LONDON.- Art Catlin announced that the Catlin Art Prize 2014 winner is Neil Raitt. Neil was awarded the £5,000 prize for a new body of work, which includes large-scale paintings influenced by the American landscape artist and television host, Bob Ross.
The independent panel of judges Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger, art critic and writer Coline Milliard, and gallery director and curator Will Jarvis commended the rest of the finalists for what they described as a refreshingly varied and committed collection.
For the judges Mark Wallinger commented: We were all immediately struck by the effectiveness of Neils work. It needs no mediation, directly addressing the viewer and achieving what it sets out to do. There is nothing superfluous. It is spare, determined, accomplished and knowing. Easy to look at but with a hypnotic depth, its apparent simplicity belies a painstaking technique and quiet maturity.
Neils paintings make use of pattern and skewed perspective to meld distinct symbols of nature into mazes of abstraction. A trellis backdrop, spray-painted using a stencil, enhances the theme of repetition, while a giant three-dimensional 'Magic Tree' air freshener, coated in a fragrant sap green paint, is a droll nod to his paintings of alpine mountain ranges.
Neil Raitt, who graduated last year with an MA in painting from the Royal College of Art, London, said: This is so unexpected I dont really know what to say. The whole experience has been amazing, and Im excited about the future. Id like to thank Justin and the whole Catlin team as well as my fellow finalists. Ive learnt so much and winning will give me a chance to secure my studio and start working on my next exhibition.
Visitors to the Catlin Art Prize exhibition selected their favourite artist as part of the Visitor Vote. Over two thousand votes were cast via the Art Catlin website and a ballot box at the venue. Lara Morrell was named the winner of the Visitor Vote in an extremely close-run contest and takes away the £2,000 prize.
The exhibition remains open to the public until 6pm on Saturday May 24th at the Londonewcastle Project Space, London. The Catlin Art Prize, curated by Justin Hammond, provides a platform for the most promising art graduates in the UK. Participating artists are selected from The Catlin Guide 2014, a nationwide survey of recent art school graduates, now widely recognised as the essential reference for collectors of emerging artists.
The Catlin Art Prize 2014 finalists are: Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath (Goldsmiths), Sarah Fortais (Central Saint Martins), Virgile Ittah (Royal College of Art), Lara Morrell (Central Saint Martins), Neil Raitt (Royal College of Art), Dennis J. Reinmüller (Edinburgh College of Art), and Jakob Rowlinson (The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art).
As title sponsors of the Catlin Art Prize, Catlin one of the worlds leading insurers of fine art continues to help realise the ambitions of promising new artists.