Juan Davila has been awarded the inaugural Benalla Nude $50,000 art prize, for hiswork After Image &.
Juan Davila is known internationally for his confronting paintings, drawings and installations that frequently address social rights issues and politics.
His winning work captures a moment of tenderness; two women playing in the forest, depicting great depth of emotion.
Benalla Nude 2014 attracted entries from all over Australia and finalists included other well known artists such as Robert Dickerson and dual-Archibald winner Wendy Sharpe.
The judge of the prize Daniel Thomas AM said the painting of two women embracing showed “a kind of transgressive love” and also hinted at the challenges of climate change in the depiction of the landscape. He praised the emotion of the painting and the complexity of the symbolism in the ampersand and other figures.
The exhibition of the winning entry and the other 31 finalists will run from April 11 – July 13.
“This exhibition, with its breathtaking range of works, is certainly a high spot for Benalla Art Gallery and for Benalla Rural City,” said Jilian Mulally, Manager Arts, Communications and Events. “The whole region is celebrating this first presentation of Benalla Nude, with window displays throughout the CBD, and a plethora of activities as part of the education program.”
Juan Davila was born in Chile in 1946, and moved to Australia in 1974. He currently lives in Melbourne. His works feature in collections across Australia, as well as in the USA and Spain.
Benalla Nude is being presented by the Benalla Art Gallery, which is managed by the Benalla Rural City Council.The $50,000 prize has been put forward by the Friends of the Benalla Art Gallery Inc. The Benalla Nude exhibition is supported by Tourism Victoria.