Richard Lewer Wins Basil Sellers Art Prize

Hamilton-born Richard Lewer has been announced the winner of this year’s A$100,000 Basil Sellers Art Prize for his work “The Theatre of Sports (2016),” beating 240 other entries.

The Basil Sellers Art Prize is a biennial contemporary art prize and exhibition that focuses on the theme of “art and sport,” encouraging artists to explore Australia’s obsession with sport.

The finalists will be on show at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne, until 6 November.

Lewer’s “The Theatre of Sports” is a suite of 12 paintings that explores the relationship between art and mental illness, centering on moments of public failure.

Each work portrays one of the many recent highly-publicised moments of failure experienced by famous sporting figures such as Ian Thorpe, Ronda Rousey, and Nick Kyrgios.

According to Kelly Gellatly, director of the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne, Lewer’s work reflects his fascination with how these losses are handled.

“The work is both a commanding, painterly ode to a sense of vulnerability and to the emotional side of sport,” Gellatly says, “while honouring the discipline of elite athletes and their ability to draw upon an inner strength that enables them to continue, and to strive for excellence, in the face of loss.”

Lewer was born in 1970. He lives in Melbourne.

Original article by Nicholas Forrest, Blouinartinfo, July 22, 2016.

Tags: Basil Sellers Art Prize  Blouinartinfo  Ian Potter Museum of Art  Richard Lewer  The Theatre of Sports  

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