What takes out Australia’s richest art prize

What wins 2019 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize for his painting of Robert Forster.

Words: Annie Tonkin

Australia’s richest art prize is this year awarded to the artist what. The artist takes home an impressive $150,000 courtesy of the Moran Arts Foundation for his painting of Robert Forster from The Go-Betweens. The winning work, Robert Forster, was selected from close to 1,000 entries.

This year’s judges included Peter Moran, managing director of the Moran Health Care Group (and the son of Greta and Doug Moran, who established the Moran Arts Foundation in 1988); Kelly Gellatly, director of the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne; and Nigel Milsom, artist and 2013 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize winner.

Robert Forster is intriguing for its lack of solid form, and for the way in which the subject hovers on the surface of the canvas like a vibrating aura,” say judges Gellatly and Milsom. “The artist has used an array of coloured broken brushstrokes as both decoration and form, while skilfully rendering three-dimensional space. For the judges, this work embodies the endless possibilities of contemporary portraiture and painting.”

Each year, the Moran Arts Foundation invites entries of original portraits from Australian artists capturing Australians from all walks of life. On top of the generous first prize, each of the 30 finalists receives $1,000.

The 2019 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize exhibition features the 30 finalists – including Yvette Coppersmith, Abdul Abdullah, Kate Beynon, Robert Malherbe, Natasha Walsh, Richard Lewer, Rodney Pople and Michael Zavros – and opens at Juniper Hall in Paddington on Thursday 31 October 2019. The show is open to the public Thursday to Sunday, from 10am to 4pm until Sunday 1 December 2019.

Image: Artist what’s winning work, Robert Forster.

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