In The art that made me, artists discuss works in the Art Gallery of NSW collection that either inspire, influence or simply delight them. This selection by Mitch Cairns first appeared in Look – the Gallery’s members magazine.
In a year with a number of exceptional portraits, Mitch Cairns’ elegantly rendered painting of veteran artist Peter Powditch was a worthy runner-up in the Archibald Prize 2015 – so much so that the Gallery Trustees acquired it for the collection.
‘I’m just as pleased for Peter,’ says Cairns, runner-up also in 2014, who generally seems less inclined to talk about his own work than the work of others (‘still just ideas,’ he said of a series of paintings taking shape in his studio when Look dropped by).
Adam Cullen’s former studio assistant, Cairns was the recipient of the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship in 2012, telling Look at the time: ‘I want to be painting until I’m an 80-year-old, maintaining a practice that means something until I’m dead.’
Clean, geometric lines along with a restricted colour palette are fast becoming the hallmark of Cairns’ work, which is on show in Mitch Cairns: the readers voice at the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne until 21 February 2016.