By Steph Harmon
Anh Do, Tony Albert, actor Dee Smart and an elusive painter by the name of ‘what’ are among the 43 artists vying for this year’s Archibald prize, alongside Albert Namatjira’s great-grandson Vincent and a group of boys from a Sydney high school. Last year was the first time artist gender parity had been reached in the Archibald’s 95 years but this year it’s a different story: of the 43 artists – chosen by the gallery’s board of trustees – only 14 are women (15, if you include ‘what’); and, of the 45 subjects, only 19 are women. Six of those are self-portraits. Actor/director John Bell got two portraits and, for the second year, Robert Hannaford and his daughter Tsering are going head-to-head, after both being finalists in 2015.
The $100,000 prize is announced on 28 July, along with the $50,000 Wynne landscape prize, and the $40,000 Sulman prize for subject, genre or mural painting. The finalists are exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW before touring the country.