The Archibald Prize Portraiture | assessment task 4a

Content Focus

Practice: Art History ~ Art Criticism | Conceptual Framework: Artist ~ Audience

  • Weighting: 10%
  • Task Issued: Week 1, Term 3
  • Task Due: Week 8, Term 3

In responding to this Case Study you will be assessed on your ability to address Syllabus Outcomes: P7, P8 & P9.

Refer to Visual Arts coursework assessment cover sheet for further details.

The purpose of this case study is to:
  • Define the role of the art historian, critic and curator
  • Negotiate these roles and relationships within the context of the conceptual framework
  • Learn to develop and argue a point of view when discussing images
  • Use appropriate research and investigation skills
  • Learn about the role of exhibitions, galleries and curators
  • Learn how to write about artworks in an informed manner.
  • Understand how artists interpret the portrait through practice

The Task

Your submission:

Word, Page or InDesign documents can be printed out as hard copy with illustrations where appropriate or saved as PDF and submitted online. You may also use any other appropriate digital or online format ( PowerPoint, Keynote, Blog, Adobe Spark etc) to submit your response. All research articles & references should be acknowledged in a bibliography.

Submit Tasks 2-5 to Google Classroom. Class code t06fn0 or email to me at gary.poulton@det.nsw.edu.au

NB. Part of this task requires a review of the current Archibald Prize; therefore, excursion / exhibition attendance is compulsory

Complete the following tasks.

Task 1 | Researched Essay Response (20 marks)

'0' period 'in class essay response' (Wednesday WK8) 8:00am - 8:50am

The Archibald Prize has a significant place and role in Australian art. Explain why this art award performs important functions for both the artist and audience. Refer to a range of artists. (min. 1000 words)

  • 'Explain' means "To make something clear or easy to understand by describing or giving information about it":
  • 'Why' = give reasons
  • Function = the way in which something works or operates:

Task 2 | The Critic, Curator and Historian (5 marks)

  1. Research the roles of the Art Critic, Art Curator and Art Historian
  2. Describe the role of each and then explain the differences and similarities between each of these roles.
  3. Choose a role that appeals to you, then outline what this particular role as a career entails. (approx. 250 words)

Task 3 | The Historian (10 marks)

Write an article about the current 'Archibald Prize' for a hypothetical artworld journal / magazine. Select works in this year’s Archibald Prize submissions at the Art Gallery of NSW.

In your writing;

  1. Discuss the significance of the current exhibition and selected works from the perspective of an Art Historian.
  2. Include an historical overview of the Prize.
  3. Include an explanation of what makes the Archibald Prize for painting 'unique' and “Australian”?
  4. Provide at least 2 examples of artworks (with citations) referenced in your article.

(approx. 400 words)

Task 4 | The Art Critic… (5 marks)


You are an art critic with an informed interest in the arts who periodically writes exhibition reviews for major newspapers and Art magazines.

Write a review of this year's Archibald Prize for the Arts section of Sydney Morning Herald.

(approx 250 words + images) See linked articles below

Task 5 | The Curator… (10 marks)

After graduating from university you have been successful in gaining a position as the Curator for Painting at the AGNSW. The gallery director has asked you to curate and exhibit a themed retrospective from the gallery's collection for the upcoming centenary of the Archibald Prize.

  1. Choose a theme for the proposed exhibition and give it a title
  2. Select the works to be included in the exhibition
  3. Write an introductory essay for the exhibition catalogue. In this essay outline the rationale for the theme of the show and and your reasons as curator for including these works.
  4. Include a printout of the images selected for the exhibition (numbered and with citations)
  5. Include a diagram showing how you would arrange the works in the exhibition
  6. Include a floor plan to identify the location of the exhibition within the AGNSW gallery layout or design your own gallery space.

(Note: artworks & citations, drawing of layout plan + 300 word introductory essay, and bibliography are to be included with the response to this task )

Created By
Gary Poulton

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