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Mirage by Michael Raedecker (born 1963)

Painting showing 2 bare trees, a pale green puddle and some small, pale blue mounds

Acrylic, thread and sequins on linen, 1999
Presented by the John Moores Family Trust in 1999 (No. 1999.92)

First prize (Purchase prize), John Moores 21, 1999

Raedecker's distinctive paintings employ an inventive range of media, influenced by his study of fashion as an undergraduate. He wittily uses threads for areas where paint would be expected: horizontal lines of thread create shadows, and balls of looped, painted thread add texture. His combination of a flat painted surface with intricate tactile embroidery, all in murky earthy tones, results in an unsettling atmosphere. The warped land curves back in on itself enveloping the sky, further adding to the bleakness of this desolate landscape. Raedecker was born in Amsterdam and studied there and at Goldsmiths College, London. He expressed 'real surprise' on winning and considered putting the prize money towards buying a house. Since winning the John Moores he has exhibited regularly worldwide.

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