Tony Albert joins The Gold Award A-Team for 2018

Published on 11 March 2018

Bianca Acimovic 2017.jpg

Tony Albert’s acceptance to submit swells the ranks of notables for The Gold Award 2018.

Working across drawing, painting, photography and installation, Albert’s art practice questions how we understand, imagine and construct difference.

A member of the Queensland Indigenous art collective proppaNOW, Albert’s art scrutinises contemporary legacies of colonialism and a number of his works have incorporated his collection of Aboriginalia (a term the artist coined to describe kitschy objects and images that feature naive portrayals of Aboriginality).

"As such a prestigious award it’s an honour to be invited for consideration in The Gold Award. It represents incredible support for contemporary artists, and has indeed already celebrated and supported some of the most important artists working in Australia today. I’m thrilled to be included in the Gold Award line up alongside artists I admire, and wish to thank Rockhampton Art Gallery for this opportunity." Said Tony Albert.

Designed as an invitational award to consider the best in contemporary painting while simultaneously building a substantive collection, the most outstanding work or works by an artist will be awarded the $50,000 cash prize, as judged by Simon Elliott, Deputy Director, Collection and Exhibitions, at QAGOMA.

One of the richest art prizes in Australia, the Award has been made possible through a generous bequest to the then Rockhampton Art Gallery Trust from the Estate of Moya Gold (1928-2000), a philanthropist who understood the joys and opportunities the arts and education can bring to a community and society.

Rockhampton Art Gallery Director, Bianca Acimovic said Albert’s art searingly examines the legacy of racial and cultural misrepresentation.

"Tony regularly utilises text appropriated from popular music, film, fiction, and art history to develop a universal language that seeks to rewrite historical mistruths and injustice," said Mrs Acimovic. "Elemental aspects of the human condition are evocatively investigated through Tony’s distinctly contemporary technique and imagery and we can’t wait to share his world gaze with The Gold Award audience".

"Collecting with a priority to Australian painting, we are thrilled at the potential to undertaken an active acquisition campaign, made possible through The Gold Award, to exhibit and engage with the works of Tony Albert. To date Tony’s is not represented in the collection holdings, a clear gap in the 2017 assessment of the collection" added Mrs Acimovic.

The Gold Award over its three presentations has seen between eight to ten invited artists to submit more a body of work as part of the Award, creating a fulsome and rich exhibition that offers a coherent vision of an artist’s practice. In the inaugural year, 2012, the winner was Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Sally Gabori) for Dibirdibi Country, and in 2014, Imants Tillers won the award for Epiphany and in 2016, The Gold Award was awarded to Jon Cattapan for the work titled Raft City No.4.

The Gold Award is the direct and active method in which Rockhampton Art Gallery builds its contemporary painting collection, with works in addition to the winning work also been acquired to the Gallery’s collection by acquisition funds supported by Rockhampton Regional Council funds, and through public donation. These artists include Del Kathryn Barton, Ben Quilty, Jason Benjamin, Kate Shaw and Julie Fragar.

$50,000 Gold Award
18 August – 7 October 2018
A joint initiative of Rockhampton Art Gallery Philanthropy Board, Rockhampton Art Gallery and Rockhampton Regional Council

Image | Tony Albert portrait, courtesy of the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf.