I spy with my Discerning Eye, some hot new talent

The Mall Galleries, The Mall, SW1

This year’s ING Discerning Eye Exhibition is gearing up for its grand opening next week, when a wealth of fascinating works will go on display.

The exhibition features exciting pieces from artists including Harry Pye, whose poignant block-colour paintings beautifully capture everyday hope and despair. Also on show are more abstract works from artists including Alex Dewart and Phillippa Tunstill.

Gerald Walker, chief executive of ING Commercial Banking in the UK, Ireland and the Middle East, an avid collector and one of this year’s selectors, said: “I hope the collection will be seen as optimistic and uplifting and that the selected artists will further their ambitions to achieve critical and artistic success.”

The other selectors are fellow collector Doris Lockhart; artists Albert Irvin and Chantal Joffe and critics Charles Darwent and Skye Sherwin.

Discerning Eye was set up to: “encourage a wider understanding and appreciation of the visual arts and to stimulate debate about the place and purpose of art in our society.”

The exhibition provides an opportunity for works by lesser-known artists to be hung alongside internationally recognised names. At least a quarter of the chosen works come from open submissions.

The awards include the top ING Purchase Prize, which will bestow £5,000 on the winner, and the V&A acquisition prize, which will see one of the works added to the collections held by the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Last year’s winner was abstract artist Neil Canning for his striking work Ocean Current. The V&A acquisition prize went to Anne Desmet for her piece Olympic Stadium with cranes II.

• The Discerning Eye exhibition will run until 25 November. Entrance is to the exhibition is free.