Quietly understated work wins $10,000 drawing prize - Art Collector

5 October 2010 | Melbourne’s Brent Harris has won the inaugural Rick Amor Drawing Prize for a charcoal work titled Study for Deluge.

“This is a luminous and intriguing work drawn with great sensitivity and an appealing freshness of touch,” says artist Paul Boston, who judged this year’s prize.

“The imagery is handled with such subtlety that there is only the merest hint of some ominous, unfolding human drama. This understatement leaves the viewer all the more fascinated.”

The work will now join the collection of the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Gallery director Gordon Morrison is enthusiastic about the acquisition. “Brent Harris is a very talented and interesting artist whose early work was characterised by a Spartan minimalist quality. This example of his more recent work reflects more the spirit of the classical drawing tradition,” Morrison says.

"It's a drawing that is reminiscent of a cartoon for a fresco by an Italian Renaissance master, but while the figures have a classical quality there is also an air of menace in the work.”

He adds: “This is a work that is far removed from Paul's own art practice – his selection has been objective and astute.”

Harris was selected from a field of 80 finalists including Bill Sampson, Robyn Burgess, Prudence Flint, Laith McGregor, Helen Wright and Eolo Paul Bottaro.

The prize is open to works on paper that are no bigger than A3 size, which is intended to give the viewer an intimate experience of each drawing.

The award exhibition continues at the Art Gallery of Ballarat until 7 November 2010.

Jane O'Sullivan

Above: Brent Harris, Study for Deluge, 2009. Charcoal, 58 x 38.6cm. Courtesy: the artist

Share this page: