Friday, June 22, 2007

Paul Emsley wins BP Portrait Award

Paul Emsley has won the BP Portrait Award and £25,000 prize with his portrait of Michael Simpson (which was featured on this blog last week in this post "View the BP Portrait Award 2007 and Travel Award 2006 exhibitions"). Paul wins £25,000 and a commission, at the National Portrait Gallery Trustees' discretion, worth £4,000.

The painting is oil on board and measures 1370 x 1120 mm and was completed in five weeks.

In recent years Paul Emsley has also won the Silver Award for Works on Paper (Art London 2005); First Prize in the Singer & Friedlander Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition (2002) and Third Prize in 2003 and 2001.

The other BP Portrait Award prizewinners are as follows:
  • Second Prizewinner: David Lawton receives £8,000 for his portrait of Stephen which is painted in oil on canvas panel and measures 270 x 200mm. This was by far the smallest of the four shortlisted and effectively captures a very still and intense expression. Lawton previously exhibited at the BP Portrait Award in 2000 (with a portrait of the same sitter) and has also won the Small Picture Award, Manchester Academy of Fine Arts (2003) and the RSBA Prize, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (2004).
  • BP Young Artist Award 2007
    Zusana in Paris Studio
    1300 x 1100mm, acrylic on wooden board

    copyright Hynec Martinec, 
  • Third Prizewinner: Johan Andersson receives £6,000 for Tamara which is painted in oil on canvas and measures 1000 x 734mm.
The Young Artist Award
This is a new prize - awarded to an artist aged 18-30 (following the change in the submission rules) and the first prizewinner is the Czech painter Hynec Martinec for his portrait of his girlfriend Zusana in Paris Studio (see right). He receives £5,000.

BP Travel Award

The BP Travel Award, an annual prize which allows artists to expand their horizons, goes to two winners. For the first time in its 16-year history it is to e split between two artists:
  • Timothy Hyman: In the 1980s artist Timothy Hyman (b1946), became friendly with a close-knit group of Indian artists – most of them now in the sixties. A few weeks ago he returned to India briefly, after a gap of more than ten years, and he now plans to spend more time there to portray each of these artists, and to make a large commemorative group portrait.
  • Artist Gareth Reid(b1974) is going to travel around the coast of Denmark, visiting some of the hundreds of Scandinavian "vinterbaderklubs" (winterbathing clubs) in Jylland, Fyn and Sjaelland and to paint their members who, during the winter months regularly, of their own free will, swim in man-made ice holes.


  1. I'm really surprised at how many winners were so "in your face" in terms of the the crop and pose. Very edgey style but appears less so when grouped so many others in that format.

    The show must be amazing.

  2. I'm so glad he won :) I've liked his work for years and thought that portrait was amazing.

  3. I'm crazy about portraits. Thanks for turning me on to Paul Emsley. I always say this, but I'll say it again...Thank you so much for your very informative and interesting blog! Now I'm going to go check your travel sketchbook blog....

  4. Nicole - the show is ALWAYS amazing - hence why I've devoted two whole posts to it this year. In my view, viewing the show either online or in person should be seen as essential by anybody who is interested in portraiture.

    Vivien - you know a good artist when you see one! Thanks for switching me on to him too.

    Dee - I'm glad you continue to find it informative. It's always nice to get feedback.


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