No traditional artists on Turner prize shortlist

May 7, 2014

Nominees include a YouTube video artist and an erotic photographer, but no sculptors or painters

Marco Secchi/Getty images for Scotland + Venice

THIS year’s Turner prize shortlist includes a YouTube video artist and an erotic photographer, but no traditional painters or sculptors.

James Richards, Tris Vonna-Michell, Ciara Phillips, and Duncan Campbell have all been nominated for the prestigious £25,000 art prize. The winner will be announced on 1 December.

Two of the artists, Campbell and Richards, have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale. Vonna-Michell had a solo show in Brussels and Phillips had one in London.

The nominating panel said that the four shortlisted artists’ works “suggest the impact of the internet, cinema, TV and mobile technologies on a new generation of artists”.

Adrian Searle, writing for The Guardian, described the shortlist as “baffling”, but says that the “unexpected” selection is a deliberate act of provocation. “The judges this year seem intent on delivering an exhibition that not only shakes things up, but… there is also a desire to bring us things we are somewhat less familiar with than in most previous shortlists. It marks a shift – not only of artistic generations, but of the prize itself,” Searle said.

Will Gompertz, the BBC arts editor, said that all four artists "make work that is in some way, shape or form, a collage" and says the lack of traditional work comes as no surprise. “True to its non-conformist nature, there are unlikely to be any oil paintings or figurative sculptures on display at the 2014 exhibition”, he said.

The Scotsman notes that the shortlist “meets the usual standard of built-in controversy”, choosing artworks that would generate debate, such as that of Richards who takes provocative “raunchy photos”.

The Turner Prize is open to British contemporary artists under the age of 50. All the nominated artworks will be shown at the Turner Prize Exhibition at Tate Britain from 30 September.

Laure Prouvost, a French artist working in London, won the prize last year, with a video installation about the disappearance of her artist grandfather.

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