• FINALISTS in the 2021 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize

    The 2021 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Art Prize finalists have been announced! 

    Richard Lewer has been announced as a finalist for the Archibald Prize; William Mackinnon has been announced as finalist in both the Archibald Prize and Wynne Prize; and Clara Adolphs and Ildiko Kovacs are both finalists in the Sir John Sulman Prize.

    Presented by Art Gallery of New South Wales, the exhibition will run from 5th of June to 26th September 2021.

    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.

    Richard Lewer, Liz Laverty, oil on canvas, 153.5 x 153 cm.

    Of the work, Lewer says: “‘I met Liz not long after Colin died in 2013. Naturally our conversations then were mostly about loss and love. But over the years I’ve been painting Liz, I’ve seen steep changes in her energy, positivity and zest for life as she redefines herself,’ says Lewer.

    “The women I know of Liz’s generation have an inner strength. It may be a generalisation, but after the loss of a partner they often seem to live more productive, happier lives than their male counterparts.

    I have painted Liz wearing one of her signature polka-dot blouses. The highly vibrant colour palette reflects Liz’s warmth and liveliness, the yellow ochre enriching her red hair, pale complexion and blue eyes.”

    William Mackinnon, Dark dad / extremis, acrylic, oil and enamel on linen, 200 x 150 cm.

    Of the work, Mackinnon says: “Parenthood has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. However, at times, I have felt pushed to the edge,’ says Mackinnon.

    ‘There is no doubt that it’s harder for the mother who gives birth, breastfeeds and undergoes physiological and hormonal changes. That said, the father has to cope with the aforementioned and is in shock at the change to life as previously known!

    While attempting a night feed, feeling completely frayed, I glimpsed myself in the mirror. In a near-hallucinatory state from interrupted sleep, I looked deranged. Then Lucky took the bottle and stopped crying, and I experienced peace and a delicious intimacy – a small moment of grace.

    I wanted to convey how I felt in the handling of the paint – raw emotion and raw linen, my stained pyjamas stuck on, evoking the sharp shift in reality. My hair was painted straight from the tube, while the linen is indelibly stained with deep Prussian blue.”

    The Wynne Prize was established following a bequest by Richard Wynne, who died in 1895, and first awarded in 1897, in honour of the official opening of the Gallery at its present site.

    About the work, Mackinnon says: “In 2019, I made a large triptych about the Australian explorers Burke and Wills. This opened up a new territory for me. Adventure and folly (ii) references time spent in the powerful Kimberley region, but it is an invented landscape. For me, landscape painting is more about what is going on inside me.

    Adventure and folly (ii) follows Australia’s ever-hotter summers and increasingly frequent, devastating fires. However, the black represents any unforeseen negative force, be it COVID-19 or any event that devastates one’s personal landscape. In 1983, when I was five, our family house burnt down in the Ash Wednesday bushfires, just two weeks after we moved in. Importantly, fire creates regeneration and opportunities for growth and change.”

    William Mackinnon, Adventure and folly (ii), acrylic, oil and automotive enamel on linen, 258 x 200 cm.

    The Sulman Prize was established within the terms of Sir John Sulman’s bequest, the prize was first awarded in 1936. Each year the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW invite a guest artist to judge this open competition.

    Clara Adolphs, Spectators, oil on linen, left panel: 132.6 x 188.7 cm; right panel: 132.6 x 188.3 cm.

    About the work, Clara Adolphs says: “My work explores the notion of time and memory. Fascinated by the question of what remains after a moment has passed, I often use abandoned anonymous photographs as the starting point for my paintings. Disconnecting from the subjects’ identities allows a focus on the indefinable, yet timeless, collective nature of the human experience.

    Spectators began as three photographs. I was drawn to these images by their shared sense of suspense and anticipation. By weaving them together to make this diptych – a process of choosing what will remain and what I will omit – I have created a new context, while giving these figures a new life.”

    Ildiko Kovacs, Aquine, oil on board, 240 x 120 cm.

