Clara Adolphs

Clara Adolphs showing in the 2024 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Inner Sanctum

We are thrilled to celebrate Clara Adolphs' inclusion in the 'The Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Inner Sanctum' is now showing at the Art Gallery of South Australia. Adolphs will present a new suite of paintings alongside over 20 artists, poets, and musicians, curated by José Da Silva.

“The Biennial unfolds across exhibitions, performances and talks that explore our engagement with the world and each other. Here the idea of an inner sanctum illustrates the private or sacred spaces we create and the faculty of imagination that allows us to see culture and society differently.

The 2024 Adelaide Biennial offers a snapshot of contemporary Australia that is reflective and hopeful. It provides a setting where art and poetry enliven the social imagination and help us understand the complexities of the human experience.”

2024 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Inner Sanctum will be on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia from 1 March to 2 June 2024.

Enquiries to


Clara Adolphs featured on cover of Artist Profile Magazine

Clara Adolphs has been featured in the most recent issue of the Qantas magazine.

About Adolphs' painting practice, Susan Horsburgh writes: “Like old photos, Adolphs’ paints allude to a constancy, suggesting that our experiences aren’t so different from those of our grandparents. “The wider world and society might change but the human condition doesn’t.”.

Clara Adolphs’ exhibition ‘Silent Reply’ is now showing at Hugo Michell Gallery until 20th May.

Enquiries to

Artist Profile Magazine | Issue 63 | 2023 - MCA Store Museum of  Contemporary Art

Pictured: Qantas ‘Travel Insider’ Magazine, May 2023; Cover to pp 131-135.

Clara Adolphs and Fiona McMonagle announced as finalists in the 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize

We are thrilled to share that Clara Adolphs and Fiona McMonagle have been shortlisted for the 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize.

The 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize is a signature event that showcases the diversity and excellence of Australian contemporary painting practice. Through these prizes, staged since 1938, the Gallery has amassed an exceptional representation of Australian paintings whilst supporting contemporary practitioners. Showcasing the best of contemporary Australian painting practice, this $30,000 acquisitive award and biennial exhibition will feature 28 works by leading and emerging Australian artists. Collectively, the stylistic approaches and thematic range of these works reflect the currency and relevance of painting today.

The 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize finalist exhibition will be on show at Geelong Gallery in Victoria from 25 June to 11 September 2022, with the recipient of the $30,000 acquisitive 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize to be announced on Friday 15 July at 6pm.

Finalists in the 2022 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize

The 2022 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Art Prize finalists have been announced! 

Richard Lewer  has been announced as a finalist for the Archibald Prize; and Clara Adolphs is a finalist in the Wynne Prize. Congratulations to Richard and Clara!

Presented by Art Gallery of New South Wales, the exhibition will run from 14 May – 28 August 2022.

The Archibald Prize, first awarded in 1921, is Australia’s favourite art award, and one of its most prestigious. Awarded to the best portrait painting, a who’s who of Australian culture – from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists.

This is the fourth time that Richard Lewer has been represented in the Archibald Prize with a portrait of Elizabeth Laverty. “And I will keep painting her for as long as she’ll let me, or until we win!” says Lewer, whose practice has long explored the endurance, consistency and discipline that is required as an artist.

Laverty and her late husband, Sydney pathologist Colin Laverty, built one of Australia’s most significant collections of contemporary art, while supporting the Indigenous communities they visited.

“Liz is not just involved in the arts; she has many facets to her life. It is an honour to deepen my understanding of her past, present and future with each passing year. Nowadays, Liz is more vulnerable in many ways than when I first met her, yet she remains vibrant and open. She is well-informed on contemporary issues, socially adept and outward-looking. Liz continues to give back,” says Lewer.

“I have painted her daily morning ritual, sitting at the breakfast table surrounded by newspapers, planning her day in her heavily inscribed diary.”

As part of a major commissioning program to celebrate the opening of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new building in late 2022, Lewer has created portraits of the many people involved in the construction of the Sydney Modern Project.

About this work Clara Adolphs shares: “I began painting clouds as a kind of backdrop for my figurative works, although they soon revealed themselves as the centrepiece. They are figurative beings, towering and monumental. Their formations are in a state of constant flux. The painting is one moment in their time of continuous change.

This particular cloud, a Cumulus congestus, was painted from a formation accumulating on the afternoon of Christmas Day, 2021. These clouds bring rain and unsettled weather, but from afar it was a perfect day.”

The exhibition will run from 14 May – 28 August 2022 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Hugo Michell gallery Open: Clara Adolphs + Laura Wills

Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of ‘One Eye Open’ by Clara Adolphs and ‘Clouded’ by Laura Wills.
*Please note*
-If you wish to join us for the opening of these exhibitions, RSVP is essential to
-Guests for the exhibition opening are required to wear a mask.
‘One Eye Open’ by Clara Adolphs draws upon the artists vast archive of collected photographs, recontextualising the individuals who populate them. The works are filled with solitary figures and quiet, pensive moments; moments that seem to slip away as suddenly as the paint has been applied to the canvas. Working quickly and with purpose, Adolphs allows the paint to take on a life of its own.
An exploration of place, ‘Clouded’ by Laura Wills has been informed by a residency undertaken in Emu Bay, Kangaroo Island. As a landscape only recently devastated by bushfires, Wills observed the epicormic growth of trees and plants – previously dormant fauna activated by smoke. Her drawings speak of her own perceptions; looking at seeds, trees, leaves, soil, all changing with time, season, and fire.
Exhibition runs from: 2 September – 2 October
Official Exhibition opening: Thursday 2 September 6-8pm

Hugo Michell Gallery acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region, and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.

Hugo Michell Gallery Open: Paul Yore + Clara Adolphs

Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Paul Yore’s ‘Crown of Thorns’ and Clara Adolphs’ ‘In Between Days’ on Thursday 6th February 6-8pm.

Gippsland-based artist Paul Yore’s solo exhibition ‘Crown of Thorns’ brings together new textiles, assemblages and collages, continuing the artist’s decade-long personal and candid investigation into the intersection of religion, sex, politics and popular culture. Taking its title from a passage in the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus is mockingly dressed in purple and adorned with a crown of twisted thorns, Yore’s exhibition readily draws upon the iconography of his Catholic upbringing, most notably the cross or crucifixion. However, Yore’s irreverent treatment of traditional subjects is laced with a queer critique of the foundational institutions of “Western” society; specifically the moralising presence of a corrupt Church, and its role in propping up a broken political system, a dynamic which in turn has fueled centuries of colonial violence, as well as the subjugation of women, trans and queer people.

“Bundanoon-based artist Clara Adolphs is becoming somewhat of a fixture in the art prize and award circuit. An Archibald finalist in 2016 and 2019, and collecting the 2017 Eva Breuer Travelling Art Scholarship, the artist mines an archive of castoff vintage photographs to make works that contemplate the passing of time and the universality of small moments.
To capture her anonymous, enigmatic subjects, Adolphs turns to a palette knife and brush, working quickly with thick impasto paint in a kind of performance that reimagines and replays the lost moment within the photograph’s frame.” – Varia Karipoff (via Art Guide)

Please join us in celebrating the launch of our first exhibitions for 2020!

Exhibition runs until FRIDAY 6 March.

Hugo Michell Gallery acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region, and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.