Congratulations to Ildiko Kovacs and Richard Lewer, who have been selected as finalists in the 2019 Sir John Sulman Prize!
The Prize is presented by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, established within the terms of Sir John Sulman’s bequest, the prize was first awarded in 1936. The Sulman Prize is awarded for the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project by an Australian artist.
Of the work, Kovacs says: “This painting comprises plywood covered with oil paint. I often use my hands to apply several layers of colour. I then draw into it with graphite and wax pencil. I work on the floor so I can press down onto the surface. This allows me to manoeuvre around the board as I improvise the form. The lines are webbed in the way they are drawn or scratched, appearing to have a primal quality that reminds me of scarification or Riji shell engravings.”
Of the work, Lewer says: “Last year was not a good year; I spent a lot of time in hospital with Dad who was very ill. One day I remember more vividly than the others. I’d returned to the ward for the afternoon and was watching Dad from the doorway when the doctor stood beside me and said, ‘We have grave concerns for your father’s health’. I made this work to process my reality and feelings, as deep and raw as they were.”
The winner will be announced May 10. Exhibition runs until June 30.