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Ben Quilty

b. 1973

Ben Quilty (b. 1973), painter, gained bachelor’s degrees in painting and visual communication at Sydney College of the Arts and the University of Western Sydney. He held his first solo exhibition at the Step Gallery in Sydney in 2001and from 2004 exhibited with Jan Murphy Gallery in Brisbane. He has also exhibited with GRANTPIRRIE since 2008. In 2002 he won the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship and he was a finalist in the Archibald and Wynne prizes in 2004. An Archibald finalist again in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012, he won the prize in 2011 with a portrait of Margaret Olley. In 2006 he was one of the artists exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery exhibition Truth and Likeness, curated by Michael Desmond. He went to Afghanistan in October 2011 as an official war artist, commissioned by the Australian War Memorial and attached to members of the Australian Defence Force deployed as part of Operation Slipper. In January 2013 he was appointed to the board of trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Later that year, Michael Desmond curated his major solo show Trigger Happy at the Drill Hall, Canberra. In January 2014 Quilty was the overall winner of the Prudential Eye Award in Singapore, which carried a substantial cash prize and entitled him to an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, London – he was the first Australian to have a solo show there. Since May 2014 he has been represented by Pearl Lam Galleries in Shanghai as well as Tolarno in Melbourne. In August 2014, Quilty’s After Afghanistan and Shaun Gladwell: Afghanistan were exhibited together at Perth’s John Curtin Gallery. Quilty lives and works in Robertson, New South Wales. Remarkably handsome, and renowned as a new-style man’s man, he has appeared twice on the ABC’s Australian Story and was named Artist of the Year by the men’s magazine GQ in 2013. His works are held by the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Art Gallery of South Australia as well as various regional galleries.

Updated 2018