Crawford Art Gallery, Cork to Host Zurich Portrait Prize Exhibition

Cork’s Crawford Art Gallery is hosting the Zurich Portrait Prize 2019 exhibition, in partnership with the National Gallery of Ireland.

This is the first time the exhibition will travel outside of Dublin, with the goal of creating a greater awareness of the national talent on display. The showing will feature the competition shortlist as chosen by an esteemed judging panel.

Enda Bowe (pictured above), 2019’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.

For the first time this year, meanwhile, a special competition for younger artists – the Zurich Young Portrait Prize – was introduced. The shortlisted works, created by young creatives between the ages of 3 and 18, will be on display with the main prize exhibition at Crawford Art Gallery from February 1 until April 13. This is after a public preview on January 31 at 5pm.

The first winner of the Zurich Young Portrait Prize is the photograph “The new age” by Mabel Forsyth and Mary O’Carroll (pictured to the left). The 12-year-old cousins from Dublin said in a statement, “This photo, which was a joint effort, is meant to show that most people have both good qualities and bad qualities.”

“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,” said Mary McCarthy, Director of Crawford Art Gallery, in a statement.  “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,”

Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland added, “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.”

The 26 works shortlisted for the Zurich Portrait Prize are said to demonstrate the exceptional breadth of contemporary portraiture in Ireland and reflect the huge interest in image and identity. According to the galleries, the artists have embraced a wide variety of media, from painting and photography to video and mixed media, making for an exciting, sometimes unexpected experience for visitors.

The National Gallery of Ireland’s Zurich Portrait Prize, now in its sixth year, is open to Irish artists aged 19 and over and aims 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.

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