Tim Storrier Wins Australia's Prestigious Archibald Prize for Portraiture With Faceless Figure

Tim Storrier Wins Australia's Prestigious Archibald Prize for Portraiture With Faceless Figure
Tim Storrier's The histrionic wayfarer (after Bosch), Archibald Prize 2012 winner
(Courtesy Art Gallery of New South Wales)

Tim Storrier was today announced the winner of Australia's prestigious Archibald Prize for Portraiture with a self-portrait titled The histrionic wayfarer (after Bosch).  "It refers to a painting by Hieronymus Bosch called The wayfarer painted in 1510 where the figure is believed to be choosing a path or possibly the prodigal son returning," says Storrier. "It also has other references, I believe, but they are rather clouded in biblical history and time."

Although the main figure is faceless, an image of the artist's face is cleverly incoroporated into the painting on a piece of paper flying away in the breeze at the top right hand corner of the work.  According to Storrier the identity of the main figure is, however, made clear by the clothes and equipment. 


Storrier explains that "a carapace of burden is depicted in The histrionic wayfarer, clothed in the tools to sustain the intrigue of a metaphysical survey. Provisions, art materials, books, papers, bedding, compass and maps, all for the journey through the landscape of the artist’s mind, accompanied by Smudge, the critic and guide of the whole enterprise."

Born in Sydney in 1949, Storrier studied at the National Art School in East Sydney and now lives and works in Bathurst. Renowned for his mysterious, poignant landscapes that capture the melancholy vastness of the Australian outback, he has exhibited all over Australia and in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and London.

He won the Sulman Prize in 1968 at age 19 – the youngest artist ever to received the prestigious award – and again in 1984. His work has been collected by all major Australian art museums and is included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of New South Wales among others. In 1994, he was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) for services to art.

This year, the 91st year of the Archibald Prize, there were 839 entries, 783 entries for the Wynne, and 654 entries for the Sulman.

The Archibald and Wynne prizes are judged by the Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The judge for the Sulman Prize was Susan Norrie.

The Archibald winner receives $75,000, the winner of the Wynne Prize for landscape painting or figure sculpture receives $35,000, the winner of the Sulman Prize for subject/genre painting and/or mural receives $30,000 and the winner of the Watercolour Prize (part of the Wynne Prize) receives $2,000.

Imants Tillers wins this year’s Wynne Prize for Waterfall (after Williams).
Nigel Milsom wins this year’s Wynne Prize for Judo House pt 4 (Golden mud).
Susan J White wins this year’s Watercolour Prize for Salamander Bay.