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In 2017, the Art Gallery of New South Wales provided cameras unprecedented access to competitors, their work and the hidden internal processes by which the Archibald Prize was judged, hung, announced and exhibited.
The Foxtel original series, The Archibald, will take viewers behind the scenes, and away from the media front-line. The series follows the artists, and their sitters, as they strive to win the most iconic prize in Australian arts.
The four-part series follows the highs and lows of a clutch of artists, ranging from three former Archibald Prize winners, to four former finalists, and a newcomer; all vying to have their portraits hung in the prestigious exhibition.
Their complete journeys, from the artists’ first approach to their sitters, through to their final portraits, are captured across the world, including Australia, Afghanistan, Hollywood, London, and Paris.
Following the announcement of the 2017 Archibald Prize finalists by the Art Gallery of NSW, it was revealed that two of the eight artists featured in the series had been selected – former Prize winner Nicholas Harding, and three-time finalist Yvette Coppersmith.
Artists featured in The Archibald include Dr George Gittoes AM, Jason Phu, Nicholas Harding, Nick Stathopoulos, Wendy Sharpe, Yvette Coppersmith, Tessa McOnie and Tim Storrier AM.
The Archibald Prize is Australia’s most popular and coveted art prize. Being awarded to portraits of prominent Australians, the iconic prize has been no stranger to intrigue and controversy across its 96-year history.
For the first time, cameras captured the deliberations as the submissions passed the judges and they announced the final portraits. From this, the 2017 Archibald Prize winner was revealed. In 2017 the Archibald Prize had 822 entries, of which 43 finalist portraits were selected. From the 43 finalist portraits, almost half had chosen artists as sitters, including a double portrait of an artist couple, James Drinkwater and Lottie Consalvo.
The Archibald Prize winner is decided by the Gallery’s Board of Trustees.