Yesterday, the fourth and final Jerwood Contemporary Painters exhibition opened at the Jerwood Space in London with great acclaim. This innovative and varied exhibition provides a unique opportunity for emerging artists at a particular stage in their career, somewhere in between student and recognised artist to exhibit alongside their contemporaries. It also provides audiences a rare chance to get a glimpse of future greats, so to speak. The exhibition supports imaginative and vibrant practice in contemporary painting by encouraging young artists during what can be, at times, considered their most creative period. Each of the participating artists, who must have graduated after 2000, receives an equal share of £30,000 to support them at this critical point in their careers. This fee is unusual to other prizes as it rewards every artist in the show. Paul Huxley, Vanessa Jackson and Callum Innes selected the 24 artists (scroll down for biographies).
Lately, several great painters have been brought to my attention, for example, the incredibly poignant Mitch Griffiths whose new show The Promised Land opens later this month at the Halcyon Gallery, London) and Jonathan Wateridge, who is relatively unknown, but a strong newcomer, has a show the will be opening in July. What I love about painting is the ability to negotiate the form, taking a traditional medium and turning it on its head through modern day interpretation. Painting has a long a varied history; it doesn’t have the same relationship with contemporary image-making, as say, the photograph. However, because of the nature of a painting, it’s presence resonates, there’s a certain sort of permanence, which is a quality that is increasingly becoming rare in the early part of the 21st century.
The twenty-four artists are:
Neil Clements, Stewart Cliff, Natasha Conway, Kevin Cosgrove, James Ferris, Lotte Gertz, Nick Goss, Tommy Grace, Charlie Hammond, Iain Hetherington, Thomas Hylander, Ellen Macdonald, Jill Mason, Lucy Kumara Moore, Jack Newling, J.A. Nicholls, Ben Pritchard, James Ryan, Daniel Sinsel, David Small Lucy Stein, Shaan Syed, Mimei Thompson, and Hanneline Visnes
A series of Monday evening events will accompany the exhibition at Jerwood Space. The events will explore contemporary painting, offering a platform for debate around the topic. Events are free but must be booked in advance. For further information and to book, please email email@example.com or check the Jerwood Visual Arts website.
Paul Huxley RA was elected a Royal Academician in 1987 and has been Treasurer of the Royal Academy since 2000. Previous to this he was a member of the advisory panels for the Arts Council of Great Britain and the Serpentine Gallery. He was also a Trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1975 to 1982, acting for a period as chairman of its Exhibitions Committee. Recent projects have included large-scale wall drawings in Chichester and London, and an ongoing series of paintings on a Chinese theme. In 2009 his work was exhibited in solo shows in Beijing, China, and Seoul, South Korea.
Vanessa Jackson is an abstract painter concerned with optical and illusionistic process. She was Head of Painting at Winchester School of Art until 1997, and later MA and Research Tutor at the Royal College of Art until 2008. Currently she tutors at the Royal Academy Schools. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in London and internationally. Her most recent show was a 10metre wall painting, ‘Vertigo in Three Parts,’ at Sadler’s Wells.
Callum Innes has had numerous solo exhibitions, most recently at Frith Street Gallery, London; Fruitmarket, Edinburgh; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. In 1992 he had two major exhibitions at the ICA, London and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, and in 1995 he was short-listed for the Turner Prize. He was awarded the Jerwood Painting Prize in 2002.
The exhibition runs until 30 May, at the Jerwood Space, 171 Union St, SE1 0LN
It’s free admission, and definitely worth the visit.