Showcasing the 2022 Main Awards Finalists, pre-order this high-quality publication and secure your copy.



Introducing “Lester”, a new companion for our annual prize and a celebration of the portraiture art form, co-published with new Western Australian imprint, Mess Books. We are excited to share a preview of this book, which is available for pre-order now in the lead up to its official release alongside the exhibition opening on October 1.

The book draws together the work of our finalists, along with their written insights, pages from their notebooks, working sketches and studies, plus transcripts of conversations between artists and The Lester Prize CEO Annie Silberstein, an introduction from one of this year’s judges, Penny Grist (Curator, National Portrait Gallery) and original writing from local independent curator Gemma Weston.

On the cover is Adrian Lazzaro’s strikingly resonant and brilliantly shrewd “Self Portrait”, depicting the artist at attention, hand on heart, “gazing heroically into the distance”. The mask seems to betray the gravity of the moment, yet cleverly suggests that wearing it may be a heroic act of the everyman. Lazzaro has worked at Arts Project Australiaa studio and gallery that supports and advocates for the work of neurodiverse artists—since 2004, combining painting, printmaking and textiles to explore societal idiosyncrasies and ironies. Lester delves into his practice through excerpts from his notebooks, which contain all manner of re-interpreted references to politics and celebrity.
Grist’s profoundly astute introduction to the book explores the “curious intimacy” of portraiture, surveying the forces of admiration, love, grief, yearning and devotion that permeate the works in this year’s prize. Weston‘s contribution is a buoyant yet contortive piece that grapples with the strange power of the portrait to turn you in on yourself, asking, “What happens, in front of the portrait?”

Pre-order The Lester Prize 2022 Exhibition Book to secure your copy.

Pub. Date: 2022
Genre: Art / History / Portraiture
ISBN: 978-0-6455860-0-8
Publisher: The Lester Inc and Mess Books

Additional information

Weight 0.135 kg