'Squint (19)'

Michael Simpson

First prizewinner of the John Moores Painting Prize 2016

Oil on canvas
228.5 x 130 cm

Squint painting; a continuing series. 


Find out more about the artist and his work, in this video interview.

Michael's acceptance speech

"There's something I want to say about painting. And that is that; many people think of painting today - flat surface painting - as being sterile. And there is a great popularity for installation, video work, photography, performance and so on. Much of it is really interesting and some even profound, but for me, painting is something that endures. I have a great admiration for the nature of painting and for what it is and what it can do to people.

The limitations of painting I find quite beautiful. The idea that you can make a painting within its own boundary lines - whether it's a rectangle, a square, an ellipse, a circle or even an Egyptian painting on a wall. It has a kind of beauty and it conjures up so many human values and is diverse in the most extraordinary degree. It's a kind of magic, that you can do anything on this simple, flat surface. I think painting will endure for a very long time. Thank you."


Born in Dorset in 1940, Michael Simpson is based in Wiltshire. He attended Bournemouth College of Art 1958-60 and the Royal College of Art London 1960-3. Exhibitions include 'Tightrope Walk: Painted Images After Abstraction' White Cube Bermondsey 2015, 'The Painting Show' (British Council touring) CAC Vilnius 2016. Solos include 'Recent Paintings' Serpentine Gallery London 1985, 'Bench Paintings 1992-1995' Arnolfini Gallery Bristol & Oriel 31 Newtown 1996, 'Bench Paintings, Recent Work 2005-2006' David Risley Gallery London 2007, 'The Leper Squint Paintings' David Risley Gallery Copenhagen 2013, 'Study #6. Michael Simpson' DRAF London 2014, 'Flat Surface Painting' Spike Island Bristol 2016. In 'John Moores Painting Prize' 1989, 1991 (prizewinner), 1993, 2010.

Artist's website