Tomma Abts won the Turner Prize in 2006 with this abstract painting, Teete. The Threadneedle Prize will judge only figurative works. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
A major new art prize mooted to rival the Turner Prize has been launched at the Mall Galleries in London.
While the first prize money offered is the same as the Turner Prize - £25,000 – that’s where the similarity ends. There won’t be awards for pickled animals, lights going on and off, plastercasts of square rooms or the like in the new ‘Threadneedle Figurative Prize’.
The Threadneedle prize, sponsored by the wealthy investment company, aims to become a major new forum to showcase the best in contemporary British figurative art, therefore eschewing any of the conceptual installations that have become the norm in modern art galleries.
“We are keen to encourage innovation in figurative art as well as supporting new techniques that will stretch the potential of established and emerging figurative talent,” said Simon Davies, Executive Chairman of Threadneedle Asset Management.
The new competition will begin in September 2008, providing a platform for figurative artists to comment in their more traditional way on the major issues of our day.
The Mall Galleries will officially re-open on September 12 after a major refurbishment, aided by a three-year sponsorship from Threadneedle. The Galleries’ Director, Lewis McNaught, called the investment a “strong endorsement of our role as the focal point for contemporary figurative art in this country.”
The Mall Galleries are run by the Federation of British Artists (FBA).