Billionaire demands removal of ‘unflattering’ portrait from National Gallery of Australia

Vincent Namatjira: Australia in Colour, 2024, installation view at Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. Photo: Saul Steed

Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, has demanded the National Gallery of Australia remove her portrait by Vincent Namatjira from the artist’s solo exhibition at the institution.  

Namatjira – who is the first Indigenous person to win the country’s prestigious Archibald award in 2020 for his portrait of Indigenous footballer Adam Goodes – is accused of rendering Rinehart in an ‘unflattering’ manner, but the NGA has rebuked the patron’s demands stating, ‘Since 1973, when the National Gallery acquired Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles, there has been a dynamic discussion on the artistic merits of works in the national collection, and/or on display at the gallery. We present works of art to the Australian public to inspire people to explore, experience and learn about art.’

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