The Exhibition

BP Portrait Award 2012 and BP Travel Award 2011

The BP Portrait Award showcases the very best in contemporary portrait painting from around the world. For thirty-three years, of which the last twenty-three have been sponsored by BP, the exhibition has presented outstanding and innovative new work in a variety of styles and approaches, and it continues to be a highlight of the annual art calendar.

From informal and personal studies of friends and family, to revealing paintings of famous faces, this year’s exhibition features fifty-five works selected from 2,187 international entries. These include the four shortlisted artists – Aleah Chapin for Auntie, Alan Coulson for Richie Culver, Ignacio Estudillo for El abuelo (Augusta Estudillo) and Jamie Routley for Tony Lewis – as well as the work of the BP Travel Award 2011 winner Jo Fraser.

 For the third year the exhibition will be complemented by the BP Portrait Award: Next Generation project. Inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a series of workshops and online resources offer young people new opportunities for learning and creativity through portraiture. Find out how to get involved.

The competition was judged from original paintings by this year’s panel:

  • Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery (Chair)
  • Dr Augustus Casely-Hayford, Curator and Cultural Historian
  • Sarah Howgate, Contemporary Curator, National Portrait Gallery
  • Martin Jennings, Sculptor
  • Nicola Kalinsky, Interim Director, Scottish National Portrait Gallery
  • Des Violaris, Director UK Arts & Culture, BP

    Rosie and Pumpkin
    by Vanessa Lubach, 2012
    © Vanessa Lubach