A special effects artist who has fashioned an ‘urban burka’ from a pair of running trainers, a former artist in residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company who confronts the awkwardness of adolescence, and a Glasgow-based artist concerned with the notion of creativity and isolation are amongst the six artists shortlisted from over 3,500 entries for the £30,000 Threadneedle Prize 2013.
Now in its sixth year, The Threadneedle Prize exhibition which opens on 25th September will include 111 paintings, sculptures and installations by 95 artist from across the UK and Europe. Works were selected by a panel including Dr Barnaby Wright, Curator at the Courtauld Gallery; art-critic Laura Gascoigne; and artists Paul Benney and Tim Shaw. All the works on display are eligible for the Visitors’ Choice Award worth a further £10,000.
Curator Dr Barnaby Wright from the panel said: “During the selection day we saw the notion of ‘figurative art’ being taken in all sorts of different directions, from reaffirmations of traditional practices to explorations of new techniques and ideas.
The work demonstrated real artistic commitment and quality, so making a selection for the exhibition was not easy.”
In addition, on 8th October a number of leading figures from across the cultural sector, including Jake Chapman, one half of YBA visual arts duo the Chapman Brothers; Gregor Muir, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts; Nitin Sawhney, musician, composer and producer; and Jon Snow, News Presenter for Channel 4, will each select and discuss one work at the Mall Galleries, as part of the annual ‘Critic’s View’.
The Threadneedle Prize is the country’s leading competition for figurative and representational painting and sculpture. At £30,000, it is one of the most valuable art prizes in the United Kingdom. The Prize was established in 2008 with the continued support of Threadneedle Investments, a leading international investment manager, demonstrating its long-term commitment to supporting the arts. With many high profile art prizes tending towards conceptual and abstract works, the Threadneedle Prize deliberately sets out to raise the profile of representational art within the wider context of contemporary visual art practices and provides an important platform for some of the most exciting artists working today. This year’s shortlisted artists are:
Andrew Cranston ‘After Canaletto, Oil on canvas’ Cranston lives and works in Glasgow. Graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1996, he exhibits regularly in the UK and Germany. After Canaletto is a lampooning of contemporary art. It shows the gallerists Toby Webster and Andrew Hamilton of the Glasgowbased Modern Institute gallery standing dwarfed in a space and surrounded by crates of artists work as well as Scottish artist Jim Lambie’s distinctive striped floor pieces.
Clare McCormack ‘Dead Labour/Dead Labourer, Woodcut from scaffolding planks’. McCormack graduated from The University of Leeds earlier this year. Dead Labour/Dead Labourer is a large-scale woodcut portrait of the artist’s grandfather,
who died of Asbestosis after a life working on building sites. It is cut from four used scaffolding planks, the rough, functional materials mirroring the subject.
Séamus Moran ‘Urban Burka, Training shoes’. Moran is based in Cornwall and studied ceramics at The Birmingham Polytechnic, graduating in 1984. He has used his modelmaking skills for portrait sculpture as well as for special effects for horror films. He began focusing on fine art sculpture in 2001. For Urban Burka, Moran has fashioned a lucha libra wrestling mask from trainers. This year’s shortlisted artists are:
lona Szalay ‘Lesson, Oil paint and resin on canvas’. Szalay was born in Beirut and studied in the UK at Oxford University and Byam Shaw School of Art. Her work was selected for The Threadneedle Prize exhibition in 2012. Lesson is a delicate painting depicting a swimming lesson. As with all her works, Szalay imbues the scene with a sinister power play between the character.
Harriet White ‘Goldmine, Oil on canvas’. (Top photo) White graduated in 2001 from Bath Spa
University. Her large-scale portraits have twice been selected for the BP Portrait Award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (2008 and 2011). Goldmine is part of a body of work in which White explores the artifice of glamour and the suggestion of vulnerability of the character beneath the veneer of make up.
Lisa Wright ‘The Guilty’s Gaze’ on the Innocent, Oil on canvas. Wright studied at The Royal Academy Schools, her work has been selected for many awards and prizes including; The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, The National Open Art Competition and The Sovereign European Art Prize.The Guilty’s Gaze on the Innocent explores the embarrassment, confusion and awkwardness of adolescence and makes reference to 16th century portrait painting, likely to have been influenced by her two year residency with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Through open submission from artists working in Europe, the Prize offers established and emerging artists a high profile opportunity to showcase their work at a leading venue in Central London, Mall
Previous winners and shortlisted artists include Nina Murdoch, now represented by Marlborough Fine Art, and Rose Wylie, who is currently on show at Tate Britain.
All works are for sale, offering collectors and members of the public the opportunity to invest in works from up and coming artists.
The Threadneedle Prize is a collaboration between Mall Galleries, Threadneedle Investments and the
The Threadneedle Prize encourages debate about the growing relevance of figurative and representational art by hosting visitor events throughout the three-week exhibition.
The Mall Galleries champion contemporary figurative art by living artists. Our aim is to promote, inspire and educate audiences about the visual arts.