The Walker Art Gallery has revealed the names of the five artists shortlisted for the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize 2016.
Of the five artists, one will be awarded the £25,000 first prize, with the other shortlisted prizewinners each receiving £2,500.
The shortlisted paintings are (see images below):
Untitled, 2015, Talar Aghbashian (b.1981, Beirut) – The roughly modelled arm of a statue of an assassinated politician is depicted in Beirut-born Aghbashian’s painting. Aghbashian projects photo print-outs onto heavily built up or sanded down canvases, constructing her work in layers.
Birthyard, 2015, Gabriella Boyd (b.1988, Glasgow) – Boyd’s works focus on the merging of private and public spaces, fleeting interactions and moments of failed intimacy. Her work is often directed by formal considerations of colour and line, with figures emerging as part of this process.
Dissolver, 2015, Benjamin Jamie (b. 1978, Nottingham) – Exploring the boundaries between the grotesque and the saccharine, Jamie’s paintings seek to turn the mundane into the unusual. Inspiration is drawn from a variety of sources, including studio detritus, fly-tipping and fast food.
One, The Side-ness of In-Out, 2015, Selma Parlour (b.1976, Johannesburg) – Parlour’s paintings are rendered through soft films of transparent oil. In One, The Side-ness of In-Out, the horizon line disrupts our perception of whether the surrounding shapes are abstract or figurative.
Squint (19), 2015, Michael Simpson (b.1940, Dorset) – One of a continuing series of paintings. A leper squint is an aperture in a medieval church that allowed lepers and other undesirables a chance to look within in order to access the sermon.
The exhibition will showcase 54 works in total, which have been selected from more than 2,500 entries. The overall winner will be announced on 7 July 2016.
Sandra Penketh, Director of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool, said: “For almost 60 years, the John Moores Painting Prize has represented the thrilling diversity and remarkable talent that is so characteristic of contemporary British painting, and this year’s vibrant and exciting mix of selected works is certainly no exception.”
The entries have been judged anonymously by an esteemed panel of jury members, who represent an international cross-section of influential voices from the art world. The jury members are the artists Gillian Carnegie, Ansel Krut, Phoebe Unwin and Ding Yi, and the author and freelance curator Richard Davey.
Juror Richard Davey said: “Beyond their obvious material connection as paintings, this year’s shortlisted works may appear to have little in common: one is a geometric abstraction, three are figurative, and one hovers in a poetic space between figuration and abstraction.
“On closer inspection, however, we see that the paintings share a common ability to reveal fresh perspectives and new points of view, through the medium of paint. In doing so, they show us our reality and far more, broadening and transforming our individual outlooks.”
During the run of the John Moores Painting Prize exhibition visitors will be invited to vote for their favourite painting to win the popular Visitors’ Choice Award, sponsored by Rathbones. The winning artist will receive £2,016.
The John Moores Painting Prize exhibition will also showcase the five prizewinning works from the John Moores Painting Prize China 2016. Now in its fourth year, the prize aims to promote talent and bring greater global recognition to Chinese contemporary painting.
Established in 1957, the internationally-renowned John Moores Painting Prize, organised in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust, has championed contemporary British painting for almost 60 years – more than two decades longer than any other art prize of its scale.
Past winners of the prize include David Hockney (1967), Mary Martin (1969), Peter Doig (1993), Keith Coventry (2010) and Sarah Pickstone (2012). Sir Peter Blake, winner of the junior prize in 1961, is Patron of the prize. The winner of the prestigious first prize in 2014 was Rose Wylie with her striking work PV Windows and Floorboards.
The John Moores Painting Prize is organised in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust and is supported by its exhibition partner Weightmans. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue. All works featured in the exhibition will be available to purchase.
The exhibition is presented during Liverpool Biennial 2016, a festival of newly commissioned contemporary art from around the world. It takes place from 9 July until 16 October across the city in public spaces, galleries and online.