31 January to 17 February 2018, Mall Galleries

10am to 5pm (closes 1pm on final day) | Admission Free

The £20,000 Columbia Threadneedle Prize, UK and Europe’s pre-eminent prize for figurative and representational art, showcases important new works by emerging and established artists.

“An engine of change” is how the outspoken and controversial former art critic of the Evening Standard Brian Sewell described the arrival in 2008 of this new art prize dedicated to figurative painting and sculpture. While the great engines of public patronage had driven figurative art into the shadows, here was an art prize, “capable of achieving a greater good than any other”.

Does a work of figurative art always require a figure? Can the painting of a brick wall ever be called figurative?  What is the role for photo-realism in representational art? Isn’t it more important, observed Frank Auerbach, that an artist is free to create a new thing for the world, “that remains in the mind like a new species of living thing”. This Prize believes it is.

One artist will be chosen to win the First Prize of £20,000 and a solo exhibition.

A further prize of £10,000 is awarded by visitors to the exhibition, which takes place at Mall Galleries in central London from 31 January to 17 February 2018. Five Shortlisted Artists each receive £1,000

This year’s Selectors include Pippa Stockdale, Managing Director of The Fine Art Society, London; Jennifer McRae, award winning portrait artist; and Helen Pheby, Senior Curator at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.  The Chairman of the panel is Lewis McNaught, Director of Mall Galleries.

Works from The Columbia Threadneedle Prize are available to Browse and Buy now. View the exhibition by subject using the options on this page.