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The Independent Culture
The winner of this year's pounds 30,000 Jerwood Painting Prize will be announced on Tuesday from a shortlist of Stephen Chambers, Prunella Clough, Jane Dixon, Neil Gall, James Hugonin, Bob Law and Carol Rhodes. It's a well chosen if quite specific sort of list: all of them leaning towards abstraction or, in the case of Clough, Gall, Rhodes and even Chambers, mining that rich seam that lies somewhere between abstraction and figuration.

The most likely winner is probably Prunella Clough. She's long been a favourite of other artists and so-called people in the know but only in the last year or so (she's now 80) has she begun to get the wider attention that she deserves. She's an artist of rare integrity and would make a worthy winner.

So too, though, would others on the list. In particular, James Hugonin seems like a painter for whom integrity is almost too small a word. Such is the concentration of his method that he makes just one or two paintings a year - covering the canvas in tiny coloured marks, an almost musical notation which buildd up into gentle, constantly shifting rhythms.

Whether he wins or not, the exhibition that accompanies the prize offers a welcome and all too rare opportunity to see a group of his rather magical pictures gathered together.

Jerwood Gallery, 121 Union Street, London SE1 (01372 462190) to 24 Oct

Richard Ingleby