Zurich Portrait Prizes at Crawford Gallery

The Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize are showcased at the Crawford Art Gallery and will be on display until 13 April 2020.

Shortlisted artists with Sean Rainbird and Neil Freshwater at the Zurich Portrait Prize at Crawford Art Gallery

Crawford Art Gallery hosts the Zurich Portrait Prize 2019 in Cork, in partnership with the National Gallery of Ireland. This is the first time the exhibition will travel outside of Dublin, and will bring the work of Ireland's talented portrait artists to a wider audience.

On display in Crawford Art Gallery’s historic Gibson Galleries, the exhibition will feature the Zurich Portrait Prize shortlisted artists, and the shortlisted work of those aged 3-18 who entered the Zurich Young Portrait Prize.

“Crawford Art Gallery is delighted to partner for the first time with the National Gallery of Ireland on the hugely anticipated Zurich Portrait Prize exhibition. Annually the exhibition and prize giving generates excitement and presents audiences with fresh perspectives on portraiture. We believe it will enable our audiences to make connections with our wider collection and supports our deeper ongoing collaboration with the National Gallery of Ireland,” Mary McCarthy, Director of Crawford Art Gallery explained.

Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland said: “As the National Gallery of Ireland continues to grow its national footprint, we’re thrilled to bring the Zurich Portrait Prize to Cork. Showcasing portraiture to new audiences at Crawford Art Gallery is a wonderful development for the competition.”

Enda Bowe, this year’s overall winner of the prize, is an Irish artist who lives and works in London. His work is concerned with storytelling and the search for light and beauty in the ordinary. 

The first winner of the Zurich Young Portrait Prize is the photograph: 'The new age' by Mabel Forsyth and Mary O’Carroll. The 12-year-old cousins from Dublin said their photo was a "joint effort" and is meant to "show that most people have both good qualities and bad qualities."

Neil Freshwater, CEO of Zurich Insurance plc, said, “Zurich is proud to celebrate portraiture with the National Gallery of Ireland and Crawford Art Gallery. It’s been wonderful to introduce a second prize this year and showcase work by artists of all ages."

The National Gallery of Ireland’s Zurich Portrait Prize, now in its sixth year, is open to Irish artists aged 19 and over with an aim to create newfound intrigue and exploration of contemporary portraiture and the possibilities of the medium. The winning artist received a cash prize of €15,000, and a commission worth €5,000 to create a work for inclusion in the National Portrait Collection at the National Gallery of Ireland. Two highly commended artists also received €1,500 each. This is the second year pan-European company Zurich Insurance sponsors the esteemed prize.

The Zurich Portrait Prize and Zurich Young Portrait Prize is on display at Crawford Art Gallery until 13 April 2020.

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