Sunday, October 08, 2006

Turner Prize Finalist for 2006

An exhibition of the Turner Prize Finalist for 2006 began on the 3rd of October. The finalist will be showing at the Tate gallery in Britain until the 14th of January. The four artists include Phil Collins, Tomma Abts, Rebecca Warren, and Mark Titchner. There's 40,000 pounds up for grabs between them, with the winner receiving 25,000 pounds. The winner will be announced on the 4th of December, 2006.

The Turner Prize is an annual prize given to a British artist who is under 50 years of age. The prize, which began in 1984, is named after the painter J.M.W Turner and is organized by the Tate. The prize remains to be one of the United Kingdom's most publicised art awards and is known for drawing a great deal of controversy. For example, Artists Damien Hirst (The Shark) and Tracey Emin (My Bed) have both been been exhibited in the past.

The Turner Prize has been opposed by British artists who agree with the views of Stuckism, an art movement that was founded in 1999 in Britain by Billy Childish and Charles Thomson to promote figurative painting in opposition to conceptual art. It has also been blasted by critics in the media.

Critic Jonathan Jones has stated that the, "Turner Prize art is based on a formula where something looks startling at first and then turns out to be expressing some kind of banal idea, which somebody will be sure to tell you about. The ideas are never important or even really ideas, more notions, like the notions in advertising. Nobody pursues them anyway, because there's nothing there to pursue."

Many feel that the Turner Prize favors a minority of artists and does not represent the 'best art' that the British art community has to offer. Some have even made the charge that the Turner Prize is corrupt with the wealth and power of famous art collectors who dictate what art is accepted.

In 2002 culture minister Kim Howells pinned the following statement to a board in a room specially-designated for visitors' comments. "If this is the best British artists can produce then British art is lost. It is cold mechanical, conceptual bullshit. Kim Howells. P.S. The attempts at conceptualisation are particularly pathetic and symptomatic of a lack of conviction" His stance was approved by the government, who saw it as a popular one.

Here are the finalist:

It seems that the controversy over the Turner Prize will continue. What do you think about this award? What about the finalist? Is the prize nothing more than a commercial tool? Does it matter if it is?

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin

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