500 Portraits: BP Portrait Award
During the past 20 years, over 20,000 artists have entered the prize, which has attracted over 3 million visitors. This new book brings together some of these portraits in a celebration of our enduring fascination with different human faces. This beautifully produced compendium features 500 paintings from many of the best figurative artists active over the last twenty-one years. Reflecting the diverse methods of contemporary portrait practice, the book includes a dazzling array of styles, from immaculate photorealism to intense expressionism. The BP Portrait Award is one of Britain's most prestigious art prizes, and each year nearly 300,000 people visit the exhibition based on the competition. It has acted as a springboard for many painters' careers, notably the prize-winners who have been subsequently commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paint an eminent sitter. This book includes full-colour reproductions of many of those commissions - including paintings of Dame Helen Mirren, J.K. Rowling, Sir Michael Caine, Fiona Shaw, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Paul Smith and Dame Cicely Saunders. As well as these high-profile commissions, the book features an inspiring wealth of subjects: unflinching self-portraits, warm portrayals of children and babies,conversation pieces, studies of people at home and at work - a rich and varied selection of hundreds of faces by some of the finest portrait painters of our time. Published to coincide with the BP Portrait Award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London from 16 June to 18 September 2011, and touring the UK in 2011-12. This book is a key reference work for everyone who is interested in the history of the award and its impact on the status of portraiture and figurative art in the UK.
Sandy Nairne is Director of the National Portrait Gallery. He was previously Director: Programmes at Tate, London and is well known for his innovative television series and book State of the Art.
Foreword by Peter Mather Painting People by Sandy Nairne Winners' Commissions First Prizewinning Works Selected Works 199O-2O1O 199O 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2OOO 2OO1 2OO2 2OO3 2OO4 2OO5 2OO6 2OO7 2OO8 2OO9 2O1O Travel Award by Sarah Howgate Portrait Commissions Next Generation by Justine McLisky