Countdown to John Moores

Five prize winners shortlisted for the UK’s biggest painting prize

The Walker Art Gallery is pleased to announce the five prize winners of the John Moores Painting Prize 2012.

In alphabetical order: Biggs & Collings, Ian Law, Stephen Nicholas, Sarah Pickstone and Narbi Price are in the running for the coveted title and the chance to follow in the footsteps of previous winners such as David Hockney, Richard Hamilton, Mary Martin and Peter Doig.

The ultimate winner of the £25,000 first prize is announced by patron and winner of the junior prize in 1961, Sir Peter Blake, on Friday 14 September, for the opening of the Liverpool Biennial.

The four other prize winners will each receive £2,500.

Sandra Penketh, Director of Art Galleries said:

"The judges have chosen five very different paintings, which combine to challenge, delight and stimulate. They also represent an exhibition which continues to reaffirm the power of paint to communicate with and move us.

"The judges of the John Moores Painting Prize assess each painting on its own merits. If requested they are given the title, medium or the artist's statement, but apart from this the paintings are judged anonymously- they simply speak for themselves.

"It is this aspect of the John Moores Painting Prize which makes it so special. The work is selected without the distraction of celebrity or notoriety, but instead on an ability to convey an idea or emotion through paint.”

The 2012 judges are Alan Yentob, creative director of the BBC; previous John Moores exhibitors and Turner Prize nominees, George Shaw and Angela de la Cruz; Merseyside-born YBA and Turner Prize nominee Fiona Banner, and director of the Whitechapel, Iwona Blazwick.

Prize winners and their work in alphabetical order:

  • The Greater Light by Biggs & Collings. A vast and intricate pattern forms a joint entry by married couple; Emma Biggs, who conceives the painting’s colour and broadcaster, Mathew Collings, who applies it.
  • M is many by Ian Law. A large black letter 'M' takes up the whole canvas, delineating the space and confusing perspectives.
  • Gallery by Stephen Nicholas. Part of a series of works, this eerie painting explores a number of dualities, including gallery/institution and abstraction/figuration.
  • Stevie Smith and the Willow by Sarah Pickstone. A haunting and delicate scene inspired by Smith's drawing to accompany her 1957 poem, Not Waving But Drowning. 
  • Untitled Kerbstone Painting (MJK) by Narbi Price. The worn yellow diamond patterns of the corner of a loading bay with the scuffed marks of activity on the walls and surfaces.

Images available on request.

All John Moores Painting Prize 2012 artists and works:

  • Eve Ackroyd:  Dead Man
  • Henny Acloque: 277
  • Kelly Best:  That place between 11 and 12
  • Biggs & Collings: The Greater Light
  • Katrina Blannin: Pink
  • James  Bloomfield: Collateral Damage - The Killing Jar - 14.I.2012
  • Hannah Brown: Time Hangs Heavy 3
  • Jane Bustin:
    • - sacrificed 
    • - to veil
    • - sacrifiés
    • - pour voiler  
  • Graham Chorlton: Edge of Town
  • Wayne Clough: Down the Acapulco
  • Julie Cockburn: The Field
  • Paul Collinson: Temple of Ancient Virtue
  • Andrew Cranston: Thinking inside the box
  • Theo Cuff:  Untitled
  • Cullinan Richards: Collapse into Abstract (black)
  • Bernat  Daviu:  Overall Paintings
  • David Dipré:  Self Portrait on White Ground.
  • Nathan Eastwood: A Man after Ilya Repin’s Own Heart
  • Liz Elton:  Twisted
  • Oscar Godfrey: Mineral 9
  • Vincent Hawkins: The House
  • Bé van der Heide: In the Desert
  • Rae Hicks:  Late Summer Mirage
  • John Holland:  Home VII
  • Kevin Hutcheson: Study
  • Jarik Jongman: Waiting room (1)
  • Laura Keeble:  "I'd like to teach the world to sing!"
  • Robin Kirsten: Path of Whistlers
  • Laura Lancaster: Untitled
  • Brendan Lancaster: Wet Casements
  • Ian Law:  M is many
  • Dominic Lewis: The Auction
  • Peter Liversidge: Proposal for the Jury of the John Moores Painting 
  • Prize 2012
  • Angela Lizon:  Made in Taiwan
  • Elizabeth Magill: Sighting  
  • Danny Markey: Traffic Island in the Snow
  • Enzo Marra:  Monet
  • Rui Matsunaga: Monkey
  • Onya McCausland: Iron Hill
  • Dougal McKenzie: Otl's Gift (The Honeymoon of the Mechanical Bride)
  • Damien Meade: Talcum
  • Sonia Morange: Poncho
  • Stephen Nicholas: Gallery
  • Pat O'Connor: Black
  • Jay Oliver:  Outside Toilet
  • Dan Perfect:  Future Sun
  • Oliver Perkins: DEAD RUBBER
  • Virginia Phongsathorn: Comma (Test Piece for an Eye Break)
  • Sarah Pickstone: Stevie Smith and the Willow
  • Tom Pitt:  Steps, Forest Rec.
  • Kevin J Pocock: Brutal Facade
  • Sarah Poots:  Plaza
  • Narbi Price:  Untitled Kerbstone Painting (MJK)
  • James  Ryan:  Untitled
  • Andrew Seto:  Fruit Loop
  • André Stitt:  The Little Summer of St. Michael
  • Trevor Sutton:  Irish Painting (for Jack)
  • Emma Talbot:  The Good Terrorists
  • Amikam Toren: Armchair Painting - Untitled (The Unthinkable)
  • Matt Welch:  Painting of IKEA shelf brackets arranged in such a way as to signify  towards IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad's involvement with Nazism and Swedish Nationalism, distracted by varying levels of perspectival depth, variations in colour and visually dominated by some form of unknown dark oval in the background
  • Ian Whittlesea: Studio Painting - Agnes Martin  
  • Thomas M Wright Inherent Omniscience (Second Version)

The five prize winners from the John Moores Painting Prize China 2012 will also be on display.

For more information on the prize and to pre-order the exhibition catalogue go to:

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Notes for editors

John Moores Painting Prize facts:

  • 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 7th Liverpool Biennial International Festival of Contemporary Art, will take place from 15 September – 25 November 2012
  • The John Moores Painting Prize is the UK's biggest painting prize. The competition is entered anonymously and open to all UK-based artists working with paint
  • The first prize is £25,000, with four runner-up prizes of £2,500, one of which is sponsored by David M Robinson Ltd and another sponsored by National Museums Liverpool Corporate Members. This year the popular Visitors’ Choice prize, sponsored by Rathbones, will award its winner £2012   
  • Supported by official hotel partner Hope Street Hotel, Liverpool and media partner a-n.

Other Liverpool Biennial exhibitions at National Museums Liverpool:

Also at the Walker Art Gallery, in collaboration with the Arts Council collection, Madreperlage (15 September – 9 December 2012) by international artist Enrico David has its first show in England, outside London. Belonging, a new installation by South Yorkshire-based artist Patrick Murphy, made especially for the gallery, will transform its exterior. An intervention relating to the 2 Up, 2 Down Homebaked project by Jeanne van Heeswijk takes place at the Museum of Liverpool, amongst the museum's displays on labour history. And at World Museum Liverpool Everton Park, a Park for the People shows the vision behind plans to reclaim this historic area of Liverpool.

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 the International Slavery Museum, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Museum of Liverpool, Sudley House, UK Border Agency National Museum, 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 collection of contemporary art includes work by David Hockney, Lucian Freud and Banksy.

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