The exhibition of 62 works, chosen from more than 3,000 submissions, includes the £25,000 first prize winning painting, Stevie Smith and the Willow by Sarah Pickstone.
The beguiling figure in Pickstone’s work, engulfed by the drooping branches of a weeping willow tree and delicate reflections in the water, is inspired by the poet Stevie Smith’s illustration for her 1957 poem, Not Waving but Drowning.
Judge Fiona Banner described the painting: “It’s a representation of the poet Stevie Smith in a deranged landscape. It’s also a painting of one artist reflected through another, a meeting of literary and pictorial minds – an enigmatic double portrait that grapples with the creative self.”
The four other prize winners included in the exhibition are: The Greater Light by Biggs & Collings, M is many by Ian Law, Gallery by Stephen Nicholas and Untitled Kerbstone Painting (MJK) by Narbi Price. Each prize winner received £2,500.
A special judges’ commendation was given to Wayne Clough for his work, Down the Acapulco.
Elizabeth Magill won the popular £2,012 Visitors’ Choice prize (sponsored by Rathbones) with her stunning painting, Sighting.
Judge Alan Yentob said: “It was exhilarating to discover, in the course of viewing so much of the work submitted for this year’s John Moores, that in Britain the art of painting is alive and well and bursting with ideas.
“The selection was tough because the quality was high, but the jury was especially impressed and heartened by the creativity and conviction on display in the final five prize winners. Yes, painting still matters”.
The UK’s biggest painting prize which opened as part of the Liverpool Biennial, is an eclectic collection. There are paintings on walls and the floor, painted garments, varying degrees of abstraction and works that respond to all kinds of themes.
The exhibition is open daily apart from 25 and 26 December and 1 January 2013.
John Moores Painting Prize 2012 exhibitors and works:
Eve Ackroyd Dead Man
Henny Acloque 277
Kelly Best That place between 11 and 12
Biggs & Collings The Greater Light
Katrina Blannin Pink
James Bloomfield Collateral Damage – The Killing Jar – 14.I.2012
Hannah Brown Time Hangs Heavy 3
Jane Bustin – sacrificed
Graham Chorlton Edge of Town
Wayne Clough Down the Acapulco
Julie Cockburn The Field
Paul Collinson Temple of Ancient Virtue
Andrew Cranston Thinking inside the box
Theo Cuff Untitled
Cullinan Richards Collapse into Abstract (black)
Bernat Daviu Overall Paintings
David Dipré Self Portrait on White Ground.
Nathan Eastwood A Man after Ilya Repin’s Own Heart
Liz Elton Twisted
Oscar Godfrey Mineral 9
Vincent Hawkins The House
Bé van der Heide In the Desert
Rae Hicks Late Summer Mirage
John Holland Home VII
Kevin Hutcheson Study
Jarik Jongman Waiting room (1)
Laura Keeble “I’d like to teach the world to sing!”
Robin Kirsten Path of Whistlers
Laura Lancaster Untitled
Brendan Lancaster Wet Casements
Ian Law M is many
Dominic Lewis The Auction
Peter Liversidge Proposal for the Jury of the John Moores Painting Prize 2012
Angela Lizoń Made in Taiwan
Elizabeth Magill Sighting
Danny Markey Traffic Island in the Snow
Enzo Marra Monet
Rui Matsunaga Monkey
Onya McCausland Iron Hill
Dougal McKenzie Otl’s Gift (The Honeymoon of the Mechanical Bride)
Damien Meade Talcum
Sonia Morange Poncho
Stephen Nicholas Gallery
Pat O’Connor Black
Jay Oliver Outside Toilet
Dan Perfect Future Sun
Oliver Perkins DEAD RUBBER
Virginia Phongsathorn Comma (Test Piece for an Eye Break)
Sarah Pickstone Stevie Smith and the Willow
Tom Pitt Steps, Forest Rec.
Kevin J Pocock Brutal Facade
Sarah Poots Plaza
Narbi Price Untitled Kerbstone Painting (MJK)
James Ryan Untitled
Andrew Seto Fruit Loop
André Stitt The Little Summer of St. Michael
Trevor Sutton Irish Painting (for Jack)
Emma Talbot The Good Terrorists
Amikam Toren Armchair Painting – Untitled (The Unthinkable)
Matt Welch Painting of IKEA shelf brackets arranged in such a way as to signify towards IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad’s involvement with Nazism and Swedish Nationalism, distracted by varying levels of perspectival depth, variations in colour and visually dominated by some form of unknown dark oval in the background
Ian Whittlesea Studio Painting – Agnes Martin
Thomas M Wright Inherent Omniscience (Second Version)