The prestigeous (and controversial) Turner Prize for art was unexpectedly won by London-based French multimedia artist Laure Prouvost at a ceremony in Derry last night.
The 35 year-old artist was considered the rank outsider to win the £25,000 prize amongst a strong field also comprising of installation artist David Shrigley, painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and performance artist Tino Sehgal.
Prouvost’s winning entry, Wantee, is an immersive installation piece inspired by the German artist Kurt Schwitters, consisting of a 30-minute film about the adventures of her fictional grandparents, played in a room styled to look like a tea party. The title of the piece is taken from the nickname of Schwitters’ partner, who liked to offer him frequent tea with the request “want tea”.
The judging panel remarked upon the piece’s “real richness of texture”, finding the whole experience “unexpectedly moving”. Prouvost becomes the 29th winner of the Prize, first awarded in 1984 and named in honour of the legendary 19th century landscape painter J.M.W. Turner. Previous winners include Gilbert & George, Rachel Whiteread and Damien Hirst, whose winning work in 1995, Mother and Child, Divided, infamously consisted of a dead cow and calf suspended in formaldehyde.
You can study some of Laure Prouvost’s earlier work by taking a peek at farfromwords, down among our extensive collection of art books on Level 2, where you can also find a number of catalogues detailing previous Turner Awards along with a myriad of works by and about the many artists who have either won, or been nominated for, the Prize.