    About the work, Kovacs says: “Over the last few years, I have been looking more at sculpture, which has influenced my paintings. I paint using a foam roller, which lends itself to making a more solid line. As part of my process, I rework the line intuitively, finding form and rhythm simultaneously with colour. I remould the line, weave it, stack it and reconstruct it until I reach a wholeness in the making, attaining a feeling that sits comfortably in my physicality as well as in what I see.”

     Exhibition runs 5th June to 26th September 2021.

  • HUGO MICHELL GALLERY OPEN: Tony Garifalakis | David Booth [Ghostpatrol]

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Tony Garifalakis’ ‘Scum Suite’ and David Booth’s [Ghostpatrol] ‘Time Feeling Slippy’.
    Through his ongoing examination of culturally ascribed forms, Tony Garifalakis knowingly engages image and text – the twin-towers of print design methodology – to shift the semantic register of ‘common’ imagery (pop culture, music, cults, fashion, craft etc) and its components. These signs and symbols present themselves as units of meaning or complicated knots of reference, and are gradually transformed via their dispersal through the frameworks of cultural production. These signs also belong to a discourse between art and design, and they both, as language, are equally destabilised by Garifalakis’ détournement, which challenges the self-mythology so critical to these social structures and the legibility of their announcements. – Damiano Bertoli
    For David Booth’s [Ghostpatrol] exhibition ‘Time Feeling Slippy’, Booth states: “I’ve been building a world in my mind for a long time now. Playing around… Some curious drifting. Sometimes I feel like a well-resourced professional child when it comes to play.
    I like to zoom right out and think about the world from a safe distance. I like looking at images that show the scale of our sun alongside the Rigel or Antares stars. It feels like scale and time travel.
    This space is where I save my memories, it’s like a big visual catalogue.”
    Please join us in celebrating the launch of these two exhibitions!
    Exhibition Opening Thursday 20 May 6-8pm
    Exhibition runs from: 20 May – 19 June
    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.
    Pictured: Tony Garifalakis, Scum #1, 2017-21, low viscosity screen print ink on cotton/linen blend, edition of 3, 200 x 145 cm.
    David Booth, Time Feeling Slippy Thought Cloud, 2021, framed watercolour, 50 x 50 cm approx. 

  • HUGO MICHELL GALLERY OPEN: Jan Murphy Gallery at Hugo Michell Gallery

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of ‘Jan Murphy Gallery at Hugo Michell Gallery’.

    A collaborative exhibition, presenting new works from six leading contemporary artists, represented by Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane.

    Lottie Consalvo
    Celia Gullett
    Guy Maestri
    Lara Merrett
    Ben Quilty
    A.J. Taylor

    Please join us in celebrating the launch of this cross-gallery exhibition!

    Exhibition Opening Thursday 15 April 6-8pm
    Exhibition runs from: 15 April – 15 May
    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.
    Pictured: A.J. Taylor, Pink Ash Forest, 2021, oil on board, 122 x 153 cm

  • Easter Long Weekend Closure

    Wishing you all a safe and fun-filled Easter long weekend!

    Please note, Hugo Michell Gallery will be closed across the long weekend and we will respond to your requests Tuesday 6 April.

    Save the date: Thursday 15 April 2021
    ‘Jan Murphy Gallery at Hugo Michell Gallery’

    A collaborative exhibition, presenting new works from six leading contemporary artists, represented by Jan Murphy Gallery.

    Pictured: Lara Merrett, Alot can happen in a day, 2021, acrylic and ink on linen, 183 x 174 cm.

