Edinburgh's Callum Innes has won the Jerwood Painting Prize and the rather pleasant sum of (pounds) 30,000, after coming close in 1995, the year he was also shortlisted for the Turner but lost out to Damien Hirst.
The Jerwood is a circumspect affair compared with many more showbiz outings on the art calendar, but it pays better and is a more measured occasion. Traditionally pitting older figures against youngish turks, it is fitting that the prize has gone to a mid-career figure like Innes, who is hitting 40 this year, while his work embarks on a prestigious museum tour in America.
The Jerwood show, at the charitable foundation's cool custom-designed space in the shadow of the Tate Modern, reveals Innes to be a mature and confident artist in the company of his peers, showing two of his signature ''exposed paintings''. Among the other shortlisted artists, Chicago-born Pamela Golden, who makes tiny intricate paintings from photographs, continues to fascinate. Of the younger generation, Paul Morrison's stylised monochrome landscapes and Nicky Hoberman's distinctive child portraits are enjoyable. But these artists seem like they're not pushing much, although young they have become stuck in the same rut for a few years now. The others on the shortlist were Graham Crowley, a professor of painting at the Royal College, and Lisa Milroy, a long-established painter whose recent work in cartoonish style lacks the oomph of her repetitive commodity paintings of the eighties. Last
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year, the Jerwood prize show felt uncertain. Poised between faddish and unimaginative, its winner was a relative unknown who failed to sparkle.
This year the prize feels back on track, with a grown-up painter who has done his fair share of waiting for the accolade.