Notably both paintings show full figures and not just heads or heads and upper torso alone and it's blatantly obvious that the artist knows the sitter(s). I'm speculating that we may be calling this the year of the return to the truly observational painting - from life. Those aspiring to enter next year's competition should take note! These key points about the nature of the portrait required for this competition are ones I highlighted in my Call for Entries post back in December (see BP Portrait Award 2013: Call for Entries)
Artists shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award
In previous years we have had four artists shortlisted for the first three prizes plus the Young Artists Award.
However this year the prize money has been redistributed so that the first prize money has been increased and the Third Prize has been eliminated. This means the prizes for the BP Portrait Award are now as follows:
- BP Portrait Award Winner - £30,000 cash prize a commission worth £5,000, to be agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist.
- BP Portrait Award Runner up - £10,000
- Young Artist Award - £7,000
- BP Travel Award 2013 - £6,000
- Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery (Chair)
- David Dawson, Painter and Photographer
- Sarah Howgate, Contemporary Curator, National Portrait Gallery
- Victoria Pomery, Director, Turner Contemporary
- Ali Smith, Author
- Des Violaris, Director, UK Arts & Culture, BP
- John Devane for The Uncertain Time and
- Susanne du Toit for Pieter.
John Devane - The Uncertain Time
|'The Uncertain Time' |
1720 x 2490mm, oil on canvas
© John Devane
Occupation Head of Department, Design and Visual Arts, School of Art and Design, Coventry University and
Current home: Midlands
Art education: MA (Painting) from the Royal College of Art, 1975, B.A (Hons), Fine Art, Liverpool Polytechnic. 1972, Foundation Course, Blackpool School of Arts and Technology
Previous appearances in this award: In the House of The Cellist (1995)
Website: BBC - Your Paintings - a slideshow of 12 paintings by John Devane
Subject: The Uncertain Time (1720 x 2490mm, oil on canvas).
The composition suggests an almost stage-like shallow space constructed in two zones with the three figures presented as if they are awaiting some kind of event.
The artist’s key points of reference are the works of Courbet, Chardin, Degas, Balthus and Samuel Beckett.
John Devane has lectured extensively at various universities since 1980 in Fine Art at BA and MA level. He's held his present position of Head of Department of Design and Visual Arts since 2004. He's also active at a national level in the National Association for Fine Art Education (NAFAE).
Susanne du Toit - PieterAge: 58
Current home: Crowthorne, Berkshire
Art education: University of Pretoria (mid 70s) and the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston (mid 80s)
Previous appearances in this award:
Website: http://www.susannedutoit.com/ You can see more of her portraits
Subject: Pieter (1080 x 830mm, oil on canvas)
1080 x 830mm, oil on canvas© Suzanne Toit
I look to the body to provide as much expression as the face. Having said that, the averted gaze of this portrait, which was his choice, struck me as characteristic of his reflective character, and became intensely engaging.
BP Portrait Award 2012 - The ExhibitionThe portraits go on display to the public at the BP Portrait Award 2013 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery on 20 June prior to a tour to two other art galleries in the UK. The dates of the three exhibitions and venues are:
- National Portrait Gallery - 20 June to 15 September 2013
- Aberdeen Art Gallery - 2 November 2013 – 1 February 2014 and
- Wolverhampton Art Gallery - 3 March – 14th June 2014
He proposed following in the footsteps of the Japanese printmaker Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858). Hiroshige produced a series of woodblock prints on his travels which serve as an artistic document of life in Japan in the 19th Century. Starting in Tokyo and travelling to Kyoto, Randall has also produced a series of portraits depicting locals along the route as it exists today, contrasting with life found in Hiroshige’s time.
I have visited a cross-section of professions from old and new Japanese society - from salary men in office blocks, to farmers in rice fields; employees of motorway restaurants, service stations and roadside hotels.
Previous Commissions by BP Award WinnersThe BP Portrait Award website this year highlights for the first time the type of commissions which have been undertaken by previous award winners. I think this underlines my point about the artist being able to demonstrate that they can paint more than just a head.
This is the link to the Commissioned Portraits. Each portrait indicates the sitter and the BP Portrait Award winner who painted it. The date of the portrait is not the year the artist won the award.
One of my personal favourites is the portrait of Camila Batmanghelidjh by Dean Marsh (see my post about his win - Craig Wylie wins BP Portrait Award 2008.
Previous blog posts about the BP Portrait Award
BP Portrait Award - Shortlisted artists on Making A Mark:
- BP Portrait Award 2013: Call for Entries 04 Dec 2012
- BP Portrait Award 2012 - The Shortlist 05 Apr 2012
- BP Portrait Award 2011 Shortlist 18 Apr 2011
- BP Portrait Award 2010 - Shortlist announced 28 Apr 2010
- BP Portrait Award 2009 - the shortlist 27 May 2009
- BP Portrait Award shortlist announced - a womanwill win! 25 Apr 2008
- Call for Entries: BP Portrait Award 2012 11 Dec 2011
- BP Portrait Award 2012 - 55 Selected Artists 30 May 2012
- BP Portrait Award 2011 Shortlist - identifies shortlisted entries and artists. See if you can guess which work won before reading my review post.
- BP Portrait Award 2011: links to Selected Artists - artists selected for the exhibition in 2011
- Review: BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2011- my review of the exhibition (later than usual)
- BP Travel Awards: 2010 (Paul Beel) and 2011 (Jo Fraser) - information for those interested in the Travel Award
- BP Portrait Award 2011: People's Favourite & Statistics - this is the post in which I analysed last year's entry statistics
- BP Portrait Award 2010 - Shortlist announced)
- BP Portrait Award 2010: List of Exhibitors and Brian Sewell and
- Daphne Todd wins BP Portrait Award 2010
- Two American Artists win BP Portrait Prizes
- BP Portrait Award: Michael Gaskell's unparalled record
- a video of the exhibition see Video - BP Portrait Exhibition 2010 opens today
- BP Portrait Tour & Portrait of the Nation (24 Sep 2009)
- Sue Rubira makes her mark on BP Portrait (18 Jun 2009)
- Exhibition review: BP Portrait Award (18 Jun 2009)
- Peter Monkman wins first prize in BP Portrait Award 2009 (17 Jun 2009)
- BP Portrait Award 2009 - the shortlist (27 May 2009)
- BP Portrait Award - who enters and who gets selected (28 May 2009)
- BP Portrait Award 2009 - Call for Entries (15 Dec 2008)
- Making a Mark: Paul Emsley wins BP Portrait Award (22 Jun 2007)
- View the BP Portrait Award 2007 and BP Travel Award 2006 exhibitions (15 June 2007)