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Artists announced for the John Moores Painting Prize 2016

Posted on Monday 25th April 2016
Blue Drift, 2015, Graham Crowley

Blue Drift, 2015, Graham Crowley

Paintings by 54 selected artists will be exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery

The Walker Art Gallery has announced the names of the artists whose works will be showcased in the John Moores Painting Prize 2016 exhibition, which will be held at the Gallery from 9 July to 27 November 2016. The 54 works listed have been selected from more than 2,500 entries.

From George Orwell’s Animal Farm to a statue of an assassinated politician, the sources of inspiration behind the paintings are varied and wide-ranging. Similarly diverse are the painting materials utilised by some of this year’s artists, from Plasticine on an altered book cover to acrylic on sheets of industrial aluminium foil.

An overarching theme which is explored within a number of entries is the act of painting itself, with several works exploring the significance, challenges and value of this medium. Three of the exhibiting artists are undergoing or have recently completed the Turps Art School correspondence course, designed specifically for painters.

Sandra Penketh, Director of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool, said:

“The 2016 list of exhibiting artists represents a diverse and exciting selection of paintings, and there is an especially vibrant use of colour in this year’s selection. We also see many artists addressing the topical issues facing our world today, touching on subjects such as migration.

“A number of the artists represented are of a non-UK origin, bringing a strong international feel to the show. Visitors to the exhibition might also recognise works by some returning artists, including ex-juror and previous prize winner Graham Crowley, and multiple Visitors’ Choice winner, Nicholas Middleton.”

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 Rev’d Dr Richard Henry Davey.

From the selected artists, four painters will be awarded prizes of £2,500, while the overall winner will receive a prize of £25,000. The names of the five shortlisted prize winners will be announced in June 2016, with the first prize winner being revealed on 7 July 2016.

Visitors to the John Moores Painting Prize exhibition this year 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 prize-winning 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.

Ding Yi, juror for the John Moores Painting Prize 2016, was also a juror for the John Moores Painting Prize China in 2012. His experience of judging works for both prizes has allowed him to compare and contrast the different themes presented by artists shortlisted for each prize.

Ding Yi said:

As a judge, I can see the diversity of expressive form and language from both the UK and China competitions. They all use their own particular points of view to express the cultural proposition and social landscape, but the focus remains a bit different. British artists pay more attention to historical clues and symbolic space, and Chinese artists focus more on the present reality and individual experience.”

Established in 1957, the internationally-renowned 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 John Moores Painting 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.

The artists whose work will feature in the John Moores Painting Prize 2016 exhibition, in alphabetical order, are

Aghbashian, Talar – Untitled

Barlow, Tristan – Truckstop Swamp

Bielik, Karl – Sunday

Boyd, Gabriella – Birthyard

Brown, Julian – A Fairytale of Gdansk

Bungey, Nici – The Expiring Frog

Charnley, Bernard – When the stars threw down their spears

Cockburn, Julie – The Playground

Collins, James – Floyd

Cossey, Gemma – Halves II (Continuum)

Cove, Ben – Freeloader

Crowley, Graham – Blue Drift

Dick, William – OLDAL II

Dwyer, Sarah – Potrero

Easton, Bella – Passageways

Fogarty, Róisín – Goofy Foot

Ginsborg, Michael – From Package to Picture

Goodden, Juliet – Kedleston Road

Goodger, Steph – Les Non-Réclamés (The Unclaimed)

Hanlon, Christopher – Untitled

Hemmersbach, Linda – January

Hobson, Thom Trojanowski – It’s a Circus Out There

Hoffecker, Ira – Camp Moschendorf II

Jamie, Benjamin – Dissolver

Jenner, Benjamin – Flicker 3

Kemp, Gareth – This Could be Eastern Europe

Kulkarni, Nicholas – Untitled

Lloyd-Jones, George – Round Tables (2)

Marra, Enzo – Invigilator (John Virtue)

Marshall, Lee – Midnight I

Mehta, Sneh – Him & Her

Middleton, Nicholas – Figures in an Arch

Milner, Nancy – Untitled

Minoprio, Frank – Field Myth

Moberly, Steve – If I called this painting ‘List’ would you read it as such?

Moloney, Donal – Cave Floor

Murphy, David – Long Ending (Green)

Murray, Ewan – Couple

Owen, Laurence – Ritual to the Westfield

Parlour, Selma – One, The Side-ness of In-Out


playpaint – Double Science Fiction

Rennie, Alex – Totem

Renshaw, Tim – Notebook Architecture

Sánchez, Lizi            – I I I I I

Syed, Shaan – Foster

Simpson, Michael – Squint (19)

Stark, John – Beasts of England II

Swann, Duncan – I choose the child

Talbot, Emma – You Come To Me In A Dream

Warr, Julia – “Where do we come from? Where are we going?”

