Tate Britain  Level 2
6 October 2009 – 3 January 2010

The Turner Prize 2009 exhibition features work by the four shortlisted artists: Enrico David, Roger Hiorns, Lucy Skaer and Richard Wright. The winner of the prize will be announced during a live broadcast of the award ceremony on Channel 4 on the evening of Monday 7 December 2009.

This year’s prize fund is £40,000 with £25,000 going to the winner and £5,000 each for the other shortlisted artists.

The winner will be decided by a jury whose members are: Charles Esche, Director Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Mariella Frostrup, writer and broadcaster; Jonathan Jones, art critic, The Guardian; Andrea Schlieker, Curator, Folkestone Triennial; and Stephen Deuchar, Director, Tate Britain and Chair of the Jury.

The shortlisted artists for the Turner Prize 2009 are:

Enrico David, who presents Absuction Cardigan 2009, a new installation of paintings, collages and sculptures including two papier-mâché eggmen from his nominated exhibition How Do You Love Dzzzzt By Mammy? at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel. David absorbs and adapts existing styles and images into his unique iconography, from magazine advertising to early modern design. Presented as a surreal parade of fragmented bodies, his work combines a feeling of instability and alienation with an unsettling sense of humour.  

Roger Hiorns, who exhibits Untitled 2008, metal dust from an atomised passenger jet engine, shown as part of his nominated exhibition at Corvi-Mora, London, and three untitled wall-sculptures comprising bovine brain matter, plastic and steel. Hiorns alters these carefully selected substances into new and unexpected forms, triggering questions about our interpretation of the world around us.

Lucy Skaer, who presents Thames and Hudson 2009, an installation comprising new and recent work including Leviathan Edge 2009, the skull of a sperm whale, just-visible behind a screen, Leonora (Death) 2006, an intricate drawing executed in a mass of tiny black spirals, and Black Alphabet (after Brancusi) 2008, a series of 26 sculptures made from coal-dust. In translating an image from one state to another, Skaer deliberately slows-down our understanding of what we are looking at, directing our attention to the act of looking itself.

Richard Wright, who has produced a highly intricate gold-leaf painting across one wall of the gallery. This work, the artist’s most complex and ambitious composition to date, is made in response to the room’s architecture and the specific context of Tate Britain. The painstaking and lengthy process of creating the work by traditional methods, combined with its inevitably short life-span, adds a sense of poignant transience to its visual beauty and lustre.

The Turner Prize, established in 1984, is awarded to a British artist under fifty for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding 21 April 2009. It is intended to promote public discussion of new developments in contemporary British art and is widely recognised as one of the most important and prestigious awards for the visual arts in Europe.

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