Trevor Nickolls wins Blake Prize 2013 - Art Collector

Trevor Nickolls, Metamorphosis, 2013. Acrylic on linen, 91.5 x 91.5cm. Courtesy: the artist and The Blake Society, Sydney

23 October 2013 | The 62nd Blake Prize has been awarded to the late South Australian artist Trevor Nickolls for his work Metamorphosis, pictured above.

It is the first time the Blake Prize has been awarded posthumously. Nickolls is considered a pioneer in the urban Aboriginal art movement and he was the first Aboriginal artist to represent Australia in the Venice Biennale when he exhibited alongside Rover Thomas in 1990. His work is held in all the major public gallery collections across Australia, as well as in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.

Estate executor and friend of Nickolls, Angelika Tyrone, said that Nickolls had wished to be featured in the Blake Prize exhibition for several years and that he had hoped to create an award for young Aboriginal artists. The $25,000 Blake Prize money will help in realising this wish.

Franz Kempt, The Outrageous Has Become Commonplace, 2013. Oil on linen, 102 x 102cm. Courtesy: the artist and The Blake Society, Sydney

There were several other prizes awarded at the exhibition launch. The MUA Blake Prize for Human Justice was awarded to internationally renowned artist Franz Kempf for his work The Outrageous Has Become Commonplace, shown above. He has participated in over 90 solo exhibitions around the world, and taught the winner of this year's Blake Prize, Trevor Nickolls, at the South Australian School of Art in the 1970s.

The John Coburn Emerging Artist Award was presented to Sydney-based video artist David Capra. He received an Australian Council New Works Grant last year and is currently undertaking a Masters degree at the College of Fine Arts (COFA) at the University of New South Wales.

The judging panel for this year's awards comprised Lisa Havilah, director of Carriageworks in Sydney; Jay Johnson, senior lecturer of art theory and art education at COFA; and Tim Johnson, winner of this year's Paddington Art Prize and a finalist in last year's Blake Prize.

The exhibition of the 73 shortlisted artworks, including work from Tony Clark, Rodney Pople and Joan Ross, is on display at COFA until 16 November 2013.

Alexandra Djurichkovic

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