John Moores Painting Prize 2014: Call For Entries

Fancy your chances of being in the company of Richard Hamilton, David Hockney and Peter Doig? Read on…

When Sarah Pickstone’s Stevie Smith and the Willow (above) was announced as the winner of last year’s John Moores Painting Prize, she became the 27th victor (well, 28th after Richard Hamilton and Mary Martin were jointly awarded the prize in 1969) of the biannual competition; abstract artist Jack Smith the inaugural winner in 1957.

In the more than half a century since Sir John Moores decided he wanted to establish a prize which would – at least for a spell – turn the art world’s attention away from London and in a more northerly direction, it has come to be considered by some as the Oscars of the British painting world.

Gaining a reputation for shining the spotlight on emerging artists, as well as drawing out future household names, winners have included David Hockney (1967), the aforementioned Richard Hamilton and Peter Doig (1993), while Peter Blake won the Junior Prize in 1961.

“This exhibition goes back to the roots of his success, before he became an international star”

Each of those previous winners has been subject to major exhibitions this year; Hockney, at the home of the prize, the Walker Art Gallery, in Early Reflections. The gallery’s Head of Fine Art, Ann Bukantas said: “This exhibition goes back to the roots of his success, before he became an international star.” A sentiment which we think highlights the beauty of the John Moores Painting Prize in a nutshell.

And significantly, the show (which opens in October) includes Hockney’s John Moores prize-winning piece, Peter Getting out of Nick’s Pool, which says Bukantas, “has a central role in the exhibition.”

And Doig – in what has been billed as something of a homecoming – celebrates the 20th anniversary of his John Moores success (for his painting, Blotter, above) with his first major retrospective in the city of his birth, at Edinburgh’s Scottish National Gallery.

The exhibition, entitled No Foreign Lands (he has spent the last decade in Trinidad after doing most of his growing up in Canada), which opened earlier this month, has been earning rave reviews. Hamilton meanwhile, who died aged 89 in 2011, was the subject of his own late works showcase earlier this year at The National Gallery.

“It is time once more to start thinking about next year’s prize”

Why are we telling you all this? It seems only yesterday we were reporting on the winner of the 2012 John Moores Painting Prize, but in the year of those Hamilton, Doig and Hockney exhibitions, it is time once more to start thinking about next year’s incarnation, with the call for entries now open (until 25th October this year).

The remit? Any and all UK-based artists who work with paint are eligible to enter for the chance of £25,000 first prize (with four runners up awarded £2,500), and just as important of course, the respect and adulation of their peers!

Regularly attracting a high profile judging panel (last year’s included Alan Yentob, who we spoke to about the award) befitting the JMP’s standing, 2014’s line-up is made up of the broadcaster and Director of Exhibitions at White Cube, Tim Marlow, and a trio of artists; the 2013 Turner Prize nominee Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, the Gagosian Gallery represented Zeng Fanzhi and Glasgow School of Art and the Royal College of Art-trained Chantal Joffe.

So you see, we were dead serious about earning the respect and adulation of your peers! 

The John Moores Painting Prize 2014 is open to entries now until 25th October 2013

Posted on 22/08/2013 by thedoublenegative