PAINTINGS PULL IN PEOPLE
John Moores Painting Prize attracts record visitors
Almost 47,000 people have visited the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery since it opened in September, making this the most popular exhibition in the competition’s 53 year history.
The exhibition is open until 3 January 2011, but visitor figures already stand at 10,000 more than the final figure for the last exhibition in 2008, when Liverpool was crowned European Capital of Culture.
Described by Sir Norman Rosenthal, former secretary of the Royal Academy and one of this year’s judges, as “the Oscars of the painting world”, this year the Prize attracted almost 3,000 entries, from which the final 45 exhibitors were selected.
Keith Coventry won the £25,000 first prize with his beguiling work Spectrum Jesus. Nicholas Middleton, who was also selected as one of the five prize winners, won the Visitors’ Choice prize, sponsored by Rathbones, with Protest, April 1st 2009.
John Moores project manager, Angela Samata said “We are delighted that so many people have enjoyed this year’s John Moores Painting Prize. The exhibition is always popular and a highlight of the British art calendar, but record-breaking figures would indicate this year’s selection has really caught the imagination of our visitors. We are extremely grateful to our judges for creating an exhibition that demonstrates the versatility and enduring appeal of paint and is such joyful celebration of the medium.”
Artist Gary Hume, one of this year’s judges, has designed an exclusive badge for this year’s exhibition which is still available at the Walker Art Gallery shop (£9.95). All proceeds go towards funding future exhibitions. Images are available on request.
John Moores Painting Prize facts:
The John Moores Painting Prize 2010 is a partnership between National Museums Liverpool, the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust and A Foundation. The exhibition is a key part of the Liverpool Biennial
The winner: Spectrum Jesus by Keith Coventry was selected from almost 3,000 entries for the first prize of £25,000.
The jury: The judging panel for 2010 was made up of artists Gary Hume, Alison Watt, Ged Quinn, Goshka Macuga and curator / critic Sir Norman Rosenthal.
The Visitors’ Choice: Sponsored by Rathbones the prize was awarded to Protest, April 1st 2009 by Nicholas Middleton.
The exhibitors: The John Moores Painting Prize attracts a broad spectrum of artists and no preference is given to levels of experience or particular practices of painting, with all works selected anonymously.
The winners: The competition has a reputation for identifying talented new painters on their way to finding fame and artistic acclaim. Former winners have included David Hockney, Richard Hamilton and Peter Doig.
The exhibition: At the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool until 3 January 2011.
The catalogue: A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue can be purchased at the Walker Art Gallery shop for £9.95 or online at www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/onlineshop/ . Any purchase of the catalogue or an exhibition poster comes with a free exhibition tote bag.
Behind the scenes footage at: www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/johnmoores
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