BP Portrait Award shortlist
April 22 2013
Pictures: (left to right): 'The Uncertain Time' by John Devane © John Devane; 'Pieter' by Susanne du Toit © Susanne du Toit
Two pictures have been shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award. From the National Portrait Gallery press release:
The two artists shortlisted for the 2013 BP Portrait Award 2013 are John Devane for The Uncertain Time and Susanne du Toit for Pieter.
John Devane (17.08.1954) for The Uncertain Time (1720 x 2490mm, oil on canvas).
A painter who also teaches at Coventry University, John Devane, has an MA from the Royal College of Art. He has been shortlisted for his large group portrait of his three children: Lucy, 25, Laura, 20, and Louis, 15. Painted over three years, the picture sets out to show how children emerge from childhood and begin to assert their independence revealing something of their adult selves. He says: ‘The composition suggests an almost stage-like shallow space constructed in two zones with the three figures presented as if they are awaiting some kind of event’. The artist’s key points of reference are the works of Courbet, Chardin, Degas, Balthus and Samuel Beckett. This will be the second time John Devane’s work has been exhibited at the BP Portrait Award, his In the House of The Cellist was seen in the 1995 exhibition.
Susanne du Toit (05.03.1955) for Pieter (1080 x 830mm, oil on canvas).
Educated at the University of Pretoria and the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Susanne du Toit is an artist now based in Crowthorne, Berkshire. She has been shortlisted for her portrait of her eldest son Pieter, aged 35. The sitting took place in the artist’s studio, as part of a series of portraits of her family. Susanne du Toit says she allowed Pieter to find his own pose, with the condition that his hands would appear prominently in the composition – she says she has always found hands essential to communicating personality. ‘I look to the body to provide as much expression as the face’, she says. ‘Having said that, the averted gaze of this portrait, which was his choice, struck me as characteristic of his reflective character, and became intensely engaging’.
This year the competition received 1,969 entries from 77 different countries. 55 portraits have been selected for the exhibition (National Portrait Gallery, London, 20 June - 15 September 2013).
Hard to say much about the pictures from the photos so far, but they both look pretty good to me. The main thing is, they're not photo-realist works. Encouraging...
More details here.