Posts Tagged ‘turner prize’

Turner Prize Winner 09: Richard Wright

In art|BOOK on December 8, 2009 at 1:39 pm

From the sheer amount of notes pinned on the wall at Tate Britain this year, it was pretty predictable that Richard Wright would be this years Turner Prize winner.

Wright, 49,  was nominated for his exhibition at the 55th Carniegie International in Pittssburgh and a show in the Ingleby gallery, Edinburgh.

The man who created the extremely intricate gold leaf fresco in “an incredibly medieval way” was a shocked and surprised winner.  Wright used Baroque methods to form his untitled wall painting, drawing on paper to start and rubbing chalk through it.  The image was then painted with adhesive and covered with gold leaf.

The most shocking thing about Wright’s work for the spectator is that it will be disposed of when the Turner Prize exhibition closes on the 3rd of January next year.  None of Wright’s works are intended to be any more than temporary, as to see a work that you know will be destructed, “emphasises that moment of its existence”.

The work of this contemporary artist cannot be bought or sold as each is created for a particular environment.

Wright won the prestigous art award against Lucy Skaer, Enrico David and Roger Hiorns and was awarded a total of £25, 000.  The runners-up received £5, 000.

Turner Prize Entry: Enrico David

In art|BOOK on November 12, 2009 at 3:35 pm


By Catherine McGuire

David is a contemporary surrealist who creates rich and profoundly original painting, drawing and sculpture. Enrico David has been nominated for his solo exhibitions How Do You Love Dzzzzt By Mammy? at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, and Bulbous Marauder at the Seattle Art Museum. However these are just facts. In order to understand Enrico’s work, you must experience it.

Let me paint you a picture in words. Imagine a featureless white rectangular room; insert a black oblong stage, half a metre high, stretching from one corner to the other. The stage is set for a piecemeal of images. On the right there is a huge painting on canvas, a head in the middle occupied with pornographic thoughts, failing to be released through the tiny slit that forms its mouth. All that comes out is the insidious painting to its left, a figure in the shadows banging a drum in flurry of hands, resembling Günter Grasses Tin Drum.

A rectangular box stands close by with the picture of disturbing disfigured dolls arranged in all shapes and sizes, peering down a trap door at the paper cut out of a man in the foetal position, dressed as a baby. Stage left a human sized canvas ellipses the side, portraying a deranged red head holding onto a pole, accompanied by a man in a turban in a pot on its right (which looks remarkably like Noel Fielding in The Mighty Boosh). Centre stage lays the deformed black body of a faceless man, is you can call it a man, lying disfigured across the stage, connecting these installations with this stretched arms and legs.

‘This must be the work of a mad man,’ are the first thoughts that flash through my head, disconcerted by the dark figures, the disembodied shapes and most of all the artist rendition of himself in the form of the two deformed manikins, that resemble neither man nor animal, one positioned in the audience and the other staring out from the stage.

Yet the more I regarded Enrico’s work the more I became fascinated with the psychological meaning behind each carefully positioned composition. The theatre became a challenge of comprehension. What is it the artist wants me to see?

Through out Enrico’s work there is a presiding theme concerning the body. The human form is rarely presented as a unified whole. Instead it is fragmented, deformed, creating a sense of physical and emotional crisis proliferating, which contributes to the uneasy exchange between the viewer and art work. Enrico is confronting the viewer with images that the on lookers may not want to confront themselves, such as the fear of ‘disfigurement’, not socially fitting in to the common ‘norm,’ and in the process being found out.

Enrico David has said that his art works purpose is ‘To organise and give structure to the often chaotic nature of (his)emotional response to reality.’ This theatre of the mind is like a foreign language one tries to decipher, but can not fully comprehend. The artist represents his own incomprehension with his presence as manikin, with in and with out this production. There are no translators. One is lead to theorise, with out ant ‘true’ answer at the end, and this is the fun of Enrico’s work.

This is definitely a must see, and more importantly, a must experience. I will leave it up to you to go and experience the Turner Prize and formulate your own thoughts on this artist in particular, as words are not enough.

Turner Prize Entry: Lucy Skaer

In art|BOOK on November 12, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Black Alphabet (2008)

Lucy Skaer, nominated for her solo exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery and A Boat Used as a Vessel at the Kunsthalle Basel, provides the spectator with an array of challenges to the eye. Using photographic sources, Lucy aims to transform a simple picture from one state to another, testing the perception of 2D and 3D boundaries in her artwork. 

Skaer’s concept of image translation can definitely be identified in Thames and Hudson (2009), an installation that is reflective of an art-book publisher and/or two cities with their two rivers. The image of a wooden chair projects from one piece to another from a physical wooden chair to a calligraphy style print that is almost reminiscent of an algebraic equation.  Skaer covered parts of the chair in black ink and produced the 2D print, which appears behind the chair in the centre of the installation. There seems to be a recurring theme in the works of this artist of removing an image from its context.  By looking at both 2D and 3D parts, there becomes a constant comparison between different forms, which is ultimately a test to the viewing experience.   Skaer believes that translation between pieces results in a “graphic return to the real world”

By slowing down the understanding of these contributions, the works become reduced to the art of looking itself.  Leviathan and Edge (2009), a partial sperm whale skeleton, definitely proves this point.  The installation can only be seen through vertical breaks in two false walls and there is a distinction between details and the whole.  The spectator takes more time to consider the piece and therefore more detail is discovered at an immediate viewpoint.

Black Alphabet (2008) appears as a flock of coal dust sculptures that feature as a repetition of Brancusi’s Bird in Space (1923).  Skaer produces the sculpture 26 times, the total of times that Brancusi produced the work. Dependent on angle, the piece reveals a medley of different letter-looking shapes. It could be said that this piece holds significance on the basis that Bird in Space (1923) acted as the foundation of a lawsuit which challenged what constitutes art.  As Skaer aims to challenge the perspective of the viewer, implementing images into different forms, this would certainly have influenced her decision to create Black.

Skaer can be commended on her transformation of simple images into ambiguous artwork.   Her works lie somewhere in between reality and imagination, delaying comprehension and directing the audience to differentiate between mental and physical landscapes.