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Prizewinning Painting donated to Walker Art Gallery

Posted on Friday 27th April 2012

Metatopia by Nick Fox joins elite collection

John Moores Painting Prize 2010 exhibitor Nick Fox has gifted his prizewinning painting Metatopia to the Walker Art Gallery.

Metatopia was one of four other prizewinners in 2010. It goes on display next to the 2010 winner, Spectrum Jesus by Keith Coventry and joins the gallery’s outstanding collection of contemporary art. 

The painting forms part of a unique display which traces the last 55 years of the John Moores Painting Prize, and in doing so represents the shifts and trends of over half a century of British painting.

Metatopia is a fascinating and enigmatic work. Layers of mirror-like polish obscure the imagery below, drawing the viewer in closer. The painting appears decorative at first, drawing upon Victorian visual culture to suggest love and romance. However further inspection also reveals forbidden pleasures, secrecy and taboo.

Nick Fox said:

The Walker Art Gallery is one of the most important cultural institutions in this country housing a world class art collection which was an inspiration to me when I was studying Fine Art in Liverpool. 

 “The John Moores Painting Prize and the Walker’s permanent contemporary works mediate and anchor its outstanding historic collection. It’s essential that this heritage of conversation between old and new continues to provoke debate, offer critical relevance and nourish contemporary culture, particularly in light of restrictive cuts to funding across the arts sector.
“I’m delighted that Metatopia will be joining the Walker’s illuminating contemporary collection and honoured that it will be hung alongside John Moores champions of painting past and present.”

Sandra Penketh, Director of Art Galleries said:

“We are hugely grateful to Nick Fox, whose beautiful and intriguing painting is a fabulous addition to the Walker Art Gallery’s collection. Nick’s connection to Liverpool and the Walker go back to the early 90s when he studied at John Moores University. It is wonderful to see this connection come full circle, as a John Moores prize winner in 2010 and with this generous gift.”

Nick is giving a free talk about his work in front of Metatopia on 4 May at 1pm. 

John Moores Painting Prize 2012 opens at the Walker Art Gallery on 15 September to 6 January 2013. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition. 

Notes for editors

John Moores Painting Prize facts:

  • The John Moores Painting Prize is organised in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust.
  • Held at the Walker Art Gallery, the John Moores Painting Prize is the UK's biggest painting prize. With a first prize of £25,000, plus four runner-up prizes of £2,500, it’s entered anonymously and open to all UK-based artists working with paint. This year the popular Visitors’ Choice prize will award its winner £2010.          
  • The prize began in 1957, established by Littlewoods founder John Moores.  Previous winners include David Hockney and Richard Hamilton, who went on to find fame and acclaim after winning the prize, and Peter Doig, who described winning the John Moores in 1993 as a pivotal moment in his career.
  • Supported by official hotel partner Hope Street Hotel, Liverpool and media partner a-n Magazine.
  • John Moores Painting Prize is part of Liverpool Biennial, one of the UK’s largest and most exciting contemporary visual arts events. The 7th Liverpool Biennial International Festival of Contemporary Art, will take place from 15 September – 25 November 2012.

About National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues. 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 more than three million visitors every year. Our venues are World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, UK Border Agency National Museum, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery. 

In July 2011, our eighth venue, the Museum of Liverpool, opened at the city's Pier Head, part of the city's World Heritage Site. The museum tells the definitive story of Liverpool and its people and contains more than 6,000 items. www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/mol/

Walker Art Gallery William Brown Street, Liverpool

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Please contact: Laura Johnson in the press office for more information on this release.