Karen Black named as finalist in 2021 Archibald Prize
Karen Black has been announced as a finalist in the 2021 Archibald Prize. Black’s entry is a timely portrait of renowned epidemiologist and professor of global biosecurity at the UNSW’s Kirby Institute, Professor Chandini Raina Macintyre. Professor Macintyre emigrated to Australia with her Sri Lankan Tamil family when she was nine, and is now recognised as a world expert in emerging infectious diseases. Black’s forthcoming solo exhibition at Sutton Gallery, ‘Arepo’, opens in July.
Karen Black has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious Archibald Prize for her painting of fellow artist and poet, the late Madonna Staunton, whose practice spanned five decades and included writing, collage, assemblage and painting. ⠀ ⠀ She says, “I’d wanted to paint Madonna since 2014 after seeing her paintings at QAGOMA. I felt she’d been overlooked as one of our great women artists and wanted to put her in the spotlight. When I discovered she was the same age as my mother and also had dementia, it gave me a more personal reason to meet her. I visited her in the nursing home and was inspired to see her still working on various paintings. She was still outspoken, yet I could see a certain introspect in her manner, especially her eyes.⠀ ⠀ She sat on her bed talking, so I situated the painting in her room. When I mixed the paint on the canvas a blob of paint hung over her eye, giving the portrait that feeling of introspection I’d recognised. I used shapes, referencing her assemblages and collages and painted it in the pale colours she was wearing on the day. It reminded me of time fading away.⠀ ⠀ We lost Madonna on 16th December 2019.”⠀ ⠀
Karen Black and Virginia Leonard will present The Cook and Her Driver at Gertrude Glasshouse, opening Thursday 30 January at 6pm. The exhibition is an outcome from Black’s time at the Stonehouse / Glasshouse Residency, an invitational international residency opportunity in Chenaud, located in the south west of France.