The first prize winner of the John Moores Painting Prize 2014 will be revealed on 19 September at the Walker Art Gallery.

The five shortlisted artists in the running for the UK’s most prestigious painting prize are (in alphabetical order): Rae Hicks, Juliette Losq, Mandy Payne, Alessandro Raho and Rose Wylie.

The winner of the £25,000 first prize, sponsored by David M Robinson, will join the ranks of other esteemed artists who’ve won the prize such as David Hockney (1967), Mary Martin (1969), Peter Doig (1993) and most recently, Sarah Pickstone (2012), who will be announcing this year’s winner.

The shortlisted works represent the intention of the prize to set the standard for contemporary British painting. Selected anonymously the five are an eclectic mix:

  • Sometimes I Forget That You’re Gone by Rae Hicks, a recent graduate of Goldsmiths (2012) and the youngest prizewinner (b.1988). An intriguing painting where the ‘props’ of the scene appear unassembled and awaiting their final destination.
  • Vinculum by Juliette Losq, winner of the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2005. The large-scale image belies the traditional understated nature of watercolour. Built up through multiple layers the painting creates an optical illusion which immerses the viewer into its world.
  • Brutal by Mandy Payne is spray painted directly onto concrete. An almost symmetrical scene from Sheffield’s Park Hill, a Grade II listed 1960s council estate, currently undergoing regeneration. Payne’s rendition of one of Britain’s largest examples of Brutalist architecture deals with the human memories and history indelibly woven into it.
  • Jessica by Alessandro Raho, an artist with an international reputation. A painting of the artist’s stepsister against a plain white background is typical of the way that Raho uses family and friends as models, drawing upon personal relationships to create a parallel world within his work.
  • PV Windows and Floorboards by 80 year old artist Rose Wylie. The lively painting features four seemingly disconnected figures. Working from direct observation and memory, her work is informed by a fascination with film and current events. Rose had a BP Spotlight exhibition at Tate Britain in May 2013.

The winner of the John Moores Painting Prize 2014 will give a free talk at the Walker Art Gallery on Saturday 20 September at 1pm.

A major part of the Liverpool Biennial, the John Moores Painting Prize is a free exhibition which runs until30 November 2014. Fifty paintings (including the prizewinners) were selected for exhibition from more than 2,500 entries.

Dubbed the ‘Oscars of the painting world’, the Prize, organised in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust, has been keeping its finger on the pulse of contemporary painting for almost 60 years.

The 2014 judges are Tim Marlow, Director of Artistic Programmes at the Royal Academy and artists Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Zeng Fanzhi, Chantal Joffe and Tom Benson.

For a full list of exhibiting artists: www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/johnmoores

@johnmoores2014 #jm2014 /  www.facebook.com/johnmoorespaintingprize

The John Moores Painting Prize is the subject of a BBC 4 documentary, presented by writer and comedian Alexei Sayle. The programme, which examines the history of the Prize as well as its place within contemporary art, will be aired in September.