Published  26/07/2001

Royal Academy Charles Wollaston Prize (£25,000)

Royal Academy Charles Wollaston Prize (25,000)

This still highly prestigious award, given for the most distinguished work in the annual summer show, goes to the accredited ‘Brit Art’ sculptor Marc Quinn. The judges were Christopher Lloyd, Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures, Catherine Lampert, lately Whitechapel Art Gallery Director, and Fred Cuming and Richard Deacon, the artists. Quinn’s winning piece was ‘Catherine Long’, a portrait of a living handicapped woman who was born with only her right arm. Quinn had dutifully set out to challenge classical concepts of beauty, as epitomised by the parade of damaged sculptural archaeological relics that often lack limbs. Quinn has developed a series of life-sized portraits of true-life handicapped people. He was previously famous for casting his own head using his own blood and storing it all in his fridge. A veteran of Charles Saatchi’s ‘Sensation’ exhibition, Quinn’s ‘Catherine Long’, beats an oil painting by octogenarian academician Fredrick Gore and a drawing by Richard Serra. The sacred groves of academia have not so much been penetrated as appropriated by Quinn’s masterly work, which is also a beneficiary of a receptive jury.

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