Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information

Help us improve our prizes database. Contact us if you have more information.

Winner: Archibald Prize 2017

Mitch Cairns

Title
Agatha Gothe-Snape
Medium
oil on linen
Dimensions
140.5 x 125 cm
Further information

Agatha Gothe-Snape is an artist whose work addresses the slippery nature of how we read and understand contemporary art and culture. It is perhaps best characterised by her rigorous conceptual enquiry and openness of form. She has achieved significant recognition both in Australia and internationally. Her work was recently seen in the 20th Biennale of Sydney and The National: new Australian art. Earlier this year, she had a solo exhibition at the prestigious Mori Art Museum in Tokyo – a first for an Australian artist.

‘In this painting, Agatha is both an active subject and a recalcitrant muse embracing and resisting simultaneously any idea of what it is to be fixed. Ultimately this is what is most attractive about Agatha. She embodies an uncompromising agency whilst having the grace to accept the ready complications inherent within our life as artists,’ says Mitch Cairns.

‘I composed this portrait with love in the full knowledge of its inevitable and palpable quake.’

Born in Camden, NSW in 1984, Cairns is a graduate of the National Art School and was the recipient of the 2012 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship. This is his fourth time in the Archibald Prize.

This work is now in the Monash University Collection.

Listen to label text
Watch Auslan video