Turner Prize 2009 banner
Turner Prize 2009
Tate Britain: Exhibition
6 October 20093 January 2010

The winner of the Turner Prize 2009 was Richard Wright. Poet and playwright Carol Ann Duffy presented the artist with the £25,000 prize.

1 of 6
  • Richard Wright with his Turner Prize 2009 installation

    Richard Wright with his Turner Prize 2009 installation

    © Tate Photography

  • Turner Prize 2009 exhibition poster
  • enrico david How Do You Love Dzzzzt by Mammy

    Enrico David
    How Do You Love Dzzzzt by Mammy?
    Installation view Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel 2009

    Courtesy Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Köln/Berlin

  • A wall painting by Richard Wright - a red and grey pattern in a figure of eight

    Richard Wright
    No Title 2002, remade 2013
    Gouache on wall
    Purchased with funds provided by the Nicholas Thomas Trust 2012

    Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery, London/New York; The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow and BQ, Berlin

  • Lucy Skaer The Siege 2008 print of a had on paper placed on the floor a table with the same large handprint printed directly on to it

    Lucy Skaer
    The Siege 2008

    Courtesy of the artist and doggerfisher. Photo: Andy Keate

  • Roger Hiorns Vauxhall

    Roger Hiorns
    Vauxhall 2003
    Steel and fire
    Dimensions variable

    Courtesy Corvi-Mora, London
    © the artist and Corvi-Mora, London 


  • Enrico David – nominated
  • Roger Hiorns – nominated
  • Lucy Skaer – nominated
  • Richard Wright – winner

Best Turner Prize in living memory

The best Turner Prize in living memory, according to one pundit, this year’s shortlisted artists offered much for eye and mind alike.

Roger Hiorns’ cow brains and crystallized bedsit questioned our assumptions about certainty, materiality and the future whilst Lucy Skaer’s full sized whale skull and alluring yet illusive drawing of a whale skeleton implicated the body in the act of looking. Contemporary surrealist Enrico David’s cast of uncanny characters floating in a theatrical black void drew us into a strange childlike world of imagination and uncertainty.

Though Hiorns was favourite it was ‘dazzling outsider’ Richard Wright’s use of age-old fresco techniques to create luminous, quivering and ephemeral installation paintings that carried the day.


  • Charles Esche, Director Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
  • Mariella Frostrup, Writer and broadcaster
  • Jonathan Jones, Art critic, The Guardian
  • Dr Andrea Schlieker, Director Folkestone Triennial, and curator
  • Stephen Deuchar, Director, Tate Britain and Chair of the Jury

Turner Prize 2009 in quotes

After years of dreary line-ups, 2009’s prize is, in an unusually subtle way, a cracker
Waldemar Januszczak, Sunday Times

Prize winner Richard Wright shocks world with actual art. In a surprising endorsement for an event often known for its wacky creations, the judges went for the most traditional of the four exhibitions.
Claore Ellicott, The Daily Mail, 8 December 2009

I am interested in placing painting in the situation where it collides with the world; the fragility of that existence.
Richard Wright speaking to the BBC on winning