In Brief

Turner Prize is 'modish crap', says Michael Gove

Former justice secretary attacks prestigious award following Helen Marten's win

Former justice secretary Michael Gove has labelled the Turner Prize "modish crap" just hours after this year's winner Helen Marten received the award.

The 31-year-old painter and sculptor, the youngest nominee on the shortlist, was praised for her "exceptional contribution to contemporary visual art", by the judging committee.

But in a string of tweets, Gove lambasted the award for celebrating "ugliness, nihilism and narcissism".

Former culture minister Ed Vaizey "attempted to shut down his colleague", says The Independent, by replying that the Turner celebrated "brilliant contemporary artists".

However, an undeterred Gove replied that his fellow MP was wrong and that the prize highlighted the "tragic emptiness of now".

Gove did congratulate this year's winner, but said the award did not reflect the genius of JMW Turner.

This is not the first occasion Gove has weighed in on the subject of art; as education secretary, he set in motion plans to scrap art history from the A-level syllabus. The subject was saved after an outcry from "experts who argued society had never required its insights more", reports The Independent.

The Turner judges, meanwhile, had no such doubts over the quality of Marten's work, describing her portfolio, which includes the Lunar Nibs collection featured at the 56th Venice Biennale and Eucalyptus Let Us In, her solo exhibition at Greene Naftali in New York, as "outstanding for its extraordinary range of materials and form".

The London-based artist's installation was "divided into three sections, using handmade and found objects from daily life - including coins, cotton buds, shoe soles and eggs, as well as more unusual materials, such as snakeskin - to create a playful collage", reports the Huffington Post.

She now intends to split the prize money with her fellow nominees, saying she doesn't believe in hierarchies in art.

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