Yvette Coppersmith (b.1980, Naarm / Melbourne), is an Australian painter specialising in portraiture and abstraction. While her painting practice originally formed through portraiture in the realist tradition, over the last 20 years her visual language has evolved to include still life and abstraction, with an interest in the interplay between these genres and the figure.
Coppersmith’s representations of The Self evolve through the process of her medium and stylistic transformation, utilising the traditions of Australian and European modernism as a vehicle to image her own subjectivity, as well as the people she paints. Depicting predominantly women in her portraits, the artist explores the contemporary female gaze and the body, while similarly illuminating potent social, cultural, and environmental issues. In contrast, her abstract works reclaim signature elements from key practices within 20th Century Australian modernism, engaging with emotive rhythmic compositions and ‘colour orchestrations’ that evoke the spiritual strands of transcendental painting.
In 2018 Coppersmith was awarded the esteemed Archibald Prize for her painting “Self Portrait, after George Lambert”. This was the fifth year she was included as a finalist and she was only the 10th woman to win the Prize since its inception in 1921. Coppersmith graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2001. She won the inaugural Metro Prize in 2003 and has previously been selected as a finalist in the Darling Portrait Prize (National Portrait Gallery, Canberra), Arthur Guy Memorial Award (Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria), Geelong Contemporary Art Prize (Geelong Gallery, Victoria), the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (Moran Arts Foundation, Sydney), and the Portia Geach Memorial Award (S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney).
Coppersmith has exhibited in artist-run-initiatives, commercial galleries and public spaces in Australia and internationally and her work is held in numerous public and private collections. The making of her 2017 Archibald portrait of Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs features in Foxtel Arts’ documentary film ‘The Archibald’ by Mint Pictures.
In 2023 Coppersmith presented the solo exhibition, Carnelian at the Jewish Museum of Australia as an artistic response to the exhibition, CHAGALL: Printmaking, Poetry, Public Art.
The artist is represented by Sullivan + Strumpf.