NEAC Spotlights UK Figurative Art

Jenny Wheatley - Looking Out from the Salon

The NEAC (New English Art Club)’s Annual Exhibition at Mall Galleries in London opens on Friday 23rd June 2023 and gives visitors the chance to experience some of the UK’s best new figurative art – as viewed through the lens of other highly respected and established artists. Most of the work on show is available for sale (and is affordable – the average price for exhibited work last year was £2,295) and those looking to buy artwork for their homes can be assured of its quality and value thanks to a rigorous selection process by artists themselves.

Peter Brown, the NEAC’s President said; “The Annual Exhibition is one of the purest ways to experience the best figurative, painterly work in the UK. We are not showing the paintings art dealers think will pay their gallery’s rent. We are in a unique position to provide a forum where figurative artists show their very best, most authentic pieces. This is artists painting for each other which results in a very healthy level of competition and work which reflects the fact that their audience is their colleagues, who have the best eye.”

Bernadett Timko – Night Bug

There will be around 400 paintings, drawings and prints for sale at this year’s Annual Exhibition, which represent the UK’s very best figurative, observational and painterly work. Work shown is by both well-known artists who are NEAC elected members and by emerging artists who have submitted fresh work to the show.

Founded in the 19th Century, the NEAC traces its history through artists as diverse as Stanley Spencer, Walter Sickert, J.S. Sargent and Winifred Nicholson. More recent exhibitors include Royal Academicians such as Ken Howard, Anthony Green, Fred Cuming and Diana Armfield. 

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Mall Galleries in London is the UK’s leader in contemporary, figurative art and a visual arts charity empowering artists through a not-for-profit programme of exhibitions and events, prizes and awards, founded in 1961. Managed by the Federation of British Artists, the gallery is run by leading and acclaimed figurative artists who curate the gallery’s collection, organised into annual shows for its famous member societies. It is a powerful resource for experiencing and sourcing figurative art which is both available to buy and endorsed by leading artists.


With the number of galleries to choose from and the availability of art online, it can be daunting to know whether a painting you like has artistic merit or will grow in value over time. The NEAC exhibition takes the guesswork out of buying art, thanks to established artists giving each piece of work shown their stamp of approval. The artistic value of each work shown is also ensured by the freedom with which artists have been given to select and interpret their chosen subject. This is also thanks to the unique identity of Mall Galleries. Managed by the Federation of British Artists, the gallery exists as a visual arts charity to empower and support figurative artists. This is in contrast to commercial galleries and their primary responsibility to have artists create work which sells. 

Melissa Scott-Miller – An Islington View

If you are quick enough, you may even be able to buy one of the most acclaimed works in the exhibition that scoops up one of the headline prizes, which include The Val Harris Prize for an outstanding work, and the Doreen McIntosh Prize- awarded to the artist whose work fulfils the NEAC’s ideals of rigour, immediate engagement with the visual and a searching attitude. These are just two of £10,000-worth of prizes and awards which will be given out at the opening of the show, to recognise the very best work exhibited.

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