Webb, Richard Kenton – The Landscape as Discourse          

Williams, Simon – A bout portant

Wood, Mary – Series 15 Cerulean 2

Artist Ben Cove (1974-2016) sadly passed away on 16 March 2016 following a short illness.


@JMPaintingPrize  #jm2016

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Notes to editors:

About the John Moores Painting Prize

·         The John Moores Painting Prize is the UK's longest-established painting prize. The competition is entered and judged anonymously and open to all UK-based artists working with paint. In 2014 there were 2,500 entries.

·         The winner of the John Moores Painting Prize 2014, sponsored by David M Robinson, was Rose Wylie. The four prize winners were Rae Hicks, Juliette Losq, Mandy Payne and Alessandro Raho.

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

·         Sir Peter Blake, winner of the junior prize in 1961, became the first Patron of the prize in 2011.

·         The John Moores Painting Prize is organised in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust.

About the jury members for the John Moores Painting Prize 2016

Gillian Carnegie – (b.1971) British artist Gillian Carnegie was born in Suffolk and studied at Camberwell School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. Shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2005, her work has been presented at numerous solo exhibitions in London, New York and Cologne. Carnegie’s paintings have also featured extensively in group exhibitions held across Europe and the USA.

Rev’d Dr Richard Henry Davey – (b.1966) Born in Eastbourne, Richard Davey is an internationally published author and freelance curator. A member of the International Association of Art Critics, he has written and contributed towards numerous titles commissioned by the Royal Academy of Arts, including the exhibition catalogue for its Anselm Kiefer show in 2014 and the 2015 summer exhibition catalogue. Davey was ordained as a priest in 1994 and holds the position of Co-ordinating Chaplain at Nottingham Trent University.

Ansel Krut – (b.1959) Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Ansel Krut studied at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and the Royal College of Art, London. He was awarded the Abbey Major Scholarship in Painting to attend the British School at Rome in 1986/7. Recent solo exhibitions of Krut’s paintings have been held at Jerwood Gallery, East Sussex; Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London; Marlborough Chelsea, New York and KAdE Kunsthal, The Netherlands.

Phoebe Unwin – (b.1979) Phoebe Unwin was born in Cambridge and lives and works in London. She studied at Newcastle University and Slade School of Fine Art. In 2011 she won a Philip Leverhulme Prize. She has been shortlisted for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women: 6th Edition (2015-17) in association with the Whitechapel Gallery, London. Her work is in major collections across the UK and Europe and has featured in numerous exhibitions, including Distant People and Self-Soothing Objects; a new solo show at Wilkinson Gallery, London.

Ding Yi – (b.1962) Ding Yi was born and currently resides in Shanghai. He studied at Shanghai Arts & Crafts Institute and Shanghai University. His practice encompasses painting, sculpture, spatial installation and architecture. Ding Yi has exhibited extensively at various institutions and galleries across Asia, Europe and the USA. Since 2005, he has held the position of Vice Dean of the fine art department at Shanghai Institute of Visual Art.

About the Walker Art Gallery

The Walker Art Gallery has housed an internationally-renowned collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative art within its impressive, neo-classical walls for almost 140 years. From Medieval and Renaissance masterpieces to an outstanding collection of modern and contemporary works, it is one of Europe’s finest galleries. Visitors can see paintings by 17th and 18th century masters including Poussin, Rembrandt and Gainsborough, before taking in the Walker’s famed Pre-Raphaelite collection. The Impressionist works are not-to-be-missed, while some of the greatest British artists of the last century are represented in the contemporary galleries, from Lucian Freud to David Hockney. Younger visitors will love Big Art for Little Artists, a gallery designed to introduce children to art in a fun and interactive way.

About National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues, including some of the most visited museums in England outside of London. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. We attract nearly 2.7 million visitors every year. Our venues are the Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Border Force National Museum, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery. 

About Liverpool Biennial

Liverpool Biennial presents the largest festival of contemporary visual art in the UK. It takes place every two years across the city in public spaces, unused buildings, galleries and online. Liverpool Biennial 2016 is organised as a story narrated in several episodes: fictional worlds that draw from Liverpool’s past, present and future. Also showing during the Biennial are the John Moores Painting Prize, Bloomberg New Contemporaries, and the Biennial Fringe. Liverpool Biennial is underpinned by a programme of research, education, residencies and commissions. Founded in 1998, Liverpool Biennial has commissioned over 268 new artworks and presented work by over 400 artists from around the world. 

Liverpool Biennial 2016
9 July – 16 October