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Rose Wylie claims UK painting's biggest prize

Posted on Thursday 2nd October 2014
Woman and painting

80-year-old artist scoops £25,000 first prize, sponsored by David M Robinson

Rose Wylie was announced the 29th winner of the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery where the Prize was established almost 60 years ago.

Rose was awarded the £25,000 first prize, which is sponsored by David M Robinson, for PV Windows and Floorboards, selected from more than 2,500 entries.

The painting, which features four disjointed female figures set in a linear white gallery space, is typical of Rose's work. Often drawn from protracted memories, the compositions of her paintings appear as dream-like sequences, in which details are imperfectly recalled and sketchily represented.

Director of Art Galleries, Sandra Penketh, said:

"PV Windows and Floorboards is a striking painting and a worthy winner of the John Moores. Rose's work instantly demanded attention when it entered the judging room and it was clear from the start it would be one of the highlights of this year's exhibition. The painting achieves an interesting balance; containing bold colours and form but also a sense of mystery and an unfinished story.

"Rose's personal story is very exciting. At 80 years old she happens to be double the average age of previous winners. Her style is fresh, unpredictable and cutting edge, and is everything we’ve come to expect from the winner of the John Moores."

The name Rose Wylie now joins an impressive lineage of UK painters who have been awarded the prize. From David Hockney (1967), Mary Martin (1969), Peter Doig (1993) and Sarah Pickstone (2012), who announced this year's prize, the John Moores’ 'back catalogue' of winning paintings (most of which reside in the Walker's permanent collection) represents over half a century of British Art; featuring Kitchen Sink realism, abstraction, pop art and figuration.

The four shortlisted artists who each receive £2,500 are:  

  • Sometimes I Forget That You're Gone by Rae Hicks  
  • Vinculum by Juliette Losq  
  • Brutal by Mandy  
  • Jessica by Alessandro Raho

A major part of the Liverpool Biennial, the John Moores Painting Prize is a free exhibition which runs until 30 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 were Tim Marlow, Director of Artistic Programmes at the Royal Academy and artists Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Zeng Fanzhi, Chantal Joffe and Tom Benson.

The John Moores Painting Prize is part of National Museums Liverpool's Modern Masters series, part funded by the European Union - the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

It is also supported by our exhibition partner Weightmans and sponsor Investec.

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

Twitter: @johnmoores2014 #jm2014 Facebook: www.facebook.com/johnmoorespaintingprize

The John Moores Painting Prize with Alexei Sayle is aired at 7pm on 21 September on BBC 4. The programme, which examines the history of the Prize as well as its place within contemporary art, includes interviews with this year’s five shortlisted artists as well as Sir Peter Blake, Peter Doig and Jake Chapman.

Notes to editors

John Moores Painting Prize facts:  

  • The John Moores Painting Prize is the UK's biggest painting prize. The competition is entered and judged anonymously and open to all UK-based artists working with paint.  
  • Sir Peter Blake, winner of the junior award 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.  
  • The John Moores Painting Prize is part of Liverpool Biennial, one of the UK’s largest and most exciting contemporary visual arts events. The 8th Liverpool Biennial International Festival of Contemporary Art, runs until Sunday 26 October 2014.  
  • The £2014 Visitors’ Choice award, sponsored by Rathbones, will be announced on 12 November.  
  • The five prize winners from the John Moores Painting Prize China 2014 are also on display.

Other Liverpool Biennial displays at National Museums Liverpool: The Walker Art Gallery is also host to Aztecs in Liverpool, a new two-screen video installation featuring still and moving images by Michael Nyman, until 26 October 2014. At World Museum, Bloomberg New Contemporaries runs from 20 September until 26 October 2014. The leading UK organisation for supporting emergent art practice from British art schools, this year’s exhibition was selected by Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Enrico David and Goshka Macuga. www.newcontemporaries.org.uk Twitter @newcontemps

ERDF in the Northwest ERDF is making a real difference to people and businesses in the North West. The current programme, which is worth €755 million, is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment. ERDF in the North West is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government – for further information visit https://www.gov.uk/erdf-programmes-progress-and-achievements

Liverpool Biennial 2014: The UK Biennial of Contemporary Art

Saturday 5 July – Sunday 26 October International art that unfolds across Liverpool’s spaces, places and galleries.

The 8th Liverpool Biennial exhibition explores art in everyday life and is curated by Mai Abu ElDahab and Anthony Huberman. It takes place across the city at venues including public spaces and galleries such as the Bluecoat, FACT and Tate Liverpool. Also featured in Liverpool Biennial 2014 are the John Moores Painting Prize, Bloomberg New Contemporaries, and shows at Open Eye Gallery and LJMU’s Exhibition Research Centre. In addition, there will be work by artists and curators in solo and group exhibitions and performances throughout the city.

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 2.7 million visitors every year. Our venues are the International Slavery Museum, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Museum of Liverpool, Sudley House, Border Force National Museum (Seized! The Border and Customs Uncovered), Walker Art Gallery and World Museum.

One of the finest art galleries in Europe, the Walker Art Gallery is home to renaissance masterpieces, Tudor portraits and one of the best collections of Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite art in the country. An outstanding display of contemporary art includes work by David Hockney, Lucian Freud and Bridget Riley.