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Dobell Drawing Prize 2011

winner announced Friday 2 December, 11am

Suzanne Archer, Derangement, 2010 (detail) ink, charcoal, pastel, 173 × 210cm, winner Dobell Prize for Drawing 2010

The Dobell Prize is Australia’s most respected prize for drawing and one of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ highly anticipated annual events.

Artist Guy Warren will judge the 2011 Dobell Drawing Prize and the winner will be announced, Friday 2 December at 11am. Winning artist receives $25,000 and the work is automatically added to the Art Gallery of NSW collection. The exhibition of selected artists will be on display from 2 December 2011 until 12 February 2012.

The Dobell Prize has always been the subject of discussion and debate about the nature of drawing. What constitutes a drawing is however deliberately not outlined in the conditions of entry. That has been left for competing artists to define by their practice and for each individual judge, annually appointed by the trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation, to determine in the process of looking at all the entries.

“If the artist says it’s a drawing, it’s a drawing,” said Arthur Boyd, inaugural judge, 1993.

Kevin Connor was the first Dobell Drawing Prize winner with a gritty drawing in black ink and white gouache, Pyrmont and the city. It was chosen by Arthur Boyd (1920-99), the first of many distinguished artists, curators and specialists in drawing to judge the Prize. Connor won it again in 2005. Among previous prize-winners are Jan Senbergs, Godwin Bradbeer, Pam Hallandal (twice), David Fairbairn, Nick Mourtzakis (twice), Aida Tomescu and Gary Shead. Former judges of the Prize include James Gleeson, John Olsen, Margaret Olley, Colin Lanceley and Betty Churcher.

The Sir William Dobell Foundation has contributed enormously to the Art Gallery of NSW collection. Established by the Foundation in 1993, the Dobell Prize has created a significant collection of Australian drawings by leading artists. In 1990, the Foundation gifted some 1000 drawings by the late William Dobell (1899-1970). Dobell was an exceptional draughtsman of the figure, portraits and genre. These drawings, available in the Gallery’s Study Room, reveal exceptional quality of his work from his student years in Sydney, his time in London, return to Australia and subsequent years of fame and maturity.

On view
2 Dec 2011 – 5 Feb 2012
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney


Media contact

Claire Martin
Tel 02 9225 1734
Mob 0414 437 588