Turner Prize 2012 Shortlist Revealed

Turner Prize 2012 Shortlist Revealed
Luke Fowler, Spartacus Chetwynd, Paul Noble, and Elizabeth Price

Luke Fowler, Spartacus Chetwynd, Paul Noble, and Elizabeth Price are the nominees for the 28th Turner Prize, Tate announced this morning. Talking at the press conference, Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis described the shortlist as a "rather good mixture," balanced both in gender and artistic practices. As is customary, all the artists have been selected on the back of an "outstanding" exhibition in the twelve months up to April 24, 2012.

Glasgow-based Fowler, who at 34 is the youngest artist in this year's selection, has been selected for his solo presentation at Inverleith House, Edinburgh. Recipient of the Derek Jarman Award for experimental filmmaking in 2008, and of the Paul Hamlyn Award in 2010, Fowler carved out a reputation with his "collage" documentaries combining archival and new footage. His latest piece, "All Divided Selves" (2012), is a cinematic musing on the life and work of Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing.

Praised for her contribution to the last British Art Show, Elizabeth Price wowed the jury with her trilogy of video installations intimately splicing images and music currently on show at Gateshead's BALTIC, Centre for Contemporary Art. "She is in her early forties, but she has a very young, very vibrant practice," said jury member and director of Focal Point Gallery Andrew Hunt.

Paul Noble was nominated for his solo show at London's Gagosian Gallery. Michael Stanley, the director of Modern Art Oxford and a member of this year's jury, spoke with enthusiasm of "Nobson Newtown," the fictional megalopolis Noble has been developing in large scale, dystopian drawings saturated with details. There's an "almost limitless sense of discovery that continues to go on," Stanley commented. 

The maverick performer-cum-sculptor Spartacus Chetwynd owes her nomination to her solo show at Sadie Coles HQ. It involved a five-hour long performance whose relics — set and props — remained as an exhibition once the live show was over.

When asked if they could identify a common set of concerns linking the fourth nominees, Hunt was careful to re-emphasize that the selection wasn't "a curated exhibition." "It's always a committee decision," he added. Yet the three jurors present this morning agreed that the nominees' practices demanded time from their viewers — "a slowness of looking" said Tate's Curtis — and that most engaged with the 1960s and 1970s, the decades during which the artists were born. "For me, there's a sense of humanity and a lack of arrogance," concluded Hunt. 

Beside Curtis, Hunt, and Stanley, the jury is composed this year of Heike Munder, the director of Zurich's Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, and Mark Sladen, the director of the Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen.

An exhibition of the nominees' work will open at Tate Britain on October 2, 2012 and the winner of the £25,000 prize will be announced on December 3, 2012. The other shortlisted artists will each go home with a £5,000 consolation prize.