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Archibald Prize 2019

The Archibald Prize is a great excuse for an art-inspired getaway to Sydney this winter. The annual exhibition opens this weekend and is eagerly anticipated by artists and audiences alike.

Sydney artist Tony Costa's has taken out the top prize with his portrait of fellow artist Lindy Lee. On hearing the news Costa said, "I'm absolutely overwhelmed, honoured and thrilled.

"I am very aware of all those who have come before me as Archibald Prize winners and I am humbled, to say the least.

"In my portrait of Lindy, I have kept the colour minimal to avoid any visual noise. The challenge for me was to capture the energy of Lindy – the emotional over and above the physical," Costa added.

Born in Sydney in 1955, Costa completed postgraduate studies at the City Art Institute. He has been represented in the Wynne Prize, the Sulman Prize and the Dobell Prize for Drawing, and won the Paddington Art Prize for landscape painting in 2014. He was a finalist in the Archibald Prize in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Lindy Lee, herself an Archibald finalist in 2002, has appeared as a subject in 2006, painted by Bin Xie, and 2012, in a portrait by Kate Beynon.

This is the first Archibald-winning portrait to feature an Asian Australian sitter in the 98-year history of the prize.

Art Gallery of NSW director Michael Brand said that Costa's work had been selected as a finalist and then as the winner from a record number of entries for the Archibald Prize.

In awarding the 2019 winners of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes, Board president David Gonski said:

"It wasn't an easy year to pick, there was a lively and thoughtful debate, but in the end the judges were unanimous in their choices."

Earlier this month headpacker Brett Cuthbertson and his packing room team awarded the 2019 Archibald Packing Room Prize to West Australian hyperreal artist Tessa MacKay.

MacKay's hyperreal portrait of renowned actor and producer David Wenham is titled Through the looking glass.

You can judge for yourself with the People's Choice Awards, with audiences asked to cast their vote for their favourite portrait.

Finalists of the Archibald Prize will be exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW from 11 May – 8 September 2019 before touring the country.

Finalists in the Archibald Prize will tour to regional Victoria and NSW from 14 September:

14 September 2019 – 5 November 2019 TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria
15 November 2019 – 12 January 2020 Gosford Regional Gallery and Arts Centre
24 January 2020 – 8 March 2020 Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre
20 March 2020 – 3 May 2020 Bank Art Museum Moree
15 May 2020 – 28 June 2020 - Bathurst Regional Art Gallery
3 July 2020 – 16 August 2020 - Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery

See it first at the Art Gallery of NSW with a art inspired weekend at nearby Ovolo Wooloomooloo. Browse our full collection of Sydney accommodation here or just ask our advice.

Are you planning on an art-inspired weekend to the Archibald Prize?

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