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Turner Prize


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An annual monetary prize for British achievement in the visual arts, named after J. M. W. Turner. It was established in 1984 by the Patrons of New Art, a body founded two years earlier (as part of the Friends of the Tate Gallery) to encourage the collection of contemporary art. The prize money for the winner was initially £10,000; in 1991 this was raised to £20,000, and in 2004 to £25,000; the three other shortlisted artists now receive £5,000 each. The regulations have changed somewhat since the prize was inaugurated. Originally it was awarded for ‘the greatest contribution to art in Britain in the previous twelve months’ and was open to critics and administrators (who were nominated but never won) as well as artists; since 1991 those eligible are British artists under the age of 50 who have had ‘an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work’ in the previous twelve months. The original sponsors, Drexel Burnham Lambert, suffered a financial collapse in 1990 and the prize was suspended that year; subsequently it has been sponsored by Channel 4 Television, which broadcasts the award ceremony live, and from 2004 by Gordon's Gin. Like the Booker Prize in literature, the Turner Prize attracts a great deal of publicity, but much of this attention has been expressed as damning criticism, as it is regarded by many as showcasing all that is most pretentious and self-regarding in contemporary art. The winners of the prize have been: 1984, Malcolm Morley; 1985, Howard Hodgkin; 1986, Gilbert & George; 1987, Richard Deacon (b 1949); 1988, Tony Cragg (b 1949); 1989, Richard Long; 1990, prize suspended; 1991, Anish Kapoor; 1992, Grenville Davey (b 1961); 1993, Rachel Whiteread; 1994, Antony Gormley; 1995, Damien Hirst; 1996, Douglas Gordon (b 1967); 1997, Gillian Wearing (b 1963); 1998, Chris Ofili (b 1968); 1999, Steve McQueen (b 1969); 2000, Wolfgang Tillmans (b 1968); 2001, Martin Creed (b 1968); 2002, Keith Tyson (b 1969); 2003, Grayson Perry (b 1960); 2004, Jeremy Deller (b 1966); 2005, Simon Starling (b 1967); 2006, Tomma Abts (b 1967); 2007, Mark Wallinger (b 1959); 2008, Mark Leckey (b 1964).

Subjects: Art.


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