Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Columbia Threadneedle Prize 2018 - Call for Entries

This is about how to enter The Columbia Threadneedle Prize 2018 for the best new figurative and representational art - in 2D and 3D. The first prize is £20,000 and a solo exhibition.

It covers:
  • Prizes and Selectors
  • Call for Entries
    • who can enter
    • what you can enter
    • how to enter
    • the timeline of key dates
  • Exhibitions
Plus you can also see at the end my archive list of blog posts relating to past Threadneedle Prize exhibitions

The Columbia Threadneedle Prize was established in 2008 as a partnership between Columbia Threadneedle Investments and Mall Galleries. Over the years it has changed but has become more and more important. It now brands itself as the UK’s leading competition for figurative and representational painting and sculpture.  

I've been with this prize from the beginning - I cast the very first vote in the very first exhibition - and picked the winner! You can see an archive of my posts about the exhibition at the end of this blog.

Prizes and Selectors

Awards announcement at Threadneedle Prize 2016


There are a number of prizes
The Columbia Threadneedle Prize 2016 Winner - Lewis Hazelwood-Horner


This year’s Panel of Selectors include
The chairman of the panel is Lewis McNaught, Director of Mall Galleries (web page)

Call for Entries

Who can enter

To enter this exhibition you need to be
  • an artist of any nationality,
  • aged 18 or over,
  • presently living or working in the UK or Europe (i.e. Artists living / working outside the UK and EU may NOT submit to The Columbia Threadneedle Prize)
Those who have previously won a prize can submit up to five works but are not eligible to win a prize for at least three years after their award.

If you live in Europe you can submit work but if your work is sold at exhibition you have a responsibility to register and account for UK VAT with H.M. Revenue & Customs and you need to do this before you submit your entry.

What you can enter

Monday, June 26, 2017

BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2017 - Video and Review

This post about the BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition includes:
  • my video of the exhibition
  • my commentary on what I've noticed has changed in this year's exhibition
The exhibition is at the National Portrait Gallery until 24 September 2017 - admission is free.

The entrance to the National Portrait Gallery with the two feature banners

Video of the BP Portrait Exhibition 2017

Those used to my annual videos of the BP Portrait Exhibitions will know I'm literally walking around at the least busy bit of the evening devoted to the Awards Ceremony - and trying not to annoy the team of staff by going too slowly. So apologies to all those who would have liked a slower video. Also, where I'm getting up close to certain paintings it's because I'm squeezing into the tiny space behind the podium used for the speeches and presentations! Plus there's no sound because there was a copyright music track playing so I had to lose the audio to get it viewed on YouTube.

If you click the bottom right hand corner you can go to YouTube or click to view full screen. It's in HD so the quality is OK.

If you're unable to visit the exhibition, my video is particularly relevant to:
  • getting a much better understanding of the relative size of the individual paintings
  • appreciating more about the choice of subject, size, style, palette and approach to painting a portrait for this exhibition.
If you want to find out more about the individual artists:
  • on the NPG website - see exhibitors. Click the individual images to see a bigger image and read about the painting and the artist
  • in my blog post BP Portrait Award 2017: Selected Artists. This organises the names of the selected artists by country and includes links to their websites (where one can be found).

What's different in the 2017 Exhibition

If I had to sum up the 2017 exhibition in a few words it would be that it's like 2016 - but more so.
  • there's an increasing trend towards paintings getting smaller
  • consequently there seem to be more head orientated portraits than ever before.
  • most paintings are realistic but fewer are photorealistic
  • the celebs are much less well known
  • the models are much more likely to be a self-portrait or close family or friends - with children continuing to be popular subjects. As last year, the choice of subject is much persuasive that the portrait involves observation and painting from life - which is a criteria for selection.
More small paintings - and a lot of wall space unfilled

In the Friends Preview - which is my first opportunity to really view and analyse the exhibition, I did my counts for size as well as type of portrait. and then crunched the numbers.

Below you can view the results.

What sort of portraits get selected?

Friday, June 23, 2017

BP Portrait Award 2017: Artists with their paintings

Portrait artists with portrait paintings selected for inclusion in the BP Portrait Award 2017 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery can expect the following benefits:
  • your portrait will be seen by well in excess of 250,000 visitors in London this summer - and even more around the UK over the course of the next 12 months (see the end of this for details of the exhibition)
  • your CV is greatly enhanced by selection for this prestigious exhibition - and it helps to interest galleries in showing your work
  • your website will get enquiries about commissions for future work. Assuming you remembered to get your website into good order - with a page devoted to commissions - in advance of the show!
Friends Preview

This post is about some of the artists whose work was selected. Let's also not forget the friends and families, many of whom sat for the portraits - and some of came to the press view yesterday!

