Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2019
It’s a case of fourth-time lucky for Sydney artist Tony Costa, the winner of this year’s prestigious Archibald Prize for portraiture. Costa was shortlisted for the prize in 2015, 2017 and 2018, but his portrait of Lindy Lee, a fellow Sydney artist and Zen Buddhist, has taken him over the line. The oil painting depicts Lee in a meditative pose and is the first winner in the Archibald's 98-year history to feature an Asian-Australian sitter.
Costa beat 50 other Archibald finalists, including Paul Ryan, Anh Do, Tsering Hannaford and Blak Douglas for the $100,000 prize. Other portraits were of well-known Australians including writer and actor Nakkiah Lui; Paralympian Dylan Alcott; media personalities Benjamin Law, Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb; and Archibald-winning artist Del Kathryn Barton.
The Archibald has been awarded annually since 1921 to the best depiction by an Australian resident of a person of note from the worlds of art, letters, science and politics. It’s the country’s favourite art prizes and is awarded alongside the Wynne (first awarded in 1897 for the best landscape painting of Australian scenery in oils or watercolours) and Sulman prizes (for subject painting, genre painting or mural project).
The Archibald and Wynne prizes are judged by the AGNSW board of trustees, including board vice president Gretel Packer, artist Ben Quilty and newcomer and former Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti. The board selects an artist, this year 2014 Archibald winner Fiona Lowry, to judge the Sulman.
The Wynne prize continued a four-year trend in acknowledging the extraordinary art coming out of the APY lands in remote South Australia, with Indigenous artist Sylvia Ken earning the $50,000 award for her painting, Seven Sisters.
The $40,000 Sulman prize was awarded to McLean Edwards for his work The first girl that knocked on his door.
The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes are on display at the Art Gallery of NSW until September 8 when they tour regionally.