Award winners: Victoria Reichelt - Art Collector

Issue 67, January - March 2014

This profile appeared in the Award Winners feature, part of the annual special issue 50 Things Collectors Need to Know 2014.

Victoria Reichelt, After (books), 2012, detail, oil on linen, 130 x 91cm. Courtesy: the artist; Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane; and Dianne Tanzer Gallery + Projects, Melbourne

Victoria Reichelt was already busy in early 2013, completing work for Art Stage Singapore, when she was awarded The Sulman Prize for After (books). This is one of a series of detailed realist interiors with crammed library shelves depicting small, airless, spaces. It pushes the subject into close proximity to the viewer, evoking the stale, musty environment in a traditional library, sealed against the outdoors - yet inhabited by a wild deer.

Reichelt’s practice has focused on obsolescence in recent years – with this series contemplating the fate of books and libraries in the light of a digital future. The medium becomes part of the message given the painstaking nature of the creation of her realist aesthetic, through hours of applying paint to canvas.

Reichelt, a young Gold Coast-based artist, has worked full time as a painter since she left art school in 2005. Her realist depictions of unreal scenarios, as in
After (books), have had significant commercial acceptance. Critical attention has also seen her work profiled in the Gallery of Modern Art’s Contemporary Australia: Optimism in 2008. She has been included in other national awards and international art fairs, and the Sulman Prize has established her rising national reputation. Her recent exhibition late last year at Jan Murphy Gallery was only one painting short of a sellout.

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