern NSW-based artist Angus McDonald winning, with his giant portrait of Indigenous academic Marcia Langton.

Angus McDonald’s portrait of Marcia Langton, AO is an Archibald finalist.

Angus McDonald’s portrait of Marcia Langton, AO is an Archibald finalist.

I was in the Art Gallery of NSW loading dock when McDonald arrived just hours before the deadline to deliver his portrait. The courier he’d booked to drive the painting from his home in Lennox Head, near Ballina in northern NSW, did not arrive.

So McDonald had to hire a truck big enough to fit the 154.5 x 271.5cm portrait and drive to Sydney himself. There’s something about the hang-dog expression in Langton’s eyes that captures the Indigenous mood after the 2023 Voice referendum.

I’m hearing around the traps Laura Jones’ portrait of author Tim Winton is tipped to be a potential winner, too.

Finalist Laura Jones’ painting ‘Tim Winton’.

Finalist Laura Jones’ painting ‘Tim Winton’.

There are 57 Archibald Prize finalists this year. Our arts team has selected a few here that we think will be popular choices.

Take a look at our gallery and cast your vote below.

Last week, northern NSW-based artist Matt Adnate won the 2024 Archibald Packing Room Prize with his portrait of Yolngu rapper Baker Boy. It took the former street artist three weeks to paint the portrait in Melbourne, where Baker Boy – real name Danzal Baker – lives.

If you zoom in close on his eyes, you can see Adnate has painted the Arnhem Land landscape in them.

Read more about the painting of the man known as the “Fresh Prince of Arnhem Land” here.

You can tell a lot about the year that was, by gazing into some of the faces painted in the annual Archibald Prize.

Protesters wearing keffiyehs, the pain in the eyes of Marcia Langton after the 2023 Voice referendum captured so poignantly by painter Angus McDonald, and advocates for various causes were some of the 1005 faces painted for the Archibald this year.

Here’s McDonald at work:

Kurdish refugee Mostafa Azimitabar taught himself to paint while in detention on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, with a toothbrush and coffee as he was not allowed art supplies. Read Kerrie O’Brien’s interview with him here.

This year again, there are sports stars, including Matilda Cortnee Vine and TV stars (including three members of the Heartbreak High cast).
And beneath the brushstrokes of many of the portraits, there is trauma. Read more here.

Early this morning, the 10 trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW met early to choose the winners of the three prizes, which collectively make up the gallery’s most popular annual exhibition.

The trustees – including artists Tony Albert and Caroline Rothwell – were joined by titans of industry such as gallery president David Gonski, Sally Herman and Lachlan Edwards, and philanthropists with a keen interest in the arts: Paris Neilson, Anita Belgiorno-Nettis and Andrew Cameron.

Julia Gutman won the 2023 Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW with her portrait titled ‘Head in the sky, feet on the ground’.

Julia Gutman won the 2023 Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW with her portrait titled ‘Head in the sky, feet on the ground’.Credit: Wolter Peeters

They voted this morning and the Art Gallery of NSW media team was told their decision at 8am – around the same time the winners were contacted.

Last year’s Archibald winner, Julia Gutman, was in the shower when the 8am call came telling her she’d won with a portrait of her former flatmate, Jessica Cerro, a singer better known by her stage name Montaigne. It went to voicemail, and when she called back, the call went to the front desk, so she thought she must have left something behind, like an umbrella.

Since winning, Gutman has taken up residencies in Europe and the US.

Her work Echo is currently beamed nightly onto the Sydney Opera House as part of Vivid until June 15.

Good morning and welcome to our coverage of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes for 2024.

These are three of the most coveted prizes in the Australian art world and we are expecting winners to be announced from noon today.

Some of the finalists in the 2024 Archibald Prize.

Some of the finalists in the 2024 Archibald Prize.

The $100,000 103-year-old Archibald Prize for portraiture was first awarded in 1921. This year, it attracted more than 1000 entries, reduced to 57 finalists.

The $50,000 Wynne Prize is Australia’s oldest art prize for Australian scenery or sculpture. It was first held in 1897.

The $40,000 Sulman Prize for genre painting or mural projects dates back to 1936.

The exhibition featuring artworks by the three art prize finalists opens on June 8 and continues until September 8. It will then tour regional NSW and the Northern Territory.

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