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67 artists win a place in UK’s oldest painting prize. 

  • 67 paintings make the John Moores Painting Prize 2020 longlist and will feature in the exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery from 12 February to 27 June 2021 

  • The anonymous competition will showcase some of the most exciting contemporary British painting 

  • The exhibition forms a key part of the Liverpool Biennial (20 March – 6 June 2021)     

For 67 artists the long wait is over, now they’ve been told their work has earned a place in the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize 2020 exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery from 12 February to 27 June 2021.  

The longlist was selected from almost 3,000 artworks. From large scale canvases, bold in brush strokes and colour, to exquisitely detailed pieces, the exhibition will cover a wide range of styles, united by their use of paint.  

The show contains many landscapes and scenes from the natural world. Figurative works also feature strongly. At a time when our physical connections to people and places have taken on deeper importance, this year’s exhibition demonstrates the power of art to tell our stories, and the endless ways paint can move and inspire us. 

The 2020 jury represent a diverse group of artists and creative influencers: Hurvin Anderson; Michelle Williams Gamaker; Alison Goldfrapp; Jennifer Higgie and Gu Wenda.   

In its more than 60 year history the Prize has evolved but one fundamental rule has remained the same; paintings are judged anonymously, allowing the works to speak for themselves and giving the process and final exhibition a unique authenticity.  

Following Liverpool’s move into Tier 3 of the government’s Covid restrictions, this is first time in the history of the Prize the judging was all done online. High spec cameras, screens, speakers and AV software allowed judges to appreciate the scale, texture and detail of the works in real time. It also ensured a rich dialogue between the judges, a vital and cherished part of the process. 

Sandra Penketh, Director of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool, said: “This exhibition is an extraordinary chapter in the John Moores Painting Prize’s long history. From the Call for Entries which launched just weeks before the first national lockdown, to the challenge of bringing together hundreds of paintings from across the UK, we’re delighted to have got to this stage and to finally have a truly exciting longlist.  

“We’d like thank all of our artists who found the time and energy just when the world was changing so dramatically during the first few weeks of lockdown, to enter their work and follow the process through all of the changes and uncertainties over the past few months. Their collective commitment and passion for paint shines through in this stunning final selection.” 

Reflecting on the judging process, juror Jennifer Higgie said: “It's been such a joy to bear witness to the sheer amount of rich and varied paintings being made by so many talented artists in the UK today. It's also been a privilege to work alongside my fellow jurors and the fine folk in Liverpool. It's been a real challenge to narrow down our selection not simply because of the inevitable restrictions of the pandemic, but because we were faced with so many varied, imaginative and skilful works of art.” 

Fellow juror, Michelle Williams Gamaker, said: “Judging the John Moores Painting Prize this year at a distance presented a new challenge in the Prize’s history. Instead of standing with the artworks we zoomed right in, carefully scanning the surface of each painting. Ultimately our decisions were based on a number of themes that emerged and resonated with the other jurors in our collective discussions. We were deeply inspired by all of the artists from Stage 2 who showed clear commitment, talent and love for painting. We could feel this through the technology, that enabled us to view the work, and it was so inspiring to see artists achieve this, particularly in these uncertain times.” 

The artists selected to exhibit paintings in the John Moores Painting Prize 2020 are: 

Dohyun Baek  Mom's Birthday Follows the Lunar Calendar  

Nicola Bealing  The Horse  

Rory Biddulph  Smoker  

G L Brierley  Untitled (Corpo) 

Louise Bristow  Citizens 

Hannah Brown  Hedge 4 

Lindsey Bull  The moors 

Robbie Bushe  The Neanderthal Futures Infirmary  

Mary Castle-Millner  Man with a Hose 

Leah Michelle Cayol  Lickkle Man  

Lara Cobden  A Year of Ghost Wishes  

Noemi S Conan  Las, Laska, Lass (Hilary Emerging) 

Paul Crook  Yellow Escalator  

Peter Davis  Wetin dey 

Pedro De Siqueira  Note to Karen from finance: can power transcend?  

