We are thrilled to announce that multidisciplinary artist Julia Gutman has won the Archibald Prize 2023 for her portrait of singer-songwriter Jessica Cerro, best known by her stage name Montaigne.

A first-time finalist in the Archibald, Gutman is shifting the boundaries of contemporary painting in Australia. Through her mixed media compositions that come from a practice grounded in painting, she merges personal and collective histories with canonical paintings to explore themes of femininity, intimacy and memory. 

We are so pleased for Julia and couldn’t be more proud. We look forward to sharing more of her work with you at her next solo exhibition at our Melbourne gallery in March 2024.

 “My practice is broadly concerned with community and intimacy, so I wanted to work with someone I know well. Jess and I have been friends for a few years and there is a lot of alignment in our practices; we are both interested in creating our own forms and approaches rather than strictly adhering to any one tradition. Montaigne’s work defies genres, while her mercurial soprano has become an indelible part of the fabric of Australian music.

In this Archibald portrait, her pose mimics that of Egon Schiele’s Seated woman with bent knees, a painting of his wife Edith that subverted conventional representations of femininity when he composed it in 1917. Like Edith, Montaigne’s figure is distorted: at once angular and soft, representational and imagined. She sits in a vaguely suggested landscape, fragmented by a translucent screen, online and offline at once." – Julia Gutman