Thursday, April 05, 2012

BP Portrait Award 2012 - The Shortlist

BP Portrait Award - Shortlisted artists and paintings

The four artists shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award 2012 at the National Portrait Gallery in London are:
    This year is (I think) the first time, since the age limit was lifted, that three of the artists whose work has been selected are under the age of 30.

    I have the benefit of being able to accees the high res images - although these are not reproduced on this blog - I've only posted low res!

    Having studied all four I think the winner will be Aleah Chapin.  Reasons being because of the nature of the subject and sheer "grab your eye and keep it" of its composition, its size plus the painterly quality of the brushwork and use of palette.  She paints older skin with bravado and huge skill.  Her porfolio of work from her series of nude portraits older women are stunning.

    She's also a blogger! (see below)

    by Aleah Chapin, 2011
    oil on canvas 1470 x 965 mm
    © Aleah Chapin
    Aleah Chapin 

    Age: 26
    Nationality: American (Seattle)
    Current home: Brooklyn
    Art education: BFA at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle (2009); 2011 residency, Leipzig International Art Programme, Germany; MFA in painting at the New York Academy of Art (2012)
    Exibitions: Include solo and group shows in the US and Europe.
    Previous prizes: Posey Foundation Scholarship; Judith Kindler and Kyle Johnson Scholarship for Innovation in the Arts; nominated for the Joan Mitchell MFA Grant
    Website: Aleah Chapin - Artist
    Subject:  a close friend of the family.  Her portrait is part of a series - The Aunties Project - of nude portraits of women Aleah has known all of her life.

    Click the link in the title of the image to see the full portrait (a three-quarter nude).
    ‘the fact that she has known me since birth is extremely important. Her body is a map of her journey through life. In her, I see the personification of strength through an unguarded and accepting presence.’
    You can also read her blog posts about her time in Germany
    Richie Culver
    by Alan Coulson, 2012
    oil on panel, 850 x 590mm
    © Alan Coulson
    Alan Coulson  
    Richie Culver, Contemporary British Artist

    Age: 35
    Nationality: British
    Current home: London
    Art education: Foundation Studies in Art and Design at Harrogate College of Art and Design ; self-taught
    ExhibitionsBP Portrait Award 2010 and 2011; Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ annual exhibition in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
    Website:  Alan Coulson
    Subject:   Richie Culver, a fellow artist and friend

    Coulson visited Culver at his home in west London where he took informal reference photographs before producing preparatory sketches and completing the painting in his studio.
    ‘My aim was to produce a direct and honest painting that would capture Richie’s unique appearance alongside his easygoing nature’.
    I'm a big fan of Alan Coulson's work.  This was his sensitive portrait of Ciara selected for the BP Portrait Prize Exhibition 2010.  He's also the only artist of the four with a track record of being selected (in the last two years) for the BP Portrait Prize exhibition.

    El abuelo (Augusta Estudillo)
    by Ignacio Estudillo, 2012
    oil on canvas, 2000 x 2000 mm
    © Ignacio Estudillo
    Ignacio Estudillo 
    El abuelo (Agustín Estudillo)

    Age: 26
    Nationality: Spanish (b. Jerez de la Frontera)
    Current home: Córdoba, Spain
    Art education: School of Arts and Crafts in Jerez de la Frontera; Real Academia de Bellas Artes of Seville.
    Exhibitions: ArtMadrid 2011
    Collections: Museu Europeu D’Art Modern, MEAM.
    Subject: His paternal grandfather
    ‘I worked with artificial light and with a chromatic scale, mainly within the black and white spectrum. I painted the portrait larger than life size but the model was in a natural position. I made this painting because of my grandfather and his life experiences attracted me. It’s not a purely analytical portrait but it’s a way of showing a part of the human condition to which he belongs. At the same time I transmit his own nature and my idea of him as a conflicted, unstable, passionate human. I’m not only creating a portrait of my grandfather but also revealing a part of myself.’
    Jamie Routley 
    Tony Lewis

    Age: 29
    Nationality: Welsh - born in Newport, Wales
    Current home: London
    Art education: BA in Illustration at Swindon College; studied under American painter Charles H. Cecil in Florence, Italy 2004-2008
    Exhibitions:  Exhibitions have included Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition (2011, 2012) and Flowers East Gallery.
    Website: Jamie Routley
    Subject:  Tony Lewis who has a newspaper stand at Baron’s Court Tube Station and works in ‘The Four Vintners’ wine shop.
    Tony Lewisby Jamie Routley, 2012
    oil on canvas, 1250 x 460 mm
    © Jamie Routley
    'I didn't set out to paint a triptych, but I found after each painting there was more to say. A past had been hinted at during the sittings for the first painting that I couldn't leave alone. Tony told me that for the first time in decades he'd found an environment that was both stimulating an allowed for quiet reflection. So we continued... It was an intense and profound experience for both of us. '
    BP Portrait Award Competition 2012

    This year the open competition for this prestigious prize received 2,187 entries from 74 different countries.

    I'll be doing my usual analysis of the entry data and trends and detailing this in a post tomorrow [UPDATE:  I've spotted a problem with the data and need to check the numbers with the NPG staff - so this post is now on hold].

    The competition was judged from original paintings by this year’s panel:
    • Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London
    • Dr Augustus Casely-Hayford, Curator and Cultural Historian
    • Sarah Howgate, Contemporary Curator, National Portrait Gallery
    • Martin Jennings, Sculptor
    • Nicola Kalinsky, Interim Director, Scottish National Portrait Gallery
    • Des Violaris , Director UK Arts & Culture, BP
    ‘The judges of this year's BP Portrait Award had many outstanding portraits to choose from, and were greatly impressed by the increasingly international submission.’Sandy Nairne
    It's interesting to compare this portrait competition with The Archibald Prize in Australia.  See Tim Storrier wins the $75,000 Archibald Prize 2012

    BP Portrait Exhibition at the NPG and other locations

    55 portraits have been selected for the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, which opens to the public on 21 June for twelve weeks until 23 September 2012 at the Wolfson Gallery in the National Portrait Gallery. The entry is free due to the support received from BP.

    This year the BP Portrait Award 2012 exhibition is part of the London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.

    Last year it was the most popular exhibition in the museum's history so do book early as there are bound to be lots of extra visitors this year with the Olympics and the Jubilee celebrations over the summer months.

    It closes on 23 September at which point the winners and selected entries tour to two other locations.
    Previous blog posts about the BP Portrait

    I know that people reference my posts when trying to decide whether or not to enter.  (Some of them even go on to win prizes!)  So here's the complete list of BP Portrait blog posts.

    BP Portrait Award 2012
    BP Portrait Award 2011
    BP Portrait Award 2010
    BP Portrait Award 2009
    BP Portrait Award 2008<
    BP Portrait Award 2007


    1. A good choice - I love Aleah Chapin's 'Auntie' - she has portrayed the beauty, character and spirit of a mature woman and this woman's beauty is luminous.

    2. How I love your blog... Always fresh and exciting. Thank you.

      I'll be up to the smoke in a couple of weeks, and will visit Auntie... In the flesh... So to speak..

      Thanks once again. ~ Julie.


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