The final shortlist for the UK's biggest painting competition, the John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize, is announced today.
Almost 3,000 entrants submitted work in the hope of being one of the 45 shortlisted artists and in with a chance of winning the first prize of £25,000. All 45 are included in the exhibition, known for spotting rising talent.
On display at the Walker Art Gallery from 18 September 2010 to 3 January 2011, the exhibition forms a key part of the Liverpool Biennial and looks set to once again set the standard for contemporary painting.
For the first time in the history of the competition the announcement of the winner and runner-up prizewinners will be broadcast live on the internet on Thursday 16 September 2010 at: www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/johnmooreslive
The John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize has a reputation for defining the shifts and trends in one of the most enduring mediums of all, paint. Now, in its 53rd year the competition boasts a roll call of esteemed winners, including 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.
Turner Prize nominated artist (1996) and former John Moores Prize prizewinner (1997) Gary Hume describes the judging process: It was an incredibly difficult process that went from order to chaos and back again. We certainly have an interesting combination of winners that have technique alongside political and aesthetic ideas, all with a marked difference but equal resolved passion.
Turner Prize nominated contemporary artist (2008), Goshka Macuga reveals more about the judging: As a non-painter it has been an interesting process and an amazing experience. Selecting paintings with actual painters was a little intimidating but the arguing was the most exciting part, when you could get emotionally involved. We are satisfied that we have chosen works we really believe in. The selection represents how we have come together momentarily to agree, with consideration of our differences.
Sir Norman Rosenthal, exhibitions secretary for the Royal Academy for 30 years says: Its a wonderful priviledge to have worked with Gary, Goshka, Ged and Alison and we found amazing consensus. There are many artists in the UK making interesting work, we have worked together to extract those we felt were the most relevant. I think we have found some very good artists for the exhibition.
Liverpool-born artist and John Moores prizewinner (2008) Ged Quinn adds: I'm really happy to be part of the team which has put together an exhibition of interesting and diverse works. I hope there'll be a few surprises.
Scottish painter Alison Watt, shortlisted for the Jerwood Painting Prize (2003) and awarded an OBE (2008) gives an enticing hint of what to expect from the selection: The prizewinners in some ways defy description. The choice we have made is like that of an eclectic collector
Being a painter says something about what it's like to be in the world.