Art & Design

Contemporary British Portrait Painters 2022 Exhibition in Brixton

Contemporary British Portrait Painters 2022 Exhibition in Brixton


This is about the current exhibition by Contemporary British Portrait Painters

Contemporary British Portrait Painters
from the website of Contemporary British Portrait Painters

It feels rather odd at this time in June not to be planning to visit the annual competitive exhibition of paintings by contemporary portrait painters at the National Portrait
Gallery. But that Gallery has been closed for some time and we don’t know what’s happening to that exhibition.

However, back in 2018, a number of those British artists who have exhibited at that exhibition (which had
become an increasingly international exhibition of contemporary portraiture) combined with other prominent contemporary portrait painters in the UK to create a brand new group – purely to create a platform for the mutual support and promotion of British portrait painters. 

I was glad to see this happen as I’d begun to think that it was very incongruous that the National Portrait Gallery now selected less than half the work for this prestigious exhibition from portrait painters based in Britain!

Which is how – post pandemic – you can now see an exhibition of excellent contemporary portrait paintings by excellent contemporary portrait painters this week in Brixton.

Contemporary British Portrait Painters

This is how the CBPP describe themselves – with my added ‘bold’ to highlight the
key points.

There are probably as many ways to paint as there are artists, so
there is no “right way to paint”. If there was there would never have been
a Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Picasso or Hockney. So we don’t want to be
prescriptive about the way you produce your art, for us the finished
result is largely all that matters.
What we do want, is to represent the best in contemporary British
portraiture and encourage the practitioners of it
, as they explore this captivating and endlessly intriguing subject. To
paint a portrait is to consider the human condition and to reflect upon
our own existence, it is deeply personal and as varied and exciting as the
people we paint and the painters that paint them!

Key points about the CBPP Group are as follows

  • a place to 
    • showcase some of the best British practitioners of portrait painting 
    • learn and support one another in what we do. 
  • mostly professional painters 
  • full membership of the group is by invitation
  • members are invited purely on the quality of their work and their commitment
    to portraiture. 
  • currently there is no maximum number of members
  • we are aiming to be as democratic as we can be”.
  • their guidelines for membership
I can look through their list of member artists and see very many of the names of those who I would certainly regard as
leading contemporary portrait artists in the UK – many of whom I have met before and
who have previously featured on this blog in my coverage of open portrait
competitions/exhibitions over the last decade and more. 

These include:

I’m loving the way that they are NOT listing artists alphabetically by surnames. As one who has spent her entire life with a surname near the end of the alphabet this feels something like redemption. Instead they’re listing alphabetically on first names! 🙂

CBPP Exhibition 


This is a great short video of their exhibition
– which is well worth viewing and I’m sure
will stimulate many people to go and take a look at their exhibition. More art societies and art groups would benefit from doing likewise.

You can also see work by the artists via

  • a Gallery page of images of artwork by the artists – I’m unclear whether these are representative or ones in the show. My other comment would be that it’s doing an excellent job of showing us the middle of portrait format portraits – and cutting off their heads on my Macbook Air! Maybe there’s a need to rethink of the size and format of images for the slideshow – to service desk/laptop as well as mobile platforms?
  • various virtual exhibitions on the website 
CBPP Exhibition Brixton

Exhibition Details

Details of the exhibition are as follows:

PS My problem is I need to pace myself at the moment and have some prior commitments this week. I’m trying to work out whether I can maybe combine this with one of those….

Social Media

Their marketing of the exhibition via social media has been excellent – not least because it’s not been left to one person!You can also find the group – and their very interesting content on





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