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Five-Time Finalist Yvette Coppersmith Has Taken Out the 2018 Archibald Prize

Her self portrait has won the prestigious competition.
By Libby Curran
May 11, 2018
By Libby Curran
May 11, 2018

A George Lambert-style self portrait by Yvette Coppersmith has just nabbed the 97th annual Archibald Prize — her work Self-portrait, after George Lambert was chosen from a talented bunch of 58 finalists.

This year's $100,000 prize attracted a whopping 794 entries from across the country and New Zealand, their works depicting homegrown icons ranging from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to actor Guy Pearce. The prestigious portrait competition pulls a compelling lineup of artworks each year, portraying an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, politicians, sports heroes and other notable Aussies.

Coppersmith's winning piece pays homage to the stylings of acclaimed fellow artist George Lambert, who himself took out the 1927 Archibald Prize. The win's been a long time coming for Coppersmith, who has been a finalist five times. "Hearing of the win this morning my mind was scrambling to integrate the surreal news about something that's been 20 years in the making," she said. "I'm still trying to fathom it!" She's also only the tenth female artist in history to have taken out the top prize.

In more good news, the winners of the Wynne and Sir John Sulman prizes we also revealed today — and both are Indigenous women. Pintupi artist Yukultji Napangati took out the former — which awards the best landscape painting of Australian scenery or figure sculpture — for her depiction of a scene among sandhills west of Kiwirrkura in Western Australia. The Sir John Sulman Prize goes to the best mural, subject or genre painting, and was this year awarded to Kaylene Whiskey's work of Cher and Dolly Parton.

Today's announcements follow last week's naming of the 2018 Packing Room Prize, which is selected by the gallery staff who unpack and hang the Archibald Prize entries each year. That title was taken out by Jamie Preisz, for his piece Jimmy (title fight), featuring legendary singer-songwriter Jimmy Barnes.

All the winning portraits and finalists will be on display at Sydney's Art Gallery of NSW from tomorrow — Saturday, May 12 — up until September 9. If you do't agree with the judges, you can cast your own vote for People's Choice.

Image: Self portrait after George Lambert, Yvette Coppersmith. Photo shot by Jenni Carter courtesy of AGNSW. 

Published on May 11, 2018 by Libby Curran
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