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BP Portrait Award 2005

BP Portrait Award 2005 cover

Philip Hensher's essay explores privacy and mystery in portraiture, focusing on the intimate relationship between painter and sitter. Hensher is the youngest writer in the Oxford Companion to English Literature and A.S. Byatt's Oxford Book of the English Short Story . He is a critic, journalist and writer of novels and short stories. He also wrote the libretto for Thomas Adès's Opera, Powder Her Face . His fiction includes The Mulberry Empire (2002), The Bedroom of the Mister's Wife (1999) and Pleasured (1998). He has won a Somerset Maugham Award for Kitchen Venom (1996).

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Out of Print

BP Portrait Award 2005
Essay by Philip Hensher

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

The BP Portrait Award, now in its twenty-sixth year, is a popular fixture on the summer calendar, and is the leading showcase for young artists specialising in portraiture. The competition is open to artists from around the world and last year received a record-number of 955 entrants, all competing for the main prize of £25,000.

As well as featuring all the entries from this year's competition, this arresting book includes a fascinating essay by Philip Hensher and portraits of people in the old Persian bazaar in Tehran by Darvish Fakhr, the BP travel-award winner 2004. Fakhr's paintings show the depths of emotion behind outwardly ritualised lives and aim to help us understand the common humanity that links the Western world and the Middle East.

Published to accompany the summer exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 15 June to 25 September 2005; Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, from 6 October to 27 November; and The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, from 17 December 2005 to 12 March 2006.

190 x 125mm, 80 pages
60 colour illustrations
ISBN 1 85514 365 8
Special Gallery Price: £5.00
RRP £7.50
Published June 2005

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