The Threadneedle Prize of £25,000 will be awarded to a figurative artist in London tonight. The prize is meant to encourage figurative painting and sculpture and was established because of a perceived bias in the Turner Prize toward conceptual and video art. Jackie Wullschlager gave the background to the prize in the Financial Times a couple of weeks ago:
It was to counter this bias, and to answer and reassert broad and continuing popular interest in figurative painting and sculpture, that the £25,000 Threadneedle Prize was launched at the Mall Galleries last year. This is not some reactionary Stuckist joke: organised by the Federation of British Artists, selected by a distinguished panel of judges – including Desmond Shawe-Taylor, surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures, and artists Jock McFayden and Daphne Todd – and funded by Threadneedle Investments, it is Britain’s most lucrative art award. Its second presentation, opened this week, is a triumph. Combining the work of young and established names, and ranging from a two-metre crocheted upright brown bear by Shauna Richardson to Louise Balaam’s tiny, luscious oil on panel close-up “Oak Tree”, the exhibition of some 80 works is serious, engaging, diverse, unexpected and gives more pleasure and provocation than any Turner show of the past decade. If you have any regard for living art, go – and vote; the winner, from the judge’s shortlist of seven, will be decided by public vote and announced on September 14.
The Threadneedle Award at the Mall Galleries (Financial Times)
Sheila Wallis Wins Threadneedle Prize (BBC News)