Saatchi Painted Faces Showdown at the Griffin Gallery

18 December 2013 § Leave a comment

Following on from the Griffin Art Prize 2013 Exhibition – which is now on the road around the South of England for a few months (see post) – the Griffin Gallery are transferring Saatchi’s Showdown from the virtual online world in to reality.

Miguel Laino

The winner of the prize has been announced as Miguel Laino for his simple but expressive small oil painting shown here, winning over a very high quality – and truly international – final ten. The remaining finalists were: Chris Stevens, Casper Verborg (illustrated middle left), Stephane Villafane, Kristina Alisauskaite (middle right), Sergey Dyomin, Fiona Maclean, Minas Halaj, Maurice Sapiro, Daniel Gonzalez Coves (bottom).

Saatchi online Griffin Gallery

Painted Faces is one phase of a continuing Saatchi Online competition that provides artists from anywhere in the world a showcase for their work. Chantal Joffe was the judge for this event.  Previous judges have been equally big names of the contemporary art world and Barnaby Furnas, Ged Quinn, Wangechi Mutu and Dexter Dalwood have for example run their eyes over entries.


For the first time the works of the 10 Showdown finalists are being shown at the Griffin Gallery, from 5- 20 December with the winner and runner-up receiving art materials to the value of £1000 and £500 respectively – not bad I’d say.

The competition is being run in partnership with Winsor & Newton and is on at the West London Griffin Gallery until 20th December 2013. This is an excellent small show which is a short stroll from Westfield shopping centre – why not take a break from the Christmas shopping and drop in for an artistic break – or a more arty gift? All works are on sale and modestly priced.

For more details about the competition please go to

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Artists to Watch – Luke George & Elizabeth Rose

8 December 2013 § Leave a comment

Is it me or have I been noticing more and more artistsic partnerships lately? The likes of Gilbert & George and Jean Claude &  Christo have been around for a while, but more recently it seems that artists working together has become more accepted, with well known pairings like Allora & Calzadilla, Elmgreen & Dragset, Noble & Webster, The Chapman Brothers and Doyle & Mallinson. On top of these more recently emerging or paired up are Nerhol, kennardphillips, Keeler & Tornero, Swales & Sinclair and so on. There is even the notable pretend pairing – Bob & Roberta Smith – that is actually a single artist Patrick Brill.

Griffin Art Prize

Griffin Art Prize

Then there are Luke George & Elizabeth Rose who met at City & Guilds London, and who have recently come to prominence as winners of the Griffin Art Prize (see recent feature) – a newly established prize for recent graduates that is rapidly becoming one of the most important of the London art world.

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As deserved winners they are keen to investigate the possibilities of materials – in their case primarily paint and canvas. They manage to draw a remarkable range of texture and depth from such traditional and well-used materials and their medium to large sized canvases are a joy to examine at any scale.

George and Rose,Gate,2013,220x300,mixed media on canvas copy

Channelling the unpredicatable ‘avenir’ of Derrida (“There is a future which is predictable, programmed, scheduled, foreseeable. But there is a future, l’avenir (to come) which refers to someone who comes whose arrival is totally unexpected.”) they look to shared intuition and “happy accident” to takes the artwork in a entirely new direction.

Georgeand Rose,l'avenir, 2013,153x168,mixedmedia on canvas

They are “excited by the notion of our paintings eventually making themselves; by responding directly to the surfaces and working in such a way that our actions are dictated entirely by the process rather than our own aesthetic needs as individuals.”

Their work is excellent, inventive and attractive – and if it takes two to tango – then why not?

The Griffin Art Prize tours to High House Gallery in the Cotswolds from 18 January to 16 February 2014

The Griffin Art Prize 2013 Exhibition

15 November 2013 § 1 Comment

The Griffin Art Prize (GAP) has cemented its place as one of the best in the country for emerging artists with another top quality exhibition and I felt it deserved a a quick detour visit to see the work on show. This years prize, awarded last week, features an excellent shortlist with some very promising artists.

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Showcasing developing artists as well as those just graduating it provides a window of opportunity perhaps for those graduates whose work was not singled out for wider attention at degree shows and who have developed well since. This is very important as each years new graduates easily attract wide attention and have plenty of opportunity to impress, whilst a few years on there is less chance to be recognised as an ’emerging’ artist.

Luke George & Elizabeth Rose

Luke George & Elizabeth Rose

Luke George & Elizabeth Rose were this years winners and it was easy to see why. Their abstract works in gesso and oil are rich in subtle colour and texture. At each viewing angle or distance something new appears, elements come to the fore, textures appear and fade.

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It will be exciting to see what new work they can create given the excellent studio space and facilities that the GAP supplies for the year ahead. These images are different views of the one work

Mary Wintour

Other artists caught the eye too. Mary Wintour‘s overpainted collages are bright and inventive with some intriguing imagery where the boundaries between photograph and painting seem to disappear.

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Emily Moore takes inspiration from mountain landscapes for her appealing geometric collages, but she also works with paint,  collage and camera.

Rae Hicks

The expressive paintings of Rae Hicks feature surreal landscapes and imaginary structures. Questions of what, where, why and how inspire repeated viewing.

Nicola Wong

Nicola Wong asks questions about the nature of everyday life – whether unweaving a painted canvas or constructing a ‘canvas of bookends within a frame.

Susannah Douglass

Susannah Douglass’ immaculate drawings are developed from collaged photocopies of anonymous internet images.  The imaginary almost becomes real.

Griffin Gallery

There is also work from Helen Frank, Scott Robertson, Eleanor Bledlow and Yuhwa Son.

