The brief history
- 1995: Damien Hirst
- The famed and polarizing British artist won the award for Mother and Child Divided, a sculpture featuring a (real) cow and calf, preserved and cut in half. Hirst, best known for preserving a 17-ft. (5 m) tiger shark in formaldehyde, had been nominated for the prize in 1992. The Turner Prize was created in 1984 to celebrate contemporary art. It is named after British artist J.M.W. Turner, who painted in the 18th and 19th centuries and whose work was considered controversial by his peers.
- 2002: Keith Tyson
A Tate visitor looks at Tyson’s prizewinning Bubble Chambers: 2 Discrete Molecules of Simultaneity. That year, Prince Charles wrote a letter commending a British official for publicly criticizing the Turner Prize, which has honored pornographic and otherwise edgy artwork. “It has contaminated the art establishment for so long,” Charles wrote of the prize.
- 2003: Grayson Perry
Perry won the award for his pottery — skillfully made vases illustrated with social commentary, frank depictions of sexual abuse, sadomasochism and violence. A cross-dresser, Perry accepted the prize as his female alter ego, Claire.
- 2004: Jeremy Deller
Deller won for Memory Bucket — a film about Crawford, Texas, home of then U.S. President George W. Bush’s ranch. The winner of the Turner Prize is selected from a short list of four finalists, chosen by an independent jury whose membership changes each year. The award includes a prize of £25,000
- 2005: Simon Starling
Starling found a wooden shed along the banks of the Rhine, transformed it into a boat and sailed it down the river before remaking it into a shed. Starling called his entry — appropriately titled Shedboatshed — “a physical manifestation of a thought process.”
- 2006: Tomma Abts
The German-born Abts is one of the rare painters to win the prize; according to a press release, her “densely worked canvases take shape through a gradual process of layering and bear the visible traces of their making.” Turner Prize winners are often revealed by celebrities; Abts’ victory was announced by Yoko Ono.
- 2007: Mark Wallinger
Performance artist Mark Wallinger is known for films depicting him wearing a bear costume. This photo shows him wandering through Berlin’s National Gallery. His prize was announced by actor Dennis Hopper.
- 2008: Mark Leckey
Last year’s winning multimedia installation by artist Mark Leckey, titled Industrial Light & Magic, included images of Felix the Cat, Homer Simpson and the movie Titanic.
Brief discuss 2 past winners and their work
- Grayson Perry at the 2003 Turner Prize reception, 2003
Grayson Perry was born in Chelmsford in 1960. He studied at Braintree College of Further Education and at Portsmouth Polytechnic.
In the early 1980s Perry was a member of the Neo-Naturist group, and took part in performance and film works. He has continued to make work in a variety of media which now includes embroidery and photography. Yet Perry is best known for his ceramic works: classically shaped vases covered with figures, patterns and text. The revealing and often dark subject matter depicted on these pots is at first disguised by their colourful, decorative appearance. His chosen topics include autobiographical images of himself, his transvestite alter ego Claire, and his family, as well as references to political events and an investigation of cultural stereotypes. Over the last five years Perry has also used embroidery and photography to explore these themes, for example Coming Out Dress 2000, a richly embroidered dress for Claire which Perry wore during a performance which merged his private female persona with his artwork.
Perry’s subject matter sometimes comes from his upbringing in the Essex countryside, as depicted on the vase, I was an Angry Working Class Man 2001. This presents the recognisable iconography of motorbikes, pub signs and other images of manhood, topped off with the golden figure of an emasculated Pit Bull Terrier, mascot of the stereotypical Essex Man. He also engages directly with contemporary issues, for example in the vase We’ve Found the Body of your Child2000, which deals with child abuse within the home. Perry simultaneously employs and subverts the craft form of ceramics. He revels in its second-class status within world of fine arts, in order to explore challenging, yet witty and thought provoking themes. As he says ‘A lot of my work has always had a guerrilla tactic, a stealth tactic. I want to make something that lives with the eye as a beautiful piece of art, but on closer inspection, a polemic or an ideology will come out of it’.
Grayson Perry CBE is widely known for his ceramic art and cross dressing. His vibrant use of colour and style flow throughout his work and dress, and his captivating personality stands out wherever he goes. Grayson Perry has won many awards including The Turner Prize and his work is exhibited across the globe. One of his many prominent external pieces was ‘Julie’s House’, a holiday home in Essex based on a fictional character.His work is thought-provoking, exciting, inspiring and bold!
I love his colourful dresses and sweet smile . His beauty is in an androgynous way that he could just as easily be female pop person.
Alter ego: Mr Perry regularly dresses as a woman called ‘Claire’ and is known for his graphic pots
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- Turner Prize 2012 winner: Elizabeth Price
Elizabeth Price was awarded the Turner Prize 2012. She was nominated for her solo exhibition at BALTIC, Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, in which she presented a trilogy of video installations.
Elizabeth Price pictured in front of her video installation Credit: PA
It’s incredibly depressing listening to the comments people made earlier that a young girl from Luton going to a comprehensive might not be able to imagine being an artist and might not have the opportunities I’ve had.
Turner prize in 2016
- Helen Marten – winner