Mathew Lynn lives and works between Sydney and the Blue Mountains, Australia. For over twenty years he has been one of Australia’s best known and successful portrait artists. Whilst this continues, his practice focuses primarily on contemporary figurative and landscape painting. His first exhibition Coogee Is Everywhere (August 2019) followed by The Silver Expanse (August 2020) explore contemporary representations of the figure, the phenomenon of personhood, racial structures in society and the nature of phenomena as meditative experience. His most recent exhibition Pacific Infinite (April 2022) was held at Day Gallery, Blackheath, and explores Pacific saltwater places as heightened experience and transcendence through extreme colour.
Since obtaining his master’s degree in art from the University of New South Wales in 1996, he has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize eighteen times, including this year with his portrait of artist Pierre Mukeba Yaka moto, Magic Pierre, and 2021 with his double portrait of community leader and close friend Muyambo Isaac Kisimba and himself, Apprentice – self-portrait with Papa K (aka I do see colour). He has twice been Archibald runner-up, and won the People’s Choice Award in 1997 and the Packers’ Prize in 2013. He has also been a finalist in the Wynne and Sulman Prizes. In 2010 he won the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award, in which he has been a finalist five times. In 2018 he was a Doug Moran National Portrait Prize finalist with a portrait of curator Tony Bond. He was a finalist in the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award in 2012 and 2014 and the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 2012. In 2013 and 2014 he was a finalist and commended in the Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing. In 2013 he was selected as a finalist and the Kedumba Collection of Australian Drawings acquired his work. He has held solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney and been included in group exhibitions, including Bell Shakespeare’s ‘The Art of Shakespeare’, 2014. In 2018 his portrait of Catherine Livingstone AO was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery Canberra as part of 20/20 portraits. From 2014 to 2022 he was an Artist Trustee for the Kedumba Trust. His portraits are in major collections, including the National Portrait Gallery Canberra and Government House Sydney. His most recent commissioned portrait is of Maestro Richard Bonynge for the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith Australia, unveiled in December 2021.