Keith Coventry Wins John Moores Painting Prize

Keith Coventry


Photo: Keith Coventry, Spectrum Jesus 2009 (oil on canvas, wood and glass 68.6 x 58 cm)


This year’s prestigious John Moores Painting Prize has been won by 51 year old, Burnley-born Keith Coventry who takes home the £25,000 first prize for his painting, ‘Spectrum Jesus’. He was chosen from 3,000 entries and awarded the prize at the Liverpool Biennial. Coventry is best remembered for taking part in the controversial late 1990s Sensations exhibition alongside Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst. This is truly one of the dullest winners I’ve seen in a long time.It is not the Artist but the painting,I have a problem with. ‘Spectrum Jesus’ is reminiscent of Hirst’s latest skull paintings and executed in a similar hue of blue. It is just not well painted and of a standard that I would hope to be rejected from the RA Summer Show.

Coventry has regularly entered the competition over the last 30 years. He stated; “Painting is enjoying a pre-eminence at the moment, so it’s quite a good time to win it. And I’m very happy my work will be in the gallery. The image was described by National Museums Liverpool (NML) director of art galleries Reyahn King as “a fascinating painting by an artist of intellectual depth”. It is a copy of an image painted by notorious art forger Han van Meegeren, who passed his works off as those by the Dutch master Vermeer. The painting has been acquired for the Walker Art gallery with the help of the Art Fund and John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust. The Liverpool Biennial opens on Saturday and runs until 28 November.


Photo: Keith Coventry, Spectrum Jesus 2009 (oil on canvas, wood and glass 68.6 x 58 cm)





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