This year it seems like an altogether smoother operation. The pot is still pounds 30,000, but it's no longer a purchase prize and the number of artists on the shortlist has gone up to nine, whittled down from more than 300 entries. Each submitted two or three paintings, not slides, and, in theory at least, the winner will be selected on the basis of these works alone.
This year's contenders, in keeping with the mood of the time, are younger than in previous years, indeed three of them (Gary Hume, Jason Martin and James Rielly) are sufficiently of the moment to be included in the current Saatchi-fest at the Royal Academy. All, with the exception of 63-year-old Rose Wylie, are under 45.
The result will be announced on Monday evening. I'd like to see Wylie win, and not just for long service, but I don't expect that she will. You can make up your own mind when the works go on show on Tuesday morning.
Lethaby Galleries, Central St Martins College of Art, Southampton Row, London WC1 (01372 462 190) 30 Sept-18 OctReuse content