Sam Douglas  Standing Stone  

Michelle Dovey  Bird Tree 2019 

Sarah J Earnshaw  Hazel Grundy, 1988 

Liz Elton  Tender  

Maria Farrar  Pearl Necklace 

Alan Fears  The Paper Tiger 

Michele Fletcher  Compost 

Max Fletcher and Andrea Celeste La Forgia (collaboration)  Postcard to A.G. 

Tricia Gillman  MOMENTS 1: Mind's Eye  

Rachel Glittenberg  Night Swimmers  

Melanie Goemans  Hawthorn (triptych) 

Steph Goodger  The Motherland  

Massimiliano Gottardi  Jung /Jungle (spatial crease) 

Robin Greenwood  Untitled  

Christopher Hanson  Mother  

Lily Hargreaves  Didn't That Used to be Part of the Fun? 

Rebecca Harper  Between Two Worlds  

Georgia Hayes  Proboscis Crossing 

Michael Hempstead  Dead Soul's Boogie-Woogie: Dancing Now  

David Jacques  Sargasso 

Alison Jones  Connoisseur (my 1970s) 

Caroline E Kent  Two Minute Silence 

Sally Kindberg  Hang Loose 

Matthew Krishanu  Riverboat 

Laura Lancaster  Invocation 


Stephen Lee  March  

Brendan Lyons  Plasticity Horizon  

Kathryn Maple  The Common  

Peter Matthews  Summer Sequoia 

Barry McGlashan  Klavierkonzert 

Robert McPartland  Field 2. Grapefruit. 

Pat O'Connor  (Mrs Walter Lang) 

Laurence Owen  A Plant Fizzing with Air Bubbles in its Plumbing  

Sikelela Owen  The Knitter  

Shanti Panchal  The Terrace  

Mandy Payne  Remnants of a Welfare State 

Lyle Perkins  O.R.B 

Katie Pratt  Darnington 

William Riding  The Geometer 

Philippa Robbins  Cactus Against a Blue Wall 

Miho Sato  Windy Day 

Brian Sayers  Encounter 

Caroline Streatfield  Portal 

Annika Strom  I am Curious Pink (no.1 of The One Hundred) 2020 

Edward Sutcliffe  Floral Painting 1 

Nicholas Vaughan  Tunnel of Tusk 

Kiki Xuebing Wang  Untitled (Loafer) 

Harry Whitelock  I'll Break My Neck For You 

Charles Williams  Watercolourist Mask 

George Wills  Paranoia 

Fleur Yearsley  To The Moon & Back 

The jury will select a final shortlist of five paintings, from which the £25,000 first prize winning work will be chosen and four additional prizes of £2,500 will be awarded. For the first time this year there will also be a £2,500 Emerging Artist Prize, supported by Winsor & Newton. 

The names of the five prizewinning artists will be shared in January 2021, with the first prize winner and the Emerging Artist Prize to be announced at the opening of the exhibition. 

Visitors to the exhibition will also be invited to vote for their favourite painting in the popular Visitors’ Choice Award. Now in its 11th year, the prize, sponsored by Rathbones, awards the winning artist £2,020. 

Past prize winners include David Hockney (1967), Mary Martin (1969), Lisa Milroy (1989), Peter Doig (1993), Keith Coventry (2010) and Rose Wylie (2014). Sir Peter Blake, winner of the junior prize in 1961, is patron of the Prize. The winner of the prestigious first prize in 2018 was Jacqui Hallum with her painting, King and Queen of Wands. 

Five prizewinning paintings from the John Moores Painting Prize China will also be displayed in the 2021 exhibition. Organised by the College of Fine Arts at Shanghai University, the China Prize was launched in 2010 to support the development of painting in China.  

The John Moores Painting Prize is organised in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust. The exhibition is showing as part of Liverpool Biennial 2021, the largest festival of contemporary art in the UK, taking place across the city’s public spaces, galleries and museums from 20 March to 6 June 2021. 

@JMPaintingPrize / #JMPP2020