Four questions about the Turner Prize 2012

We have been asked to think of four questions about this year’s Turner Prize as a result of research posted in the previous post. I’ve decided that I’m just going to brain storm some questions and pick the best (if I get enough).

What are the chances I could ever win?

Not very high, I only have nine years left to try for it. But I am British so that’s a start.

This leads to a related question: why is there an age limit? The original reason was to allow for the promotion of young artists as opposed to established ‘older’ artists. The idea is that older more established artists do not need recognition and promotion.

Why is the Turner Prize so apparently biased towards conceptual art when it was named after an artist who isn’t remotely conceptual?

This is a good question, I can’t seem to find out why the Turner Prize was named after Turner.

Apparently there is evidence that Turner spent some time during the latter part of his career encouraging young artists to develop and the philosophy of the Turner Prize is to do the same. Turner was also somewhat a radical artist in his day, even though now he is regarded as a tradition of British art.

Do artists want to be nominated for (and win) the Turner Prize?

The first ever winner, Malcolm Morley, on being informed that he was on the shortlist, likened a Turner nomination to a woman’s breasts: ‘You want them but you don’t think you’ll get them’. The Turner Prize can generally be relied on to generate a stink – an ability it has had since the very beginning.

Winning the Turner Prize more exciting than getting a pair of these?

How does winning the Turner Prize boost an artist’s career and credibility?

See above. It seems to generate a huge amount of negative and positive publicity for its nominees, here I refer to the ‘Poop Art’ comment that has been made in the popular press for Paul Noble’s offerings. But this does get the popular press discussing contemporary art, and therefore people who might not normally pay attention to the art world.

The jury of judges is composed of people in the art world of great authority. The jury consisted of:

  • Andrew Hunt, Director, Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea
  • Heike Munder, Director, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich
  • The late Michael Stanley, Director, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford
  • Mark Sladen, Director, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen
  • Penelope Curtis, Director, Tate Britain and Chair of the Jury



Chris Maume, ‘Turner Prize: The art of controversy’, The Independent (6 December 2005), [last accessed 28 November 2012]

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply