Huseyin Sami poised to probe painting’s parameters for The Gold Award

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Reconsidering painting’s place in a contemporary world is a thematic hallmark of both Huseyin Sami’s practice and The Gold Award 2018. 

Designed as an invitation 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. 

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 Sami’s commitment to deconstructing the process and substance of painting is an approach The Award is keen to champion.

“Sidelining traditional brushes, Huseyin instead pours, drips, rolls, stretches and cuts dried household paints to create his works,” said Mrs Acimovic.

“Rather than treating the paint as an element that needs to be dominated and controlled, Huseyin instead helps facilitate the material to form its own artistic expression”.

Over its three previous presentations The Gold Award has seen each year seen between eight to ten invited artists to submit more than one work as part of the Award, to create a fulsome and rich exhibition that offers a coherent vision of an artist’s practice.

"Huseyin Sami is a fascinating artist whose medium, subject and process is an ever-building thesis on the possibilities and limitations of acrylic house paint. There is a sense of dynamism in his pastel paintings; a palpable sense of the speed and movement involved in their production, and in the moment of their delicate capture.” Said Sarah Cottier, Director, Sarah Cottier Gallery.

“Through a methodology of structured improvisation and eschewal of traditional painting tools, Sami continues to reduce and abstract the process of painting to a point where the material itself determines the final product.” Added Sarah.

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 has proven to be a significant way for the Gallery to build its contemporary painting collection, as works by artists in the exhibition have also been acquired through Rockhampton Regional Council funds, or through public donation. These artists include Del Kathryn Barton, Ben Quilty, Jason Benjamin, Kate Shaw and Julie Fragar.

For further information please contact:
Bianca Acimovic
Gallery Director
T 07 4936 8173 | Bianca.Acimovic@rrc.qld.gov.au