In the media frenzy surrounding the announcement of the Archibald Prize 2010 finalists last week, art critics were lamenting the trend towards oversized, photorealistic paintings among this year’s offerings.
With remarkable foresight, the Sydney Morning Herald’s John McDonald said “the inflated size of so many portraits makes one sympathetic to the small pictures, such as Sam Leach’s Tim Minchin“, and perhaps this was the sentiment among the judging panel: the 60 x 40cm portrait of the musical comedian today took out the $50,000 prize, one of the smallest paintings to win for many years.
Leach was also awarded the Wynne Prize for his landscape Proposal for landscaped cosmos, the third artist in history to take home both Archibald and Wynne Prizes in the same year.
Interestingly, the AGNSW director, Edmund Capon does not agree with the trustees’ decision this year. Of Leach’s Tim Minchin, Mr. Capon said “It’s meticulous, intense, and hugely beautiful. But not my choice.”