  • Kate Just in ‘The National’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

    Launching this Friday, featuring new work by Kate Just, The National 2021: New Australian Art is a celebration of contemporary Australian art. The final of three biennial survey exhibitions. Through ambitious new and commissioned projects, 39 artists feature across three venues, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.
    Kate Just’s ‘Anonymous was a woman’, is an ongoing work that involves the repetitive production of hand knitted panels (16 x 16 inch) bearing the text ‘Anonymous was a woman.’ Stretched around canvas, each uniquely coloured work resembles a textile plaque. The muted tones of the work refer to a palette of jewels or minerals, natural or long buried treasures. Assembled on the wall in a grid, the works conjure a columbarium or monument to past lives or lost artworks.
    The work is inspired by a quotation in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1928). In this feminist polemic, Woolf questions the ways women’s authorship has been judged as inferior to that of men, and systematically made invisible. Woolf says, “I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” Over time this quote has been rephrased as “Throughout most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” Just states, “Through the making of the work, I meditate upon the immeasurable contributions that women have made to culture and society, and mourn the losses sustained by the erasure or exclusion of many of these gifts from the canon of art history.”
    Pictured: Kate Just, ‘Anonymous was a woman (installation detail)’ 2019-21, knitted wool, 41 x 41 cm each panel.
  • HUGO MICHELL GALLERY OPEN: Richard Lewer | Honor Freeman

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Richard Lewer’s ‘Richard’s Disasters, a true story’ and Honor Freeman’s ‘Sunlight for a pandemic’.
    *Please note*
    If you wish to join us for the opening of these exhibitions, RSVP to is essential.
    Richard Lewer’s ‘Richard’s Disasters’ is an autobiographical body of work that recalls some of the artists most personal experiences.
    “I have always used storytelling in my work to reach out to or connect people, observing and mirroring the human condition. I play with the idea of what is considered private, and put that into public space.
    Everyone has milestones, tragedy, or significant events that have shaped them. Here, I’m using myself as a tool to shine a light onto a few of these stories. I have had so many experiences – some of them my first memories, some deeply personal and private – that are unfortunate, embarrassing, humorous, absurd, tragic, frightening, unbelievable, or plain odd. Traumatic events like these often get buried out of sight, but I think it’s important to let down your guard, to be exposed, to be vulnerable. Sharing them in the work often means that people reach out to me, as they have had similar experiences. We so very rarely get to see each other’s vulnerabilities, but we all have burdens that we carry.”
    ‘Sunlight for a pandemic’, by Honor Freeman continues the artist’s exploration into the poetic potential of the simple and ubiquitous bar of soap. A small yet quietly powerful object that has gathered heightened meaning during the last 12 months. Using the mimetic qualities of clay via the process of slip casting, this sunlight series interacts with ideas of liquid made solid. The porcelain casts remember the almost obsolete objects; the liquid yellow slip solidifies becoming a precise memory of a past form – a ghost.
    “Yellow and its many shades, is a colour I find myself especially drawn towards and I am currently embracing a yellow phase: mustard, lemon, chartreuse, citrine, straw, ochre, gold, daffodil, sunshine, canary, saffron, turmeric, honey, sulphur.
    Emotive and joyous, it is the colour of sunshine, enlightenment and hope, used by ancient cultures to embody and harness the divine power of the sun. Yellow is also the colour of ‘Sunlight soap’, one of the first bar soaps to be individually packaged and marketed for the masses in 1884, and still available today, “gentle on hands, and everything they wash”.”
    This project has been generously supported by the Arts South Australia and the Australia Council for the Arts.
    Please join us in celebrating the launch of these two exhibitions!
    Exhibition Opening Thursday 11 March 6-8pm
    Exhibition runs from: 11 March – 10 April
    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.
    Pictured: Richard Lewer, 92 Lewis Street., oil on brass, 50 x 50 cm
    Pictured: Honor Freeman, Obsolescence (detail), 2021, porcelain, 32 x 32 x 3 cm

  • Bridie Gillman Joins Hugo Michell Gallery as a Represented Artist

    Hugo Michell Gallery welcomes the addition of Bridie Gillman to our represented artists!

    Informed by ideas of place, and the ways in which experiences and memories shape personal perspective of a site, Bridie Gillman expresses these observations in paint using colour and abstract gestures. This process of responding to past experiences from the context of the studio environment offers a different way of connecting to a place.

