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Jenny Sages

b. 1933

Jenny Sages (b. 1933), born to Russian Jewish parents in Shanghai, came to Australia with her family in 1948. After cursory art studies at East Sydney Technical College she attended Franklin School of Art, New York. Having returned to Sydney and married Jack Sages, between 1955 and 1984 she worked as a freelance illustrator and travel writer for books and fashion magazines including Vogue Australia. A specialist in the medium of encaustic, from 1985 Sages has worked full time in a studio atop her home in Carlotta Road, Double Bay; she has had regular solo exhibitions since 1988. Her portrait of Emily Kngwarrey was the first work purchased for the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in 1998. From 2010 to 2013 an expanded iteration of the National Portrait Gallery exhibition Jenny Sages: Paths to Portraiture toured to Tweed, Towoomba, Mackay, Burnie and Mosman. Sages won the Portia Geach Award in 1992 and 1994 and the Wynne Prize in 2005, and has been a finalist for the Archibald Prize twenty times (1990, 1993-2009, 2011-12); her 2000 and 2001 Archibald Prize entries were highly commended by the Trustees and the affecting self-portrait of the artist in widowhood, After Jack, was People’s Choice in 2012. She last entered the Prize in 2013 with a portrait of Sarah Engledow, which was hung in the Salon des Refusés. The National Portrait Gallery has her portraits of Emily Kngwarrey, Helen Garner, Kate Grenville, Irina Baronova and Nancy Borlase and Laurie Short. Her most recent exhibition, Lest I forget, showed at her long-term gallery, King Street Gallery on William, in October-November 2018.

Updated 2018