The results are in and 29-year-old Sydney-based artist Julia Gutman has been crowned the winner of the 2023 Archibald Prize for her portrait of singer Montaigne.
Gutman's $100,000 win with Head in the sky, feet on the ground, an artwork that fuses oil paint, found textiles and embroidery, makes the artist one of the youngest winners of the Prize in its 102-year-long history. It also marks the 13th time the Archibald Prize has been awarded to a woman, and the first time the winning subject is a female musician.
Speaking to her win, Gutman said, "I’m so elated and overwhelmed to have won. Shocked, dumbfounded, but very happy. It’s honestly completely surreal. I’m so grateful to be working at a time when young female voices are heard".
Gutman also noted the similarities within her own practice and Montaigne's music, which made her choice to have Montaigne sit for her a natural collaboration. "Montaigne and I have been friends for a few years and there is a lot of alignment in our practices," she continued. "We are both interested in creating our own forms and approaches rather than strictly adhering to any one tradition." This sentiment is echoed in Montaigne's pose in the winning portrait, which references Egon Schiele’s Seated woman with bent knees, a painting that subverted conventions around femininity when it was painted in 1917.
During the announcement at the Art Gallery of NSW, the winners of the Wynne and Sulman Prizes were also revealed. Zaachariaha Fielding, one half of electronic music duo Electric Fields, won the $50,000 Wynne Prize for his acrylic landscape painting Inma, which depicts the sounds of Mimili, a small community in the eastern part of the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. Meanwhile, the $40,000 Sulman Prize which is awarded based on best subject painting, genre painting or mural project, was won by Luritja artist Doris Bush Nungarrayi for her acrylic painting entitled Mamunya ngalyananyi (Monster coming).
After the finalists of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes were announced last week, there has been a great deal of buzz around who would take home the winning title.
You can explore the artworks of the winners and finalists at Art Gallery of NSW which opens to the public on May 6, running until September 7.
One: Winner Archibald Prize 2023, Julia Gutman Head in the sky, feet on the ground, oil, found textiles and embroidery on canvas, 198 x 213.6 cm © the artist, image © Art Gallery of New South Wales, Jenni Carter
Two: Winner Sulman Prize 2023, Doris Bush Nungarrayi Mamunya ngalyananyi (Monster coming), synthetic polymer on linen, 198 x 273.5 cm © the artist, image © Art Gallery of New South Wales, Jenni Carter
Three: Winner Wynne Prize 2023, Zaachariaha Fielding Inma, acrylic on linen, 306.2 x 198.5 cm © the artist, image © Art Gallery of New South Wales, Jenni Carter