The 2024 Archibald Prize finalists have been announced

The finalist portraits in the biggest Australian art award of the year have been announced, alongside finalists of the Wynne and Sulman Prizes—and the winner of The Packing Room Prize.

Northern Rivers–based artist Matt Adnate has won the $3,000 Packing Room Prize for his portrait of ARIA Award–winning Yolŋu rapper, artist and actor Baker Boy. Adnate was chosen from 57 Archibald finalists. Now in its 33rd year, the Packing Room Prize was first awarded in 1991 and is chosen by the Art Gallery staff who receive, unpack and hang the entries. 

“Matt Adnate is an incredible Australian street artist renowned for his large mural paintings. His portrait of singer-songwriter Baker Boy in his signature style is characterised by grand scale, vivid colours and a gaze that draws you in,” said one of the Packing Room Prize judges, Monica Rudhar.

“Matt and Baker Boy are both highly accomplished in their respective fields and share a mutual recognition of each other’s talents. Matt’s powerful portrait encapsulates Baker Boy as the inspirational Indigenous storyteller that he is, mirroring the joy and hope that his music brings to the world.”

An avid music fan, Adnate first met Danzal Baker, known professionally as Baker Boy, a decade ago and was awed by his talent as a dancer. They developed a friendship that has led to Adnate painting Baker Boy for multiple murals and portraits, and Baker Boy performing at Adnate’s art events.

Receiving the news Adnate says, “I have always been inspired by music as it can help me channel and evoke strong emotion into my work. It gives me the energy to keep painting, from canvases in my studio to large-scale murals. I’m in awe of artists like Baker Boy who have the power to use music to transform people’s mood, mind and energy.”

Archibald Prize 2024 finalist, Angus McDonald 'Professor Marcia Langton AO', oil on canvas, 154.5 x 271.5 cm © the artist, image © Art Gallery of New South Wales, Jenni Carter. Sitter: Marcia Langton.

This year, the Art Gallery of New South Wales received 2371 entries across the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes, which is the second highest number of entries received in the history of the prizes, following the record year in 2020. 

Some of the 57 Archibald finalists include Mia Boe painting Tony Armstrong, Robert Fielding painting Mayatja (keeper of song and culture), Shaun Gladwell painting Julian Assange, Sam Leach painting Louise Milligan, Angus McDonald painting Germaine Greer, Eliza Bertwistle painting Chanel Contos, and Jessie Bourke painting Chloé Hayden—and that’s just a snapshot. The full list of finalists and their portraits can be found here.

The winner will be announced Friday 7 June and will take home a $100,000 prize.

The $50,000 Wynne Prize celebrates the best landscape painting of Australian scenery or figurative sculpture. This year’s finalists can be found here.  

And the $40,000 Sulman Prize acknowledges the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project. Finalists are here.  

Both the Wynne and Sulman Prizes winners will be announced Friday 7 June.

The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes are run by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. All winning and finalist works will be showing at the gallery between 8 June—8 September. 

Archibald Prize 2024 finalist works will then tour to regional New South Wales and the Northern Territory until August 2025, while Wynne Prize 2024 finalist works will tour regional New South Wales until June 2025.

News Words by Art Guide Australia