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James McGrath wins Viewers’ Choice Award - 2019 Mosman Art Prize

24 October 2019

James McGrath (NSW) has won the 2019 Mosman Art Prize Viewers’ Choice Award with Flora cloud #1, an oil on canvas on board painting inspired by Baroque painting and architectural traditions.

Congratulating James on his win, John Cheeseman, Director, Mosman Art Gallery said, “James’ contemporary take on seventeenth century painting was the clear favourite at this year’s Viewers’ Choice. With Mosman Art Prize showcasing the best examples of contemporary painting in Australia, this annual exhibition continues to draw large attendances and significant public support. We’ve hosted near to 12,000 visitors this year and there is no thought of the Prize slowing down.”

The Mosman Art Society has once again generously supported this award with a $1000 cash prize.

Describing the work McGrath said: “This painting is from a new series of surreal Baroque interiors that I am working on for a show next year. Why Baroque? Because multiple techniques, genres and narratives can be folded into each other using a Baroque theatricality. Within the painting, a Baroque interior is flooded with over-sized flowers. It is a visual conundrum, the two archetypes of perspective and Dutch still life entwined in a surreal play or dance. Like a floral monster casting its shadow over an interior and consuming it. It is perhaps a metaphor of nature taking back control of the built environment – climate change takes revenge!”

About James McGrath
McGrath is represented by Olsen Gallery, Sydney. Over the past decade, he has explored the meeting point between art, architecture and theatre. He was introduced to the principles of the sixteenth and seventeenth century masters at the studio school of Patrick Betaudier in Paris. Before graduating university as an architect, he worked as a studio assistant to Arthur Boyd for 8 months. Over his career he has exhibited throughout New York, London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Toronto, and Paris. His work has been commissioned for public and private spaces in Taipei, Beijing, Majorca Spain, Tel Aviv, Melbourne, Sydney, London and New York.

The 2019 Mosman Art Prize presented 88 finalists from over 670 entries across Australia. This year’s guest judge artist and previous Prize winner, Guan Wei, awarded the major acquisitive prize of $50,000 to Austinmer artist, Paul Kelleher for his oil on canvas painting, The party is over.

Now in its 72nd year, the Mosman Art Prize is the longest running, continuous municipal art prize in Australia. Proud of its rich history in fostering emerging and established artists the Prize is Mosman Art Gallery’s flagship annual exhibition.