The Gold Award 2018 line up rises with Paul Ryan

Published on 27 June 2018

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$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

A Finalist in Wynne Art Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales; Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales; Doug Moran Prize, Paddington, Sydney; Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales; Blake Prize, Sydney; and now The Gold Award 2018.

Paul Ryan has been announced as the seventh artist to be invited to The Gold Award 2018 stellar line-up.

When Paul Ryan paints the landscape, it’s not the scenery so much as the forgotten histories of his local area that he seeks to explore.

There has been much written by historians about the first encounters between the indigenous locals and the European settlers. The works are influenced by the writings of Richard Flanagan and Thomas Kennealy. Both writers have written in fictional and non-fictional form on the interactions and first encounters between the two groups. Using the landscape as a theatre set I can stage encounters, much like a novelist. said Paul Ryan.

Though his landscapes have been acclaimed within the Australian art scene for almost three decades, it is his singular way of depicting the human face that has most recently garnered attention.

A continuation of his Australian historical theme, Ryan’s approach to portraiture is much the same as that of his landscapes – that the overall view is a blank canvas upon which he can envisage endless alternatives. In the same way he fixates on one particular environment, so too does he limit his range of sitters to paint only those with whom he is personally familiar and whose features are so well known to him as to no longer be a distraction. Pushing beyond external appearances, he eschews painting an obvious likeness in order to discover underlying characters and personality traits; a process that turns his small band of recognisable friends into almost unidentifiable grotesques of themselves, their features manipulated to suit new roles in his grand narrative.” Edwina Corlette, Edwina Corlette Gallery.

The Gold Award is a premier biennial event of national significance presented by Rockhampton Art Gallery. The Gold Award is a joint initiative of the Rockhampton Art Gallery Philanthropy Board and Rockhampton Regional Council. Designed as an invitation award to acquire the best of contemporary Australian art by living artists, the most outstanding work or works by an artist are awarded a cash prize of $50,000 and acquired by Rockhampton Art Gallery.

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.

Invited artists’ works will be on exhibition at Rockhampton Art Gallery 18 August - 7 October