Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Tim Storrier wins the $75,000 Archibald Prize 2012

The histrionic wayfarer (after Bosch)
by Tim Storrie
The judges reduced 839 entries down to 41 finalists and then one winner of The Archibald Prize 2012 - The histrionic wayfarer (after Bosch) by Tim Storrier.

I'd just like to highlight that my "pick a winner" gene seems to be in full working order and that I predicted this - I picked out just one painting to highlight as a potential winner in Finalists for The Archibald Prize 2012 + The Packing Room Prize and this was the one.
...looks like a potential winner to me except I'm left wondering about the portrait of a distinguished person aspect
Now I know that the painting is a pastiche self-portrait everything is explained (Storrie is a former winner of The Sulman Prize).

Here's the announcement of the Prize and an interview with Storrier in which he talks about the painting,

The self-portraits has no face - instead it records everything that is meaningful to the artist - including his dog Smudge.  The 'accoutrements' are those which belong to an artist.  Smudge also attended the prizegiving and received a fair bit of attention.
John Singer Sargent famously said that the portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth.  I thought I'd try and avoid that. 
Tim Storrie - in an interview on World News Australia
The Archibald Prize is for the Best Portrait Painting preferably of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics. 

This year the prize money that Storrie won was $75,000 (up from $50,000 in 2011).  For non-Aussies this equates to £48,778 or US$77,900 - which means it's a very big prize.  However don't get too excited because it's only open to Australian artists.

The five paintings which made it to the final five are

Regional tour of selected finalists

Bosch's painting - The wayfarer

Storrier took the idea of a traveller - of somebody going somewhere - and then made it himself.  He describes it as being about a pilgrim who has to decide between good and evil and highlights the Bosch painting.  He also references Robert Frost's poem The Road Less Taken.  (the title is actually 'The Road Not Taken')

This is the painting which prompted Storrier's paintings - The Wayfarer by Hieronymus Bosch painting. It is currently in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. This painting is round and is 71.5 cm in diameter. The original is an allegorical painting - the Web gallery of Art provides a detailed analysis of The Wayfarer. There's also an even earlier painting - around 1500 - of Triptych of Haywain. The Wayfarer

It's an excellent example of how good original art can be influenced by other art.  There's no religious copying, the figure faces the other way and lacks a background.

Museum Boijmans van Beuningen - De Marskramer, Jeroen Bosch, met lijst
The Wayfarer by Hieronymus Bosch
Oil on panel, diameter 71,5 cmcourtesy of: Quistnix! - Museum Boijmans van Beuningen - De Marskramer, Jeroen Bosch, met lijst.jpg

Links to previous posts about The Archibald Prize


  1. Very intriguing to see the winner of this prize. As an artist who paints a lot of portraits and figurative subjects this is of particular interest to me and I must say I don't disagree with the final choice (which I often do in other competitions whether I'm in them or not!), although I was very drawn to Juan Ford's "Ultrapilgrim". The most I've won for a prize is $500 so have to admit the size of this one makes me almost wish I were Australian :-) As Storrier mentioned, however, it brings attention to artists and the art world and that is good for all of us!

  2. I've been a big fan of Storrier for years, it started with his Burning Rope series. As they say, he'd doesn't need the money but he needed the prize.

  3. I wasn't sure about it when I saw the photos in the newspaper but went to the gallery party the night before the announcement.

    Seeing Tim Storrier’s painting in life it became a stand out choice. It had a well thought out concept rendered with exquisite skill. Jenny Sages wonderful self-portrait certainly invoked the depth of sadness she felt at the loss of her husband.

    I saw Storrier’s retrospective last year in which one could see the arsenal of skills he possesses, and the start of this concept emerging. Obviously he has been taking time to bring it to fruition.

    There is a self-portrait in the painting, a drawing on the piece of paper blowing in the wind at the top of the painting.

    Whilst the Archibald is the most prestigious portrait prize in Oz, the Moran portrait prize carries double the financial reward at $150,000 (GBP95000)


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