Previously I've written about the artists selected for the BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2017 - which contains mini bios and links to their websites

You can see all the works of the exhibitors on the NPG BP Portrait Award 2017 website

Artists with their Paintings

The selection of the artists photographed for this post is not scientific. They are those who were at  the Press View yesterday morning and I managed to spot their label declaring them to be an artist. (Tip: never ever hide your label at a Press View!)

However, in a way it's also a mini profile and nod in the direction of the 2,580 artists from 87 countries around the world who submitted work for the show.

Not all artists are experienced and/or professional - a number are enthusiastic amateurs while others are starting out on their careers.

The painters in this post are:

  • UK: England - Martyn Burdon, Rowanne Cowley, Estelle Day, Raoof Haghighi (from Iran / now a UK citizen), Hero Johnson, Laura Quinn Harris, Lucy Stopford, Khushna Sulaman-Butt, Casper White,
  • UK: Scotland - Hannah Laws 
  • France - Julian Merrow-Smith (born UK; lives in Provence),
  • Israel - Anne Ben-Or
  • Lithuania: Laura Guoke
  • Israel - Anne Ben-Or
  • Turkey: Mustafa Ozel
  • USA: John Borowicz, David Stanger
  • Canada: Ross McCauley (currently living in Glasgow)
  • South Africa: Emily Stainer

At the end of this list is a section called Other artists I missed for "the ones that got away" but somebody else was sensible and took a photo!  These are
  • UK: Anastasia Pollard
  • USA:  Noah Buchanan
The narrative below includes large pics - but you have to click them to see the large version - and a link to the artist's website. The artists are also organised by country of origin (with a note of where they are living at the moment)

Click the images to see a LARGER VERSION

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ben Sullivan wins BP Portrait Award 2017

Benjamin Sullivan has finally won First Prize in the BP Portrait Award 2017 - after winning Third Prize in 2016 and being previously selected for the BP Portrait Award 12 times.  

Team Sullivan - portrait painter Ben Sullivan with the BP Portrait Award (First Prize)
his two models - wife Ginnie and daughter Edie
The winning portrait was selected from strong competition - 2,580 entries were received from 87 countries

Below is a list of the Awards and who won what.  You can read more about each of the artists in the profiles contained in BP Portrait Award 2017 - The Shortlist

Giving the BP Portrait Awards a final polish
Interestingly, all the sitters for the main prizes were women and the First and Second prizes were both portraits of new mothers.  All the winning portraits are also very precise paintings - with both the second and third prize winners using very small hatching marks.

Admission to The BP Portrait Exhibition is free to the public. It can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London on 22 June until 24 September - when it will get about 300,000 visitors - after which it will then travel to Exeter, Edinburgh and Sunderland. (see below for details).

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Review: New English Art Club Annual Exhibition 2017

The 2017 Annual Exhibition of the New English Art Club (NEAC) opened at the Mall Galleries last week and continues until 25th June  (10am to 5pm; closes 1pm on final day).

I was unable to get to the PV for the NEAC Annual Exhibition and visited on Sunday afternoon instead. It was delightful to be able to see all the pics in comfort and I think I might want to make more Sunday visits! (Note I do most of the wide shots towards the end of the afternoon when fewer people are present)

This post provides:
  • images of the exhibition
  • my conclusions about 
    • the exhibition overall
    • the OPEN exhibition having viewed it in full three times and done some counting
    • sales - and sizes and price points
  • a listing of the main prizewinners

The Exhibition

The exhibition has 413 paintings, drawings and fine art prints (excluding work by members those not listed in the catalogue) plus 2 watercolours by HRH Prince of Wales. Paintings include oils, acrylic, watercolour and mixed media. Drawings included charcoal, pastel and graphite.

One thing NEAC may want to rethink is this statement. It might have been true once but I'd be happy to debate with the society whether it is still true.
Our Annual Exhibition held at Mall Galleries is now firmly established as a fixture of the London Summer Season, exhibiting painting and drawing made from direct observation.
 Generally the exhibition looked good. I'll be curious to see whether it performs as good as it looks. My notes indicate:
  • obviously a new guiding hand as there is a lot more colour - and then while drinking my cup of tea noted that Richard Pikesley is the new President so that explains that!  I note also that Richard sold extremely well in the exhibition - so he's obviously doing his bit to drum up both traffic and supportive buying collectors.
  • the 'hang' hung together - and presents a very pleasing contrast to the RA Summer Exhibition which I saw earlier in the week - where my eye kept getting 'lost'
  • the artists hung seem to be different - and I can't quite work out what I mean by that. I speculate that it's probably artists I'm used to seeing in the exhibition do't have work included and there are probably some new members whose work I've less familiar with. There again - there's the issue of who got selected for the open...
  • The exhibition is odd in terms of what gets hung where - of which more in the next section
  • The sales are not representative of the exhibition - of which more in the sales section.

The Main Gallery

Almost all the work is by NEAC members.

There were two small works walls in the Main Galleries and both had generated a few sales.
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