Turner Prize Retrospective, Tate Britain, 2008, Damien Hirst installation view
Turner Prize Retrospective, Tate Britain 2008
Damien Hirst installation view

The Turner Prize is a contemporary art award that was set up in 1984 to celebrate new developments in contemporary art. It is awarded each year to ‘a British artist under fifty for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding’.

Nominations are invited each year, and the prize is judged by an independent jury that changes annually. The four shortlisted artists present works in a show normally held at Tate Britain before the winner is announced in December. Artists are not judged on their show at Tate. The decision is based on the work for which they were nominated.

Over the recent decades the Turner Prize has played a significant role in provoking debate about visual art and the growing public interest in contemporary British art in particular, and has become widely recognised as one of the most important and prestigious awards for the visual arts in Europe.

The prize was founded by a group called the Patrons of New Art. They were formed in 1982 to help buy new art for the Tate Gallery’s collection, and to encourage wider interest in contemporary art. The Patrons wanted a name associated with great British art. They chose J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851) partly because he had wanted to establish a prize for young artists. He also seemed appropriate because his work was controversial in his own day.

Exhibitions in this series

23 October 20135 January 2014
2 October 20126 January 2013
21 October 2011 – 8 January 2012
5 October 2010 – 3 January 2011
6 October 20093 January 2010
13 September 200818 January 2009
19 October 200713 January 2008
2 October 20076 January 2008
3 October 200614 January 2007
18 October 200522 January 2006
20 October 28 December 2004
29 October 200318 January 2004
30 October 20025 January 2003
7 November 200120 January 2002