Take the opportunity to see some potential future stars and perhaps even buy a work at a very reasonable price.

GAP 2013 exhibition runs until the end of November at the Griffin Gallery.

GAP 2013 tours to High House Gallery from 16 January to 16 February 2014 before continuing to the White Moose Gallery in Barnstable.

The GAP is open to ‘any UK based artist whose primary activity is painting or drawing and has graduated with a BA, MA or PhD from a recognized institution’ in the previous 5 years.


The Griffin Art Prize 2013 winners – Luke George & Elizabeth Rose

6 November 2013 § 3 Comments

The winner of the prestigious Griffin Art Prize 2013 has just been announced this evening. At the awards event at the Griffin Gallery in West London the artist duo Luke George & Elizabeth Rose were announced as this years deserving winners.

Luke George & Elizabeth Rose

Their expressive painted abstracts wooed the judges Zavier Ellis (from Charlie Smith), Andrew Grassie, Jessica Lack and Jenny Linden Urnes. Subtly coloured and delicate despite their size they are very impressive works and it will be exciting to see their exhibition at Griffin Gallery next year after their near year-long residency.

George & Rose

George & Rose

The prize is an exciting opportunity for emerging artists in painting and drawing and has already built a reputation for producing shortlists and exhibitions featuring some quite outstanding new talent. It is supported by the world’s leading fine art brands, Winsor & NewtonLiquitex and Conté à Paris. The prize offers one outstanding candidate a six month residency in the Studio Building, 21, Evesham street, London W11 4AJ. A large, well-lit studio, materials and a small financial allowance are provided for the winning artist to develop new work for a one-person show in the Griffin Gallery, London W11.


Meanwhile the 20 artists selected for the long list of the Griffin Art Prize 2013 will have their work featured on the Griffin Gallery website and will receive a year’s membership of

An exhibition of 10 short-listed artists will be held in November 2013 at the Griffin Gallery. The short list exhibition will tour to High House Gallery, Oxon in January 2014 and White Moose, Devon,  in February 2014.

Griffin Gallery The Studio Building21 Evesham StreetLondon W11 4AJ   +44 208 424 3239

High House Gallery Main Street, Clanfield, Oxon OX18 2SH  +44 1367 810126

Artist image courtesy of Kallaway Live

Griffin Art Prize 2013 Touring Venues Announced

22 October 2013 § 4 Comments

The excellent Griffin Art Prize, sponsored by Colarts, has announced that for the first time it will be touring the south of England. The prize exhibition, which opens on 6 November with an evening Private View and the announcement of this years winner, runs through November at the West London Griffin Gallery.

Rae Hicks

Rae Hicks

First stop for the touring exhibition is High House Gallery in the heart of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds – a wonderful oasis of top quality art in a region where contemporary galleries are more likely to feature watercolours of cows than ones suspended in formalehyde! Provisional dates for the exhibition are 16 January to 16 February 2014. Register your email on their home page to receive updates on the event and an invitation to the opening Private View.

Susannah Douglas

Susannah Douglas

Next up is the fine White Moose Gallery in Barnstable, Devon. Recently opened in a renovated historic hall the gallery combines exhibitions by local artists with a selection of high quality contemporary artists. The exhibition will run from mid February for about four weeks.




High House Gallery, Main Street, Clanfield, Oxon OX18 2SH Tel 01367 810126

White Moose Gallery, Moose Hall, Trinity Street, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 8HX Tel 01271 379872

Griffin Gallery, The Griffin Gallery, The Studio Building, 21 Evesham Street, London W11 4AJ Tel 0208 424 3239

Shortlist Announced for The Griffin Art Prize 2013

20 October 2013 § 5 Comments

The shortlist for the excellent, recently-established Griffin Art Prize (GAP) has just been announced and it is truly excellent. I am very impatiently looking forward to the PV to see who the winner may be from the the fine artists selected. Rae Hicks, Susannah Douglas and Mary Wintour have particularly caught my eye – but all would be worthy winners.

For those unfamiliar with this competition it is an open submission competition, supported by artists materials supplier Colarts, for those artists who have graduated in the last 5 years and whose primary medium is painting or drawing.

Susannah Douglas

Susannah Douglas

It also has probably one of the most desirable prizes of all graduate shows:  a years use of a very large studio space with the additional benefit of a virtually unlimited supply of materials from top fine art brands: Winsor & Newton, Liquitex and Conté à Paris. The studio itself is located in West London next to Colarts‘ state of the art Innovation & Development department, where chemists work on the development of fine art products.

There’s more too – the lucky winning artist will have the time and space to produce work for a one person exhibition in the Griffin Gallery to be shown in 2014.

Mary Wintour

Mary Wintour

In short well-worth winning! This of course means a very high quality batch of applicants from which a  ‘longlist’ of twenty was selected. The following very talented ten artists have now been selected for the shortlist (click on each name to link to a selection of their work): Eleanor BedlowSusannah DouglasHelen FrankGeorge and RoseRae HicksEmily MooreScott RobertsonYuhwa SonMary Wintour and Nicole Wong.

Emily Moore

Emily Moore

The winner will be announced at a private view of the Griffin Art Prize 2013 Shortlist Exhibition on November 6 – please contact the Grifin Gallery if you are interested in obtaining an invitation (no charge). The exhibition will run from the 7 November for about a month.

The Griffin Art Prize 2013, The Griffin Gallery, The Studio Building, 21 Evesham Street, London W11 4AJ

Tel +44 208 424 3239


George & Rose

George & Rose

Helen Frank

Helen Frank


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