The controversial and high-regarded Turner Prize has recently announced the four artists who have been shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2016. The artists are: Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten and Josephine Pryde. Since its beginnings in 1984 the event has courted controversy mainly through its exhibits such as Damien Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, and Tracey Emin’s My Bed.
The nominees for this year’s award are:
Working primarily in sculpture, Dean creates work that is concerned with the physical manifestation of language. His vigorous sculptures and installations reference the everyday urban environment and familiar but aesthetically overlooked materials – from a rebar on a building site to the corrugated metal of a shop shutter – updating the influential legacies of art after minimalism in the late 60s.
Hamilton works across sculpture, installation, performance and video, bringing a surrealist sensibility to popular culture and the mind-bending proliferation of stylised and sexualised imagery in the digital world. While rooted in the history of sculpture her work seduces the viewer with comic and unexpected combinations of images, materials and words, as well as dramatic shifts in scale.
Marten brings together a wide range of found objects and immaculately crafted elements in her sculptures and painting-like tableaux. While highly evocative of contemporary visual culture, as well as various kinds of art since the 60s, the work is slippery and elusive in both form and meaning: it attracts and intrigues while also resisting interpretation and categorisation.
Through photography and installation Pryde explores the very nature of image making and display. She is fascinated by the relationship between art and photography, and by how commodities appear in different images and contexts. Her installations often include sculptural elements which highlight the context in which the work is displayed, placing as much importance on the staging of the work as the images themselves.
The Turner Prize award is £40,000 with £25,000 going to the winner and £5,000 each for the other shortlisted artists. The Prize is awarded to a British artist under fifty for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding 28 April 2016. One of the best known prizes for the visual arts in the world, the Turner Prize aims to promote public debate around new developments in contemporary British art. An exhibition of work by the four artists shortlisted for Turner Prize 2016 will be at Tate Britain from 27 September 2016 until 8 January 2017.
The members of the Turner Prize 2016 jury are Michelle Cotton, Director, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn; Tamsin Dillon, Curator; Beatrix Ruf, Director, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Simon Wallis, Director, The Hepworth Wakefield. The jury is chaired by Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain.