top of page

John Moores Painting Prize exhibition artists revealed

Judges have selected the works that will go on show in the postponed John Moores Painting Prize exhibition this spring.

The judging for the 2020 prize took place online because of the Coronavirus pandemic, with 67 artworks chosen from more than 3,000 anonymous submissions.

They are due to be displayed at the Walker Art Gallery from February 12 to June 27, with a virtual tour available from February 12 until lockdown is lifted and the gallery can reopen to visitors. The five shortlisted artists will be revealed on February 11.

Five prizewinning paintings from the John Moores Painting Prize China will also be shown in the 2021 exhibition.

Landscapes and figurative paintings feature strongly in this year’s competition, the 31st edition of the prize which was instigated in 1957 by philanthropist and Littlewoods chairman John Moores and the Walker’s director Hugh Scrutton.

The current first prize is £25,000 along with a solo show at the Walker, with four runners up receiving £2,500 each. For the first time this year there will also be a £2,500 Emerging Artist Prize, supported by Winsor & Newton.

There is also a ‘visitors’ choice’ award, sponsored by Rathbones and decided by a ballot of people who come and see the exhibition. The winner will receive £2,020.

Above: Filming entries for the remote judging. © Robin Clewley

Top: Some of the longlisted artworks which will go on show

Sandra Penketh, Director of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool, said: “This exhibition is an extraordinary chapter in the John Moores Painting Prize’s long history.

“From the call for entries which launched just weeks before the first national lockdown, to the challenge of bringing together hundreds of paintings from across the UK, we’re delighted to have got to this stage and to finally have a truly exciting longlist.

“We’d like thank all of our artists who found the time and energy just when the world was changing so dramatically during the first few weeks of lockdown, to enter their work and follow the process through all of the changes and uncertainties over the past few months.

“Their collective commitment and passion for paint shines through in this stunning final selection.”

The judging panel for 2020 was Alison Goldfrapp of Elastica, Hurvin Anderson, Michelle Williams Gamaker, Jennifer Higgie and Gu Wenda, who ‘met’ remotely to decide on the longlist.

They were assisted by the use of high spec cameras, screens, speakers and AV software.

The winner and runners-up will be revealed at the exhibition opening in February.

Artist Jack Smith won the first John Moores Prize – worth £1,000 - in 1957 with his painting Creation and Crucifixion

Sir Peter Blake, himself a junior prize winner in 1961, is the John Moores patron, while previous prize winners include David Hockney, Mary Martin, Peter Doig and Rose Wylie.

The 2018 winner was Jacqui Hallam (pictured above with Sir Peter Blake) with her ink on cotton piece King and Queen of Wands.

This year's longlist features Merseyside artists including Robbie Bushe, David Jacques and Brendan Lyons.

The John Moores Painting Prize exhibition is at the Walker Art Gallery from February 12 to June 21 2021.

bottom of page