LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM.- The prestigious Annual Exhibition of the New English Art Club (NEAC) will take place at the Mall Galleries in central London, from Friday 3rd to Monday 20th December 2004, and as always a wealth of highly respected members will show their work alongside that of selected non-members. A record 1186 works including paintings and drawings were sent in to the open submission this year, making it harder than in previous years for work to be selected to be hung. Each one was inspected by a panel of thirteen expert artists, including the new president of the NEAC, Tom Coates. The official opening of the exhibition by The Rt. Hon David Mellor will take place at the Private View on Thursday 2nd December together with the awarding of £8950 worth of prizes.
Since its formation, the NEAC has provided a platform for many famous artists such as Forbes, Sargent, Sickert, Orpen, McEvoy, Nash, Ethel Walker and others. It was started in 1886 by a group of young artists who wanted an exhibition space for the new and exciting developments taking place in France where Impressionism had a growing influence, and as an alternative to the very academic Royal Academy. The reputation of the NEAC as a bastion of the very best of British figurative drawing and painting remains strong today. There are currently just over 70 members of the NEAC including, to quote HRH the Prince of Wales, "many of the most distinguished figurative painters working in England".