Turner Prize: A Retrospective 1984 – 2006: 06

View of Turner Prize: A Retrospective exhibition

View of Turner Prize: A Retrospective exhibition showing an installation of paintings by Tomma Abts

Photo: Tate Photography © Tate 2007

2006 featured a broad range of media and Phil Collins was the first artist to introduce a consistent ‘live’ element into the exhibition. He set up a fully functioning office in the gallery manned by a team of researchers and used the media platform that the Turner Prize generates to look for participants for his next project. The jury selected Tomma Abts, who was the first female painter to win, for her densely wrought canvasses and this decision was warmly received by the public.

The 2007 exhibition will be presented at Tate Liverpool to coincide with the Liverpool European Capital of Culture celebrations. This marks the first time that the prize has travelled outside of London since its inception and it will return to Tate Britain in 2008.

Artists and works on display:

Tomma Abts, ‘Noeme’ 2004
Tomma Abts
Noeme 2004
© Tomma Abts

Tomma Abts
Mennt 2002
Acrylic and oil on canvas
Private collection

Acrylic and oil on canvas
Private Collection

Noeme 2004
Acrylic and oil on canvas
Tate. Purchased 2006

Tomma Abts’s paintings are the result of a rigorous working method that pitches the rational against the intuitive. She works consistently to a format of 48 x 38 centimetres in acrylic and oil paint. She uses no source material and begins with no preconceived idea of the final result. Instead, her paintings take shape through a gradual process of layering and accrual. As the internal logic of each composition unfolds forms are defined, buried and rediscovered until the painting becomes ‘congruent with itself’.

Abts describes the finished works as, ‘a concentrate of the many paintings underneath’, each functioning as an autonomous object revealing the visible traces of its construction.