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Salon des Refusès

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The alternate Archibald and Wynne prize exhibition
For the first time in its almost 30 year history, the often controversial Salon des Refusès has come to Adelaide, where it is now on display at The David Roche Foundation until 11 December.

The Salon des Refusès - the alternative Archibald and Wynne Prize selection - has run each year at Sydney's National Trust S.H. Ervin Gallery since 1992. The exhibition showcases portraits and landscape works by some of Australia's best contemporary artists.

Each year, a panel of selectors from the S.H. Ervin Gallery has been invited to go behind the scenes of the official judging process for the Archibald Prize for portraiture and Wynne Prize for landscape painting at the AGNSW. This year, after the AGNSW Trustees selected 52 works from the 938 entries for the Archibald Prize and 39 works from 660 entries for the Wynne Prize, the S.H. Ervin Gallery's panel then made their choices from the hundreds of remaining submissions. Ultimately, they chose 35 Archibald and 22 Wynne entries to become the 'alternative exhibition', of these 47 have come to Adelaide.

The Archibald entries show the breadth of creativity in contemporary Australian portraiture, with works showing a variety of subjects and styles.

Craig Handley, Make Believe 4, oil on linen
Craig Handley, The performer 2021 (as the sad mad clown), oil on linen
 
The two works by Craig Handley, The Performer 2021 (Self portrait as the sad mad clown) and Make Believe 4 are bright and vivid surrealist delights, each consisting of "a hodgepodge of places and objects and light" brought together by Handley to create mesmerising new wholes that will both enthral and mystify viewers seeking to grasp their hidden meanings.

CHAKITA, the winner of the S.H. Ervin Gallery's People's Choice Award, portrays lesbian power couple, Nikita Majajas and Charlie Villas (and their dog), internationally recognised pop artist/designer and DJ, who are leaders within the LGBTQI+ community in Sydney. It is a celebration of "love, creativity and the duality of femininity" by artist, Tania Wursig.

 
Tania Wursig, CHAKITA (Nikita Majajas and Charlie Villas, pop artist/designer & DJ), acrylic and mixed media on canvas
Wendy Sharpe, Taylor Fontaine & The Magda Szubankis (Drag Queen/Performer), oil on linen
 

Wendy Sharpe captures the fun and frantic energy of Taylor Fontaine & The Magda Szubanskis (Drag queen/performer) in her glittering work, which sees Taylor and the band fully decked out in their "crazy utterly over-the-top costumes [and] smeared lipstick". Wendy is a previous winner of the Archibald Prize, having received the award in 1996 for Self Portrait - as Diana of Erskineville.

 
Craig Ruddy, I'm Gulpilil - Portrait of David Gulpilil (actor, dancer, artist and storyteller) mixed media on canvas
 

While for his 2021 Archibald entry, Craig Ruddy reconnected with acclaimed Yolngu actor, dancer, artist, storyteller and elder David Gulpilil, for his powerful I'm Gulpilil - Portrait of David Gulpilil, after having previously won the 2004 Archibald Prize with another depiction of Gulpilil entitled Two Worlds.

Exhibition shot (L to R): Caroline Zilinsky, The Wedgwood Heart (Jonathon Dalton, artist), oil on linen; Sally Robinson, Veena Sahajwalla (professor, scientist, engineer and inventor), synthetic polymer paint on canvas; Liam Nunan, Girl with a broken finger (Antoinette Barbouttis, artist and theatre practitioner), oil on canvas; Daniel Pata, Guy Warren (artist), oil on canvas; Liz Stute, The Long Soiree, 1924, at Miss Collins' Place (Self Portrait), oil on canvas.
 

Daniel Pata's portrait of Guy Warren shows the award-winning artist at 100, whose portrait by Peter Wegner was the winner of the Archibald Prize in 2021. Other notable inclusions are The Wedgwood Heart by Caroline Zilinsky and Veena Sahajwalla by Sally Robinson, which are both stylistically intriguing and creative.

Mantua Nangala, Untitled, acrylic on linen
 

Among the standouts in the Wynne Prize entries is the captivating Untitled by Mantua Nangala, one of the most exciting artists coming out of the Papunya Tula movement. Its gently undulating lines of colour - representing the sandhills at the rockhole site of Marrapinti - are almost hypnotic in their appearance and impart a meditative sense of peace and tranquillity.

Warren Crossett's four panel The environmental polarity of a local creek reflects on the effects of humans on nature, with each panel depicting a different section of the creek and how it has been impacted by urban development.

Warren Crossett, The environmental polarity of a local creek, acrylic on linen laid on hardboard
Exhibition shot (centre): Jennifer Keeler-Milne, Spring wattle III, oil on linen

Spring wattle III, by Jennifer Keeler-Milne, conveys the artist's celebratory state of mind at the arrival of wattle blooms in the spring in 2020, after the turbulent events of that year's autumn and winter.

The exhibition also includes works by Kathryn Ryan, Ann Thomson and South Australian First Nations artist Rhoda Tjitayi.

The 2021 Salon des Refusès is the first time that this exhibition has been on display in Adelaide, and is an incredible demonstration of the quality of portraiture and landscape being produced by artists in contemporary Australia.

 

The Salon des Refusès is now showing at The David Roche Foundation House Museum until 11 December 2021.

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 AM - 4 PM.

No booking is required.

Entry: $12 adult. $10 concession. $8 National Trust members. Children under 12 are free.

Plan your visit at www.rochefoundation.com.au, Facebook and Instagram.

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When: 9 October to 11 December 2021 / Tuesday to Saturday 10AM - 4PM
Where: 241 Melbourne Street North Adelaide, South Australia 5006
Cost: Exhibition Entry: $12 adult. $10 concession. $8 National Trust members. Children under 12 free.
Your Comment
We have a similar event connected to the Brisbane Portrait Prize. Always very creative works on display
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|3590) 18 days ago
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