Martin Boyce is the current Frontrunner with 11/10 odds George Shaw 13/8 Karla Black 6/1 Hilary Lloyd 6/1
The odds are in, the bets placed and now we’re off to the starting gates, as the UK prepares for the envelope opening of one of the art-worlds most coveted awards, the annual Turner prize. This year the exhibition has moved to Gateshead at the stylish Baltic centre, near Newcastle upon Tyne. But which artist will take home the controversial Turner Prize? The Turner Prize is awarded to new artists with an aim to celebrate younger talent and to focus attention on new developments in the visual arts in Britain. The shortlist of four Artists representing the Jurors decision for 2011 are:
Martin Boyce’s installation is a highly theatrical montage of Modernist reference: this scholarly work deploys Modernism’s multiple design iconographies, or insignias, to create an atmospheric venue of collision, replete with Art Deco-style vent coverings, and a suspended ceiling-sculpture based on the cubist works of Jan and Joel Martel. At the heart of this designscape, sits a library table designed by Jean Prouvé for the Maison de l’Etudiant in Paris; but to this quote, Boyce adds a further reference in the form of a hanging mobile, immediately evocative of work by Modernist artists such as Alexander Calder. Ultimately, Boyce’s presents us with a surreal dream-like vision of the Modern project, in a space that is both organic and urban, something epitomised in the Constructivist, angular leaves scattered about the floor. But in this, he seemingly parodies that merger; the Modernist attempt to create perfection by harnessing the fluidity and easy-functionality of organicism in art and design practice. READ MORE ON MARTIN BOYCE
George Shaw is a painter of nostalgia, documenting the oh-so-English stomping ground of his youth –Tile Hill, a post-war housing estate on the edge of Coventry in the West Midlands. In a series of paintings that began in 1995, George Shaw explores the familiarity of these old streets and the jarring of the new interventions to this environment since his time there. Rather than rendered in ‘high’ oils, Shaw opts Humbrol enamel, the paint of model aeroplanes – of boyhood. But this is not only a conceptual device; it furthermore creates an extraordinarily glossy surface-texture that punches the light away, affording the paintings a quality that is seemingly more photographic than painterly. Of the eight paintings on display, four have been created especially for the Turner Prize; The Devil Made Me Do It, an unusually pastoral image of woodland; The New Houses, an ironic depiction of a suburban wasteland; The Same old Crap, a murky night scene; and Shut up, a shop window with its shutters down, closed for business. Unashamedly sentimental, Shaw’s work is a deeply heartfelt ode to memory, in all its glossy confusion. READ MORE ON GEORGE SHAW
Karla Black’s exhibited work defies classification, but rather simultaneously occupies the regions of painting, sculpture, and performance. Upon passing through a maze of fragile polythene and paint-cracked curtains, the viewer is met with a monumental mountain range constructed out of crumpled sugar paper that fills the room. These contours are sensually coloured with pastel chalk powders, make-up, soap and bath-bombs, Black here acting in the capacity of an abstract painter: but, as a three-dimensional work, this work is traversable, the viewer invited into the folds of the canvass to become immersed. Black’s work is informed by Melanie Klein Jungian-psychoanalytical studies of pre-linguistic infants and their relationship with the malleable material world. In this piece, Black prompts us to regress, returning to our pre-linguistic, infantine pleasure in tactility. READ MORE ON KARLA BLACK
Hilary Lloyd’s video works function on two levels: in content, they infuse the everyday mundane with the glamour of intrigue generated through abstraction, while in form, they enlist the mechanics of video-display for sculpture – with svelte screens, industrial brackets, pod-like DVD players, and circuitboard-esque cabling, coming to the fore. We are presented with four works: in Tower Block, a blank monitor is interjected with high rises, surreally spliced into abstraction via arbitrary image edging; in Floor, three parallel projections explore the surface texture of floorboards with a near-fetishistic, intimate scrutiny; in Shirt, worn fabric is rendered nonfigurative, the patterns and folds becoming landscape instead of fashion; while in Moon, a twin-screen installation, presents us with 21 miniature viewing-windows from which we voyeuristically glimpse the moon, creating a field of juddering orbs. Lloyd’s works seek to dissect and undermine the conventions of seeing; in doing so, she reveals to us the constructedness of vision – that sense that we so often fail to question; seeing, it seems, is not believing. READ MORE ON HILARY LLOYD
According to William Hill, Martin Boyce is the 11/10 favourite to scoop this year’s Turner Prize, followed by George Shaw at 13/8 in a very tight contest that sees the outsider Karla Black for a 6/1 shot for victory. The other contender, Hilary Lloyd is also offered at 6/1. Last year Susan Phillipz was the outsider and took home the prize. “What is noticeable about this year’s Turner Prize is that all the artists have their own styles and are all very different from previous winners,” said Hill’s spokesman Joe Crilly. “Any one of the four could realistically win the £25,000 prize.”
There is a very simple way to go about strategy for awards betting. This is by regular watching the news and looking through the internet to see which of the artists shortlisted for the Turner Prize is whipping up the most fuss around the media. Greater coverage may mean slightly shorter odds but it also means someone has a better chance of winning the Turner Prize.
Punters also have to take in the context of awards betting. The Turner Prize is commonly awarded to conceptual artists who make people think outside of the box or create escapism in an other wise grim and gloomy world. Some of the best conceptual artists are individuals that few have ever heard of so if there is a certain work of art which looks very eye catching then make a note of it.
The Turner Prize is by far and away the most widely publicised arts award in the United Kingdom. The prize on offer is not at all a great deal of money which may be expected. The £25,000 prize is often awarded to help an artist develop and move towards the mainstream arts market.
The significance of the Turner Prize therefore is that it can help younger and budding artists to gain more of a foot hold in the industry. This is not to say that the winner of the Turner Prize will be a teenager but when thinking about betting on the event, it’s a good idea to bear in mind that the artists who win are generally the younger artists on the shortlist.
Watch this year’s Turner Prize winner announcement live on channel 4 from The Baltic at 8:00pm Monday 5 December.