Four solo artists shortlisted for Britain’s Turner Prize

Four artists commended for their solo exhibitions are competing for the UK's Turner Prize for contemporary art this year, Tate Britain, which organises the award, announced on Tuesday. The 2022 shortlist contrasts with last year's line-up, which for the first time saw five artist collectives vie for the prestigious, but often controversial British visual arts award.

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Artist Heather Phillipson's The End was scheduled to open on March 26, but was postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis. Photo: Profimedia

This year’s nominees include Heather Phillipson, best known in Britain for her artwork displayed in London’s Trafalgar Square of a giant swirl of replica whipped cream, topped with a sculpted cherry, fly and drone.

Titled “The End”, it sat for two years from January 2020 on the empty fourth plinth on the world-famous landmark in the centre of the British capital.

Phillipson, who works in video, sculpture and drawing, was nominated for that work and a solo exhibition — “Rupture No 1: blowtorching the bitten peach” — at Tate Britain.

The prize’s jury “applauded the audacious and sophisticated way Phillipson splices absurdity, tragedy and imagination to probe urgent and complex ideas,” the museum said in a statement.

The other contenders include Toronto-born, London-based artist Sin Wai Kin — formerly known as Victoria Sin, who identifies as non-binary — in part for a solo show at Hong Kong’s Blindspot Gallery.

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Sin Wai-kin, at Blindspot Gallery from Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, November 19, 2021. Photo: Profimedia

“Drawing on their own experience existing between binary categories, their work realises fictional narratives to describe lived realities of desire, identification, and consciousness,” Tate Britain said.

Ingrid Pollard, who works primarily in photography, but also sculpture, film and sound, was nominated for her exhibition “Carbon Slowly Turning” in Milton Keynes, central England.

“Pollard’s work questions our relationship with the natural world and interrogates ideas such as Britishness, race and sexuality,” Tate Britain said.

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Artista Ingrid Pollard. Photo: Profimedia

The jury also selected Veronica Ryan, a Montserrat-born British sculptor, for two UK showcases of her “sculptural objects and installations using containers, compartments, and combinations of natural and fabricated forms”.

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Veronica Ryan inaugurates the first permanent public work of art in Great Britain dedicated to the Windrush generation in Narrow Way Square, London. The artwork, Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Souursop (Annonaceae), 2021, is the first permanent public sculpture in the UK to honor the legacy and contributions of the Windrush generation. October 1, 2021. Photo: Jonathan Brady / PA Images / Profimedia

Alex Farquharson, Tate Britain’s director and co-chair of the prize jury, said galleries and museums reopening last year after multiple pandemic lockdowns had led to “a terrific 12 months for contemporary British art”.

“Art has provided much-needed enjoyment and escape over the past year, but it has also helped to reconnect us with each other and the world around us, as the practices of the four shortlisted artists variously exemplify,” he said.

The Turner winner — to be announced at an award ceremony in Liverpool, northwest England, in December — will scoop £25,000 ($33,000, 30,000 euros), and the other nominees will each receive £10,000.

An exhibition of their works will be held at Tate Liverpool from October 20, 2022 to March 19, 2023.

Over the years, the prize has courted headlines because of installations including an unmade bed and works made from elephant dung and human hair.

In 2019, the four shortlisted artists sent a plea to judges to award the prize to them all jointly, explaining they had formed a collective to show solidarity at a time of global “political crisis”, including Brexit. AFP

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