Chris Bond Wins $50,000 Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize

Chris Bond Wins $50,000 Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize
Chris Bond Viridian 2012 oil, canvas, card and MDF on linen Courtesy of the artist and Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne
(Nellie Castan Gallery)

Melbourne-based artist Chris Bond has won the Bendigo Art Gallery’s $50,000 Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize for 2013, with a small sculptural work that at first glance appears to be nothing more than a book, but is in fact a replica of a book with a finely detailed cover painted by Bond.

The judges commented, “At first glance, Chris Bond’s painting looks like a book. However, it is much more. It is an illusion and a finely crafted canvas, covered to look like a book. Bond expands on the historical tradition of realist painting and creates the illusion of a three dimensional object. It is a painting expressed through the form of a book. It could be empty and wordless, and in this way conveys a sense of loss that we will never understand. This paradox is part of the works beguiling beauty.”


Bond’s winning work “Viridian,” (2012) is from his series “The Skeleton Field” which was shown at Nellie Castan Gallery in 2012. Using nine hardback books featuring the life and work of Jackson Pollock as his inspiration, Bond created a series of intensely detailed, stripped back monochrome replicas of the originals.

According to Bond, “Each of the works is a stripped back monochrome replica of the book on which it was based and features exaggerated damage from their imagined use as actual objects – marks, creases, tears and stains disrupt the carefully painted surfaces. Yet the visible edges of the internal pages, constructed of layers of canvas, are crisp and clean.”

Chris Bond’s work was chosen from a shortlist of 33 works selected from over 380 entries from around Australia. Nominated as the most outstanding work in the shortlist, Bond was awarded a cash prize of $50,000 and the work will be acquired for the Gallery’s collection.

The 33 finalists will be exhibited at Bendigo Art Gallery until 6 October.

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