30 June - 5 August
The $50,000 Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize has been awarded to artist Stephen Bush for his monumental work Jerks as a passable frown. Judge Max Delany commented, ‘this is a very strong exhibition which encompassing the marvelous scope of contemporary painting. Given the high standard the decision was a difficult one, but nevertheless the decision was unanimous. We are very pleased to award this important prize to Stephen Bush.’
‘Jerks as a passable frown is deliciously seductive as a painting. It is ambiguous, in so far as it could be a landscape or spatial composition, tettering between creation and collapse. The work has a dramatic sense of scale, reaching from the serious to the absurd. Stephen’s work captures the drama of contemporary painting, whilst also having a strong relationship to historical traditions. It is a work that will also be compelling and enduring in the context of the Bendigo Art Gallery’s contemporary collection.’
The prize, considered to be the most succinct survey of painting in Australia, has attracted some of the country’s most highly regarded and hottest new emerging artists. With over 340 entries, the judging panel narrowed the field to 42 works and chose the recipient of the $50,000 prize on Friday 29 June. Bendigo Art Gallery Director Karen Quinlan commented, ‘En mass the entered works are beguiling, a bold and flattering display, encapsulating a range of styles that in many cases have pushed the boundaries of the medium. It is a very encouraging sign to see this remarkable collection of high quality works from Australian artists in the one space.’
Australia’s richest open painting prize, was judged by Charlotte Day, independent curator and associate curator at ACCA; Max Delany, Director, Monash University Museum of Art | MUMA; Jane Guy, nominated member of the Guy family; Jason Smith, Curator, Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria; and Karen Quinlan, Director, Bendigo Art Gallery.
Jerks as a passable frown 2006
oil and enamel on linen
Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery