He won the Archibald Prize 19 times, the Wynne Prize 2022 – Elite News

Archibald and Wynne Award-winning artist Nicholas Harding has died at the age of 66 from cancer.

Sydney-based Harding won the Archibald in 2001 with a portrayal of actor John Bell as King Lear, and was named a finalist for the award 19 times. This year he won the Wynne Prize with a lush landscape titled Euro.

Nicholas Harding in 2014 during the mounting of his portraits of Richard Roxburgh and Hugo Weaving for an exhibition at the Olsen Irwin Gallery.

Nicholas Harding in 2014 during the mounting of his portraits of Richard Roxburgh and Hugo Weaving for an exhibition at the Olsen Irwin Gallery.Credit: Lydia Nikonova

A self-taught artist who was born in England and moved to Australia in 1965, Harding became known for his many-layered impasto style, which includes both landscapes and portraits.

Sydney gallerist Tim Olsen, who represented Harding, said he was a traditionalist “in every way”.

“He really embraced the long tradition of painting, drawing inspiration from [Lucian] Freud and Frank Auerbach, combining the brush with a spatula”, he said.

Nicholas Harding's 2001 Archibald Prize-winning painting of John Bell as King Lear.

Nicholas Harding’s 2001 Archibald Prize-winning painting of John Bell as King Lear.

“He is one of the biggest mid-career artists that we have lost too soon.”

Harding was passionate about the theater and counted actor Hugo Weaving among his friends. His entry as a finalist for Archibald in 2011 was a Weaving portrait titled Hugo Housewhich is now in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery.

“He was a true gentleman who also embraced the theater,” Olsen said. “He was one of the few artists who was ever invited backstage to draw actors for rehearsal.

Author: Arun Chauhan

I am working in news field since 2020. I am on the Elite News team as a Reporter.

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