Visiting Liverpool, as a birthday treat for my wife, we met our daughter for breakfast before deciding to have a cultural morning.
After dodging heavy showers, we arrived at the Walker Art Gallery. We have visited this excellent establishment many times over the years and we would recommend it.
Our first port of call was the John Moores Painting Prize 2023 exhibition. Having seen one of these many years ago it was interesting to see the work of these new artists. After the last visit, I had decided against trying to enter this as my work wasn't what they were looking for and this was again the case from what we saw.
Like most exhibitions there were some paintings that we really appreciated and others certainly led to heated discussions. It was interesting to get our daughter's opinion because she has a different outlook on artwork, whereas at times we both can appreciate what the artist is trying to achieve.
At least the winner won approval from us all and others we spoke to.
The two paintings below caused the most debate. The first consisted of two words, one at the top of a large white canvas and the other word at the bottom. Later, we read the artist's text that accompanied his work in the exhibition's catalogue and that was, in our opinion, more interesting and relevant than the painting on display.
The other painting was based on the tragedy of the Grenfell Fire Tragedy in London. This triptych was inspirational and as well as capturing the image was a tribute to the people who lost there lives there and the firefighters, medical staff etc. who helped on the day.
These two paintings show the extreme differences of approach to a piece of art and exemplify ultimately the importance of an artist's vision. Having such wide examples included in the exhibition makes the show more interesting. Coincidentally, both were priced at the same amount.
The painting that really summed up some aspects of modern art and needs no comment was!
Leaving this exhibition, we explored the rest of the art gallery, stopping and discussing paintings that caught our attention. We all liked the ladies gathering and joked about this being the future for 'ladies who lunch' groups.
Having watched every series of Portrait Artist of the Year, it was interesting to see one of the previous winner's portrait of Kim Cattrall, although I believe it's placing against these traditional portraits wasn't suitable and it should have been with more modern art in one of the later galleries.
An enjoyable visit to a gallery that is always worth a visit.