John Moores Painting Prize 2016           


9 July - 27 November 2016


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

A theme explored in a number of entries was the act of painting itself, with several works exploring the significance, challenges and value of this medium. Three of the exhibiting artists recently completed the Turps Art School correspondence course, designed specifically for painters.

Open to all painters in the UK, works for the exhibition were selected anonymously by an independent jury. The Prize continued to honour the principles of open submission and democratic selection.

We are also greatly honoured to display the dynamic prizewinning paintings from the John Moores Painting Prize China exhibition.

First prizewinner


The winner of this year's John Moores Painting Prize and the recipient of £25,000, was Michael Simpson with his painting 'Squint (19)'. 

The winner of the Visitors' Choice award, sponsored by Rathbones was Donal Moloney for his painting Cave Floor.

The exhibition was accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue, which is available from our shop. 

Find out more

The John Moores Painting Prize is delivered in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust and is supported by our exhibition partner Weightmans.

The exhibition is part of 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. 

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We’re celebrating the 60th anniversary of the John Moores Painting Prize in 2018 with something very special. Read more about Celebrating 60 Years of the John Moores Painting Prize

Visitor walking past paintings in the JM2016 exhibition

JM2016: Why paint?

29 November

Find answers from our visitors in the slideshow below: The love of, and need to paint is what keeps this internationally-renowned prize so fresh and inspiring year after year. Read more about JM2016: Why paint?


Exhibition partners




Visitors' Choice Award sponsor

Hotel partner

The Richmond Hotel.