Fifty five of the most outstanding and innovative paintings from the BP Portrait Prize, the UK’s most prestigious portrait competition, are to go on display at Wolverhampton Art Gallery from 1 March – 14 June 2014. Nearly 2,000 artists from 77 countries entered the BP Portrait Award 2013, were selected for the exhibition by a panel of expert judges.
With paintings ranging from informal and personal studies of friends and family to revealing portraits of famous faces, the exhibition features artworks which use a variety of styles and approaches to the contemporary painted portrait. Among the familiar faces featured in the exhibition are paintings of former Labour strategist and spokesperson Alastair Campbell, American philosopher Noam Chomsky, artist Frida Kahlo and singer/songwriter Emeli Sandé. The exhibition also includes a number of paintings by Carl Randall who won the BP Travel Award in 2012 and as part of his prize, was commissioned to produce a series of works inspired by a journey across Japan.
Visitors to Wolverhampton Art Gallery will be able to see the portrait Pieter by Susanne du Toit which won the Award’s First Prize, along with Second Prize winner The Uncertain Time by John Devane. There will also be opportunity to view the paintings which won the Young Artist Prize and the 2013 BP Travel Award, as well as the visitors’ choice winner, Kholiswa by Lionel Smit, which was voted for by the public at the National Portrait Gallery. The Portrait Award has been held at the National Portrait Gallery in London for the last 34 years, and is now in its 24th year of sponsorship by BP.
The BP Portrait Award 2013 runs at Wolverhampton Art Gallery from 1 March – 14 June 2014 and entry is free.
Image: The Uncertain Time by John Devane, Photograph: National Portrait Gallery