This year the Turner Prize will be replaced by a bursaries scheme In response to the COVID19 pandemic. Tate Britain has announced that it will be awarding one-off bursaries of £10,000 to 10 artists in place of this year’s Turner Prize. The jury will select the ‘Turner Bursaries’ at the end of June. The tight timetable for preparing the annual exhibition would not have been achievable under the present restrictions, so the decision was made to help support a more extensive selection of artists through this period of profound disruption and uncertainty. The bursaries have been made possible thanks to generous funding from a group of Tate’s supporters.
Gallery closures and social distancing have caused a huge disruption – Alex Farquharson
Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner Prize jury, said: “Gallery closures and social distancing measures are vitally important, but they are also causing huge disruption to the lives and livelihoods of artists. The practicalities of organising a Turner Prize exhibition are impossible in the current circumstances, so we have decided to help support even more artists during this exceptionally difficult time. I think JMW Turner, who once planned to leave his fortune to support artists in their hour of need, would approve of our decision. I appreciate visitors will be disappointed that there is no Turner Prize this year, but we can all look forward to it returning in 2021.”
This year’s jury has spent the past 12 months visiting hundreds of exhibitions in preparation for selecting the nominees. In line with the existing prize criteria, they are invited to nominate British artists based on their contribution to new developments in contemporary art at this time. They will hold a virtual meeting to select the list of 10 artists, which will be announced in late June. The members of the jury are Richard Birkett, Curator at Large at the Institute of Contemporary Arts; Sarah Munro, Director of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Fatoş Üstek, Director of Liverpool Biennial; and Duro Olowu, designer and curator.
The Turner Prize is one of the best-known prizes for the visual arts in the world; the Turner Prize was established in 1984 and named after the artist JMW Turner (1775-1851). It is eligible to artists born or based in the UK for outstanding exhibitions or other presentations of their work in the previous 12 months. Turner Prize 2022 at Tate Britain will be supported by BNP Paribas.
BNP Paribas is a leading European bank, with a global reach. The Group has a presence in 73 countries and employs over 9,000 people in the UK. BNP Paribas has supported art and culture around the world for more than 30 decades. In the UK, the bank promotes many art institutions including Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate St Ives, Tate Liverpool, V&A London, V&A Dundee and the Royal Academy of Arts. The bank also supports the Turner Prize, the world-famous contemporary art prize. In 2018 The bank launched its #AccessArt25 programme giving free access to the arts for thousands of young people who face socio-economic hardship. So far nearly 9,000 young people have participated in this programme.