Work by all 25 artists shortlisted for the Zurich Portrait Prize will go on view in the Portrait Gallery of the National Gallery of Ireland from Saturday, October 6th until January 13th, 2019. The winner’s name will be announced on October 22nd.
The shortlist was whittled down from close to 300 entries by a jury comprising painter Geraldine O'Neill, writer Sue Rainsford and Gallery of Photography director Tanya Kiang.
Among the highlights are a close-up virtuoso self-portrait, Me in the Mirror, by Miseon Lee, a previously shortlisted and highly regarded artist, Blaise Smith's double-portrait of his parents, Allen and Elizabeth, another double-portrait, Molly and Ruby, by Cara Dunne, and Nicholas Benedict Robinson's dramatic, high-chiaroscuro study of Mary-Kate Lanigan.
Photography features strongly, with Kim Haughton's study of the late JP Donleavy, Fionn McCann's Cezanne's Apple (a terrific portrait of the artist Brian O'Doherty, aka Patrick Ireland for many years), and Mandy O'Neill's striking study, Diane, Larkin Community College.
Artist Jonathan Mayhew's Autoportrait takes the form of a memory stick bearing all available information relating to himself available via internet search engines, plus "some secrets they couldn't find."
Now in its fifth year, the prize is worth €15,000 to the winner, plus a portrait commission of €5,000 to make a work for inclusion in the NGI’s National Portrait Collection. There are two additional awards of €1,500 each for runners-up. Zurich takes over sponsorship of the prize this year from Hennessy.