Published  04/10/2007

Turner Prize 2007

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Some views on the future of this successful but – to 'younger British artists' – controversial award have been aired in the press. As the Tate Gallery and the award sponsor Channel 4 warm up for the announcement, the jury decision next month and announcement on 6 October seem bound to raise eyebrows yet again. In the period since it was initiated in 1984 in London, the award has undoubtedly been the catalyst for a high exposure of a select number of British artist nominees. Louisa Buck, a former jury member, has admitted that it has become, in some artists’ minds, something of a poisoned chalice. Some significantly good artists stand out for choosing, so far, not to be nominated. Julian Opie and Sarah Lucas are notable amongst these. It is obvious to most observers that while the Turner Prize stimulates British contemporary art among younger and mid-career artists, as whole it is perhaps too limited in space to show off all relevant artists’ work, and hence to actually form any overriding influence. It does, however, act as a small and timely stimulus in a widening and increasingly competitive field. What is good has been a growing tendency to favour experimental artists, but without the added edge of a commercial market. Frieze Art Fair, a mushrooming success, offers this platform. Together, the two venues provide a stimulus that few other countries can match.

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