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    Turner Prize

    British arts award
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    Turner Prize, award given annually to a visual artist born in or based in Great Britain in recognition of an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of his or her work. It is considered the highest honour in the British art world.

    Named for English Romantic painter J.M.W. Turner, the prize was established in 1984 by the Patrons of New Art, a group of donors associated with the Tate Gallery who sought to promote new developments in contemporary art. In its early years the prize was frequently criticized for its competitive selection process—up to six nominees were announced to a short list before one was chosen as the winner. Critics also found its selection criteria unfocused. Originally, both up-and-coming and established artists—and even art administrators and critics—were eligible. In 1991 the annual short list was limited to artists only and held to four nominees under age 50, chosen on the strength of an exhibition presented in the previous 12 months. Recognizing that “up-and-coming” did not necessarily equate with youth, the Turner Prize lifted age limitations in 2017. A five-person jury, chaired by the director of Tate Britain, determines both the short list and the winner.

    Since its inception the Turner Prize has captured the vivid interest of the British media and public, for whom the unveiling of the short list often occasions a fierce debate about the artists’ relative merits and sometimes about the very definition of art. Much of the conversation revolves around a special exhibition of the nominees’ work, held originally at Tate Britain but from 2011 alternating yearly between that space and a gallery outside London. However, the jurors’ final decision rests not on this work, as is widely believed, but on that for which the artists were originally nominated. In the 1990s several members of the emerging Young British Artist movement, including Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, sparked controversy for the provocative, often conceptually driven works they showcased at Tate.

    The winner of the Turner Prize, announced near the end of the year in a televised ceremony, receives £25,000, with the three other short-listed candidates receiving £5,000 each. Notable winners have included Hirst, Gilbert & George, Richard Long, Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley, Chris Ofili, Steve McQueen, Wolfgang Tillmans, Grayson Perry, and Richard Wright.

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    Turner Prize winners are provided in the table.

    Turner Prize winners
    year name
    1984 Malcolm Morley
    1985 Howard Hodgkin
    1986 Gilbert & George
    1987 Richard Deacon
    1988 Tony Cragg
    1989 Richard Long
    1990 (not awarded)
    1991 Anish Kapoor
    1992 Grenville Davey
    1993 Rachel Whiteread
    1994 Antony Gormley
    1995 Damien Hirst
    1996 Douglas Gordon
    1997 Gillian Wearing
    1998 Chris Ofili
    1999 Steve McQueen
    2000 Wolfgang Tillmans
    2001 Martin Creed
    2002 Keith Tyson
    2003 Grayson Perry
    2004 Jeremy Deller
    2005 Simon Starling
    2006 Tomma Abts
    2007 Mark Wallinger
    2008 Mark Leckey
    2009 Richard Wright
    2010 Susan Philipsz
    2011 Martin Boyce
    2012 Elizabeth Price
    2013 Laure Prouvost
    2014 Duncan Campbell
    2015 Assemble
    2016 Helen Marten
    2017 Lubaina Himid
    2018 Charlotte Prodger
    2019 Helen Cammock
    Lawrence Abu Hamdan
    Oscar Murillo
    Tai Shani
    John M. Cunningham
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