John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize 25. Exhibition 20 September – 23 December 2008
The first prizewinner is awarded a prize of £25,000 and visitors will also be able to vote for their favourite painting in the exhibition with a Visitors’ Choice prize of £2008 awarded to the winning artist.
Forty works have been selected to go forward to the final stage of the competition, and will form the exhibition which opens on 20 September. The shortlisted entries demonstrate that far from being ‘old-fashioned’, an artist’s decision to paint is exciting and challenging. The paintings have absorbed the legacy of conceptual art and incorporated it into the work; they are not in opposition to it. The works, selected from a record 3,222 submissions, represent the best of the UK’s current and future painting talent.
This year’s impressive selection ranges from portraiture, landscape and still lives to abstracts. The subject matter draws inspiration from the animal kingdom (Oportuno III by Georgia Hayes) to childhood experiences (The Baptism by Neil Rumming, who once witnessed a horrendous car crash and Nought Lovely but the sky and stars by Kit Poulson, who found what he thought was a UFO as a child). Woman surprised by a werewolf by Stuart Pearson Wright is inspired by the film An American Werewolf in London, whilst Cadet Congo Ganja by Tim Bailey draws from both Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now. The shortlist includes previous John Moores exhibitors and first time entrants.