Shortlist announced

We are delighted to reveal the shortlist for this year's Zurich Portrait Prize. 26 artists, working across a variety of media, have made it through to the final stage of the competition.

Shortlisted artists for the Zurich Portrait Prize 2020:

  • Rachel Ballagh (Cork), High Anxiety, oil on board
  • Patrick Bolger (Dublin), Max, My Boy, photo on photo rag baryta
  • David Booth (Dublin), Maho, oil on board
  • Caroline Canning (Dublin), Mary Lennon Slicing Apples, oil on canvas
  • Comhghall Casey (Dublin), Self Portrait, oil on canvas
  • Aidan Crotty (Sligo), Portrait of a Boy, Morning, oil on linen
  • Amanda Doran (Wexford), Comfortable Shoes, oil on canvas
  • Laura Fitzgerald (Dublin), Portrait of a Stone, video piece played on two cube monitors
  • Jackie Hudson Lalor (Louth), After the Storm, oil on canvas
  • Vanessa Jones (Dublin), Self-Portrait with Snail Shells, oil on canvas
  • Emmet Kierans (London), At One with Nature, oil on wood panel
  • Christopher Lindhorst (Dublin), Solomon, photograph
  • Sinead Lucey (Kilkenny), HSE Heroes, The Wonderful Staff of St. Joseph’s Ward, St Columba’s Care Home, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, April 2020, oil on wood panel
  • Matthew McCabe (Kildare), MCR1 variant phenotype, oil on canvas
  • Sathishaa Mohan (Dublin), Dylan Logan, photograph
  • Theresa Nanigian (Dublin), Jacek & Seamus, photograph 
  • Elizabeth O’Kane (Dublin), Selam, resin on mahogany base
  • Gillian O’Shea (Dublin), Lockdown, oil on canvas
  • Martin Redmond (Wexford), Patient, oil on linen
  • Nicholas Benedict Robinson (Wicklow), Dr Maeve Robinson, Family Planning Doctor & Educator, oil on birchwood
  • Paul Seawright (Antrim), Untitled - From Beasts of Burden: Rwanda 2020, archival pigment print 
  • Niamh Smith (Dublin), Home, Soft Focus Life, Cocooning, photograph on fine art rag paper, archival
  • Sarah Bracken Soper (Dublin), Trailblazer, embroidery
  • Matthew Thompson (Dublin), Andrew John Hozier-Byrne, photograph on paper / carson platine fibre rag
  • Kathy Tynan (Dublin), Over Heavy Seas, oil on canvas
  • Simon Walsh (Dublin), Mrs Ryan in her Kitchen, Crumlin, photograph on paper

The Zurich Portrait Prize exhibition will open in the Gallery on 21 November 2020.

The aim of the Zurich Portrait Prize is to showcase and encourage interest in contemporary portraiture, and to raise the profile of the long-standing and constantly evolving National Portrait Collection at the National Gallery of Ireland.

The annual competition is open to artists living on the island of Ireland, and Irish artists living abroad. The winner will receive a cash prize of €15,000, and a commission worth €5,000 to create a work for inclusion in the National Portrait Collection. There will also be two awards of €1,500 for highly commended works.

The shortlist of portraits chosen by the 2020 judging panel will be exhibited at the National Gallery of Ireland from 21 November 2020 to 21 March 2021. The exhibition will then travel to our partner venue, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, where the shortlisted works will be displayed from 17 April to 11 July 2021.

The Judges

Judges for the Zurich Portrait Prize are artist Rita Duffy; Dr Philip Cottrell, lecturer and assistant professor at the School of Art History and Cultural Policy, UCD; Aoife Ruane, Director of Highlanes Gallery.

About Zurich, sponsors of the Zurich Portrait Prize

Ireland is Zurich’s location of choice for its pan-European company Zurich Insurance plc (ZIP). Since the beginning of 2009, ZIP has been headquartered in Dublin and it is the main risk carrier for Zurich’s general insurance business in the EU. Neil Freshwater is the CEO of Zurich Insurance plc. In terms of domestic business, Zurich focuses on two key business areas in Ireland – General Insurance and Life. In Ireland, Zurich employs approximately 1,100 people.