This year the Turner Prize is being presented outside England for the first time, in the UK’s first City of Culture, Derry~Londonderry. Our article gives you the low down on the nominees for this prestigious visual arts award and takes a look at arguably the most important art prize in Europe.
The Guardian has reported “The Turner prize looks better than ever this year in a city whose history puts art into perspective.” Derry has been seen as a bold choice for location but Penelope Curits, Director of Tate Britain and chair of the jury explained, “We wanted the Turner Prize to be more diverse and Derry was the right place.”
The Turner Prize, established in 1984, is awarded for an outstanding recent exhibition of work by an artist under 50, born, living, or working in Britain. Named in honour of the nineteenth-century painter J.M.W. Turner, in response to his unfulfilled wish to set up an award for younger artists, the prize is intended to promote public discussion of new developments in contemporary British art.
The prize has always been the subject of passionate debate on the subject of contemporary art. This year the independent jury is formed of Penelope Curtis (Director Tate Britain), Annie Fletcher (Director, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt), Susanne Gaensheimer (Director of Frankfurt’s Museum of Modern Art), Declan Long (writer and lecturer, National Collage of Art and Design, Dublin) and Ralph Rugoff (Director, Hayward Gallery). Together they will select the winner of the prize worth £40,000. They will be choosing from this diverse shortlist of contemporary artists –
Laure Prouvost is known for her films and installations, characterised by richly layered stories, translation and surreal elements. She is nominated for her work ‘Wantee’ which was shown as part of the ‘Schwitters in Britain’ exhibition at Tate Britain and for her two-part installation for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women at the Whitechapel Gallery.
Born in Lille, France, Prouvost moved to London just over a decade ago and a lot of her work deals with miscommunication and things getting lost in translation. Nick Aikens at Fireze explains “Language – in its broadest sense – permeates the video, sound, installation and performance work of Prouvost, yet she doesn’t so much rebel against it as blend, unpick or re-form text and spoken narratives in any way she can.”
Painter, poet and writer Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is best known for her large-scale figurative paintings of subjects that she constructs from a combination of memory, imagination, drawing and scrapbooks. Each portrait is completed within a single day! Her paintings have a tantalising sense of narrative about them, yet they are carefully ambiguous; the clothing is generic, the setting is hard to discern and even the gender of the subjects is sometimes uncertain.
Yiadom-Boakye is nominated for her exhibition ‘Extracts and Verses’ at Chisenhale Gallery. Skye Sherwin of The Guardian has said of her, “The people she depicts are often doing some unremarkable everyday act, like lying down or removing a sock… But their psychological complexity hits deep. The delicate mystery of an unreadable lip curl, a curiously game smile or an awkward stance has a subtle, if insistent, pull on our imagination.”
David Shrigley is best known for his simple and direct drawings and animations that make satirical comments on everyday situations and human interactions. Whilst drawing is at the centre of his practice the artist also works with photography, sculpture, animation, and painting. His work reveals his black humour, macabre intelligence and infinite jest. Publishing cartoons regularly in publications such as The Guardian and New Statesman, his work holds significant public appeal.
Alastair Sooke of The Telegraph, explains, “Sometimes it’s hard being funny, because people won’t take you seriously. Yet the world needs jesters, and like the best cartoonists and satirists, Shrigley is blessed with a unique mind.” He is nominated for his solo exhibition ‘David Shrigley – Brain Activity’ at Hayward Gallery.
During the last decade, Tino Sehgal has become well-known for artworks that primarily exist as live encounters between people. His work often directly engages with gallery visitors whilst avoiding the production or presentation of any actual objects. Through participatory means, he tests the limits of artistic material and audience perception in a new and significant way.
Sehgal is nominated for his pioneering projects ‘This Variation’ a documenta (XIII) and ‘These Associations’ at Tate Modern. “These Associations is one of the best Turbine Hall commissions. There are no objects: we are the subject. It is about communality and intimacy, the self as a social being, the group and the individual, belonging and separation. We’re in the middle of things. It is marvellous,” wrote Adrian Searle in ‘The Guardian’.
The winner of the Turner Prize 2013 will be announced at an awards ceremony on Monday 2nd December. The Turner Prize exhibition will be on view in until January 5th 2014. Admission is free.