Friday, 21 June 2013

Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Competition 2013

Yesterday evening I went to the opening of this excellent show.
This is a competition reserved for artists living in UK, and is promoted by the eponymous collection, put together by Ruth Borchard during her whole life.
Every other year they organise an open show in King's Place Gallery, a large exhibition space close to Kings Cross Station in London, while the present collection goes on display on the following year.
This year, second edition of the prize, they had around 700 entries of which 122 were chosen for the show, among these one won the only prize ( 10.000£).

I can't recommend enough to visit this show if you are interested in portraiture, as this, is in my opinion, is the best display of contemporary portraiture in town.
Unencumbered by the judgement of a client or the need to flatter a sitter, self portraits are a very pure form of expression for an artist. In most cases they need a mirror, hence they might not be painted exclusively in the studio, but show us corners of the artist's house, mix in with the domesticity of his/her life, are a territory for experimentation and self examination.

The show was juried by a member of the Borchard family, last year's winner Celia Paul, critics Laura Gascoigne and Mark Hudson, and Dr Robert Travers ( Piano Nobile Gallery).
The winner this year was Thomas Newbolt. It seems to me that the prize is being awarded not only for the piece itself, but in consideration of the career of the artist as well.

My first impression of the show was that it is hung really well, with large portraits well spaced and grouped so that they resonate with each other for contrast or similarity. Larger works hold their own in the vast space of the mezzanine while smaller ones are displayed in one row in the gallery room and in a space downstairs.


A special mention goes to the youngest guest of the opening, who appeared at the opening with two fine exhibited artists in tow. Miss Marple is a fellow blogger and a has an account on Twitter, just in case you might want to follow her adventures in Arty London. She has the makings of a fine art critic so I hope for more show reviews  in the future. Spot the artist in the picture.





Next is a an album of photos from the opening.
Apologies for the quality of the photos, taken with my phone while trying to avoid the crowd. I didn't have time to note down each name so if you recognise any of the uncredited images I'd be very grateful of you let me know so I can update the captions. 

The show is now open and will run until the 22nd of September.

James Bland 


Peter Bowen







Andrew Farmer

Hero Johnson


Left, Anthony Yates 

Peter Clossick Andrew James


Pedro Miguel Matos Alves

Massimo Franco, James Bland, David Caldwell

Sam Marshall



Robert Dukes


Ian Rowlands

Yours truly, see here for a post on this portrait

Andrew Farmer

Frances BordenKim Scouller

Lucy Jones


Daniel Shadbolt

Hester Finch, Madeline Fenton, Atalanta Arden-Miller

Rebecca Cartwright de Fontenelle

Brian Elwell, Tania Aleixo de Matos.

John Wonnacott


Stuart Luke Gatherer

William Mackesey

Eugenie Vronskaya

Brita Granstrom

Mary Mabbutt

Yasunobu Shidami




Graeme Wilcox










6 comments:

Miss Marple said...

Hi Ilaria

Sam here -- Miss Marple's Mum ! thanks so much for the mention, we have had tons more visits to the blog today! and twitter too. Look forward to seeing you again soon :)
X from Miss Marple too

Meabh Warburton said...

Ilaria, Morning to you. Pleased to see your painting in there. regards, Ian.

ian warburton said...

I meant to thank you for your note before, so Thanks.

Peter Bowen said...

just a little correction - my name is Peter Bowen - not Frances Bowen

Ilaria said...

So sorry for the blunder Peter, I amended the caption.

Peter Bowen said...

no problem - thanks for changing it