Layers-John Moores Painting Prize Show, Seongnam Art Center, Seoul
Layers-John Moores Painting Prize Show, Seongnam Art Center, Seoul

The John Moores Painting Competition- Britain’s pioneering art prize

Major art prizes are the sexy, headline-grabbingOscars of the art world. A timeline of art awards in Britain would reveal the John Moores contemporary painting prize, founded in 1957, as a pioneer and one of the few to focus on painting. The other key prizes that punctuate numerous artists’ CVs are mostly later additions: the Turner Prize (1984); the BP Portrait Award (1990); the Jerwood (1994); Artes Mundi (2004); the Celeste Art Prize (2005); the Northern Art Prize (2006); and most recently, the Northern Futures Award (2010).   Established in Liverpool by Littlewoods’ founder John Moores, the prize has taken place approximately every two years. It has been showcased through a series of eagerly anticipated, hotly debated exhibitions at National Museums Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery. Since 1957.

Masakatsu Kondo was born in 1962 Nagoya, Japan. He graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art, and lives and works in London. Kondo’s paintings draw on the landscape depictions and symbolic imagery of mass media; mountains captured in solitude and the vulnerable creatures are posed against impossibly sublime scenery, the eerily enhanced scenes suggestive of a peculiarly modern sense of isolation. The Romantic motif of man pitted against nature is not only a reminder of the transience of being, but a call to stand up to deal with it by ourselves: his work is not merely a Romantic conceit, but a declaration of intent.

Masakatsu Kondo won the 2nd Prize of John Moores Exhibition at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (1997) and Granada Foundation Prize at Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (1993). Selected solo exhibitions include; Botany (2003) and Bridge (2007) at David Risley Gallery, London, Masakatsu Kondo at Mid Pennine Gallery, Burnley (2002), Landsacpe Paintings 1997 -2001 at Turnpike Gallery (2001), New Paintings at Taro Nasu Gallery, Tokyo (2001). Selected group show; Prime at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo (2000), New space at Oriel Mostyn, North Wales (2001), Surface at Nederlands Foto Instituut, Rotterdam (2001), and Nature in the Dream at Gunma Museum of Art, Tarebayashi (2006).