We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Highly commended

Jenny Sages Gene Sherman with family, after Tillers, after Freud, after Watteau

oil, wax, pigment on multiple canvas boards

182 x 202 cm

Image courtesy the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI)

Jenny Sages had wanted to paint gallerist, arts patron and philanthropist Gene Sherman for some time. ‘I wanted to capture Gene’s vibrancy and on this occasion the whole family came together by chance and they are so interesting graphically,’ says the artist, who ended up including Gene’s husband Brian and children Emile Sherman and Ondine Sherman in the painting.

‘The bottom line is to make the painting work and using the squares and the family overlapping with each other was a way of doing this.’

The painting has become more of a psychological portrait, with references to the many Imants Tillers’ paintings owned by Sherman, and to the Lucian Freud painting Large interior W11 (after Watteau) 1981–83, which had been exhibited at Sherman Galleries.

Highly commended by the judges, Sage’s portrait was one of the final works they considered when deciding on the Archibald winner. The work is now in the Gene and Brian Sherman Collection, Sydney.