Congratulations to Andrew Browne, winner of the $30,000 2018 Geelong contemporary art prize
Posted 14 June 2018
An evocative, narrative-rich, and skilfully executed painting by Melbourne artist Andrew Browne is the winner of the 2018 Geelong contemporary art prize, Geelong Gallery’s biennial acquisitive award for contemporary painting.
Browne’s The awakening 2017 is an outstanding example of this established artist’s practice and brings together a number of his enduring interests including landscape, natural phenomena, light, and the anthropomorphic potential of the spaces we inhabit.
The announcement of the prize-winning work was made by Justin Paton, Head Curator of International Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, and co-judge of the prize, at the opening of the exhibition on Friday 8 June. The judging panel for this year’s prize also included Rebecca Coates, Director, Shepparton Art Museum, and Lisa Sullivan, Senior Curator, Geelong Gallery.
In reflecting on the winning painting, the judges commented: ‘This was a work that drew us in immediately and kept drawing us back. The key to its power is the board at the centre with its staring black ‘eyes’, backlit by a haunting nocturnal glow. With its flicks, smudges and overruns of colour, the plywood board suggests a painted surface hidden to the viewer, sharpening our curiosity about what has been made – or is being made – on the other side. The object could be read in multiple ways: as a redundant protest placard tied against a tree, or an abstracted crucifix-like form with looming attendants on each side. Gothic and film-noir-esque, the painting’s moodiness and ambiguity are absolutely of our times. This may be an image of the fate of painting, or a broader evocation of a world where troubling events transpire on the edge of our awareness.’
Geelong Gallery wishes to thank the Dimmick Charitable Trust and Mercedes-Benz Geelong for generously sponsoring this signature event, which assists with the development of the Gallery’s collection while supporting Australian artists and contemporary painting practice in general.