BP Portrait Award 2008

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Essay by Alexander McCall Smith

'One of Britain's most prestigious and lucrative art prizes'
The Guardian

The BP Portrait Award, now in its eighteenth year, is a popular fixture on the summer calendar, and is the leading showcase for artists specializing in portraiture. Last year 195,000 people visited the exhibition. The competition is open to all artists aged eighteen and over from around the world. The 2008 award received 1,600 entrants, all competing for the main prize of £25,000 and a possible commission worth £4,000 from the National Portrait Gallery. There is also a prize for artists aged between eighteen and thirty.

The catalogue features over sixty works from an international list of artists, which together display a diverse range of styles and painterly techniques, highlighting the vitality of portrait painting today. It also includes a witty and illuminating essay by world-renowned novelist Alexander McCall Smith and this year for the first time, two illustrated articles by the 2007 Travel Award Winners Timothy Hyman and Gareth Reid. Timothy Hyman's piece describes the journey he undertook to paint a commemorative group portrait of a circle of Indian artists whilst Gareth Reid's travels took him to Finland where he immersed himself in the winter bathing clubs of Finland.

Published to accompany the summer exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 12 June to 14 September 2008 and its tour to Wolverhampton Art Gallery, from 27 September to 14 November 2008 and Aberdeen Art Gallery, from 29 November 2008 to 24 January 2009.

 

BP Portrait Award 2008 catalogue cover

 

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of over sixty books on a wide array of subjects. For many years he was Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh and served on national and international bioethics bodies. Then in 1999 he achieved global recognition for his award-winning No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, and thereafter devoted his time to the writing of fiction, including the 44 Scotland Street and the von Igelfeld series.

Specification
190 x 120mm, 88 pages
With 67 colour illustrations
ISBN 978 1 85514 394 4
Special Gallery Price £7.99 (RRP £8.50, paperback)
Exhibition catalogue/contemporary portraiture
Published 12 June 2008


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