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August 3, 2017  John McDonald, Sydney Morning Herald (Spectrum)

From John McDonald’s review of the 2017 Archibald Salon des Refusés...

“There are few more capable portraitists in Australia than Mathew Lynn, who seems to be bounced in and out of the Archibald depending on what quota of relatively traditional painters they are allowing. This year, Paul Newton, Robert and Tsering Hannaford made the cut, and Lynn missed out, but his portrait of curator, Franchesca Cubillo, is one of the most striking pictures in this year’s Refusés. It may seem as if Lynn has never gotten over Velázquez, but what’s wrong with that?”

 
2009 [Heiress  (2009 - 183x122cm, oil on linen)].jpg

March 7, 2009 John McDonald, Sydney Morning Herald (Spectrum)

“...and Lynn with a marvellous, fanciful portrait of artist Joan Ross, draped head-to-toe in furs, as if she has just stepped out of the jungle after having been raised by a lost tribe.”

February 26, 2009 Christopher Allen, The Australian

“...full-length portrait by Mathew Lynn... reminds us that a monumental effect can be achieved at normal human scale; it is hard to paint whole figures, but far braver and more ambitious than settling for an oversized head.”

 
2002 Anna Volska [Lynn Anna Volska].jpg

June 8, 2002 John McDonald, Weekend Australian Financial Review

“...Lynn makes a more immediate impression with his portrait of actor Anna Volska, a direct and seamless likeness with a hint of psychological penetration that makes this subject look both tense and intense.  Lynn, who seems to appear on the art scene only at Archibald time, is one of the most consistent performers.”

 
1998 Guan Wei [Guan Wei 10x12].jpg

March 21, 1998 John McDonald, Sydney Morning Herald

In describing the "excellent sequel" to the Ryckmans portrait, McDonald noted the "deceptively simple" work, "is painted with tremendous subtlety, especially the clasped hands, which convey more about the subject than the impassive expression. Guan Wei is a big man who paints precise, quirky pictures (he has an entry in this year's Sulman), and Lynn manages to convey the disjunction between the artist's hulking figure and the delicacy of his work"

 
1997 Jeanne [Jeanne 10x12].jpg

March 22, 1997 John McDonald, Sydney Morning Herald

“...Mathew Lynn's picture was another story: simple, direct, unaffected - painted with a subtlety that made most other entries look strained and calculated. It is a picture that exerts an appeal by slow degrees, holding firm while its neighbours sink ever further through the floor. Given another day's looking, the trustees might have come around to this work.”

March 29, 1997 John McDonald, Sydney Morning Herald

“...Mathew Lynn's Jeanne Ryckmans was, for me, the great improver in this year's Archibald...... Lynn never allows a theme to overpower the subject. The simplicity of the backdrop and the sitter's dark, plain clothing focus attention back onto the face and pose. The artist told me he had been looking at Chinese historical portraiture, and this is a very plausible reference. It is not simply because of Ryckmans's Asiatic features, but because Lynn has invoked the same serene, steady gaze one finds in portraits of the Emperor and his court. The effect is a strange, compelling blend of intimacy and distance. There is a momentary illusion that the subject is someone we know well, but she remains aloof and enigmatic. The skilfulness of this painting is that it creates a lure for the imagination, without having to resort to props and heavy-handed symbolism. It is as much a question of what the artist has been able to leave out, as put in. Ryckmans comes across as a complex subject, whereas most portraits reduce sitters to the status of chess pieces or dressmakers' dummies.”