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John Moores Painting Prize 2016


- Selected Artist


Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK

8th July - 26th November

Artist statement – John Moores 2016



"Totem is one of a series of paintings exploring notions of population growth and societal shift. The compositions of earlier pieces were often determined by hard population data; more recent paintings have expanded into more conceptually abstracted areas, adapting visual metaphors of construction hoardings, beams and scaffolds to document the urban experience and to denote the boundaries of the individual. 


The pared-down palette of black and luminous red is a frequent presence in my work. A field of vertical columns is formed entirely by a stark network of marks which vary in speed, intensity, weight and trajectory. The result is an abstract calligraphic language, reminiscent of cave painting, graffiti, even barcodes and digital coding. The urgency of mark-making is pivotal and reflects a fast-paced environment glowing from the residual evidence of a transient population."

About the John Moores


First held in 1957, the John Moores Painting Prize is the UK's best-known painting competition and is named after Sir John Moores (1896 - 1993), the founder of the prize. The competition culminates in an exhibition held at the Walker Art Gallery every two years, which forms a key strand of the Liverpool Biennial.


The John Moores exhibition is held in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust, and although the appearance of each exhibition changes, the principles remain constant: to support artists and to bring to Liverpool the best contemporary painting from across the UK.

John Moores Painting Prize China launched in August 2010. Applications were received from across China and 28 artists were selected for the inaugural exhibition.


In 2012 Sir Peter Blake became the first Patron of the prize. Find out more about his connection to the prize and watch a video of the artist in his studio.


Quotes about the prize


"The John Moores is one of the most prestigious art competitions in the UK and winning the Junior Prize in 1961 is one of the achievements of which I am most proud." 
- Sir Peter Blake, artist.


"...elegant, coherent and some really impressive work."
- Tim Marlow, Artistic Director at the Royal Academy.


"[The John Moores Painting Prize is] the Oscar of the British painting world"
- Sir Norman Rosenthal, curator and former exhibitions secretary at the Royal Academy.


"...catch up with innovative developments in a traditional medium"
- Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times.

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