    Bridie Gillman graduated from Queensland College of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Art (First Class Honours) in 2013. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia and internationally, including Museum of Brisbane, Brisbane; Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney; The Walls, Gold Coast; Blindside, Melbourne and Run Amok, George Town, Malaysia. She was previously a finalist of the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship, 15 Artists, the MAMA National Photography Prize, and in 2019 was winner of the Moreton Bay Region Art Award. She has undertaken residencies in Kedewatan, Indonesia, in 2019 and George Town, Malaysia, in 2015, among others.

    Congratulations to Bridie on all of her achievements, we’re thrilled to be working with her!


    Pictured: Bridie Gillman, Disoriented, 2021, oil and enamel on linen, 187 x 207 cm

  • HUGO MICHELL GALLERY OPEN: Narelle Autio | Kate Just, Jamie O’Connell, Min Wong

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to our first exhibition opening of 2021! Featuring Narelle Autio’s ‘Place In Between: The Changelings’ and ‘Neon’ with work by Kate Just, Jamie O’Connell and Min Wong.
    *Please note*
    If you wish to join us for the opening of these exhibitions, RSVP to is essential.
    The call of the ocean has long been a focus of Narelle Autio’s work. Spending her childhood growing up in sun-soaked Australia she has had a lifetime relationship with the beach and is fascinated by the need for many of us to return to water. A primeval need connecting us to our ancient ancestors, pulling us back to where we came. The images dive into our collective memories and speak too many of their own personal experiences.
    Cinematic in nature and using the play of light and colour familiar to all her work, she captures the complex relationship and drama of our love for the sea and our willingness to risk our lives to enjoy it. – Stanley Barker Books (Place In Between)
    ‘Neon’ featuring works by Kate Just, Jamie O’Connell and Min Wong.
    Please join us in celebrating the launch of these two exhibitions!
    Exhibition Opening Thursday 4 February 6-8pm
    Exhibition runs from: 4 February – 5 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.
    Pictured: Narelle Autio, Changeling II, from ‘Place in Between: The Changelings’, 2020, pigment print, 162 x 110 cm
    Pictured: Kate Just, Not Okay, 2018, neon sign, 20 x 70 cm, edition of 4

  • Happy Holidays!

    Hugo Michell Gallery would like to thank you for your support throughout a challenging year. Wishing you good health, prosperity and a fun-filled summer!

    Save the date: Thursday 4 February 2021
    Narelle Autio – ‘The Place In Between: The Changelings’
    Kate Just, Jamie O’Connell, Min Wong – ‘Neon’

    CLOSED: from 18 December 2020
    OPEN: 4 February – Available by appointment from 11 January 2021

    Pictured: Lucas Grogan, ‘WE THINK YOU SHOULD TAKE THE DAY OFF’, 2020, ink, acrylic enamel on archival mount board, 43 x 43 cm.
  • Richard Lewer – Paul Guest Prize WINNER

    Congratulations to Richard Lewer who has been announced as the winner of the Paul Guest Prize!
    “The Paul Guest Prize is an award and exhibition held biennially that highlights contemporary drawing practice in Australia. The Prize was initiated by former Family Court Judge and Olympic rower, The Honourable Paul Guest OAM QC and encourages artists from across Australia to engage with the important medium of drawing in contemporary art practice. The Prize is a non-acquisitive cash award of $15,000.”
    Of the winning work Lewer states:
    “Drawing is the foundation of my art practice, I appreciate that it is immediate, unpretentious and uncomplicated. From a personal point of view, drawing plays a fundamental role in my wellbeing, it is where I go to escape when I need to deal with my demons, it is the best way I know to become healthy.”
    Finalist Exhibition: till 7 February 2021. Bendigo Art Gallery.

    For more information click here.

    Pictured: Richard Lewer, ‘2020’, 2020, charcoal on museum rag board, 100 x 150 cm.