Tate Britain Exhibition

Turner Prize 1996

Turner Prize

Douglas Gordon won the Turner Prize 1996. It was the first time the prize was awarded to an artist working with video

Turner Prize 1996 poster

Turner Prize 1996 poster

Simon Patterson Turner Prize 1996 installation view

Simon Patterson Turner Prize 1996 installation view


First time that video artists wins Turner Prize

The all-male shortlist attracted some criticism in a year when young female artists had been particularly visible. The lack of supposedly ‘controversial’ artworks following the excitement of the previous year led some to dismiss the exhibition as ‘boring’ or ‘sensible’. For the first time the prize was awarded to an artist working with video, confirming the growing acceptance of film and video as a medium in its own right. In this year Brilliant! New Art From London took place at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, showing work by twenty-two young British artists and attracting widespread attention.


  • Bice Curiger, Editor-in-Chief, Parkett Magazine
  • Mel Gooding, writer and critic
  • Edward Lee, representative of the Patrons of New Art
  • James Lingwood, curator and co-director of Artangel Trust
  • Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate Gallery

Turner Prize 1996 in quotes

When I couldn’t sleep  as a child I used to go to bed with my parents and watch TV with them … Film has been the common denomination for our generation. People will watch a film.
Douglas Gordon quoted in The Independent on Sunday, October 1996
For Gordon, and many others of his generation, film is simply a part of the shared modern landscape of the imagination. This is the Turner Prize’s first vindication of film, video and installation art.
Adrian Searle, The Guardian, November 1996
This year’s nominees included a painter, a photographer and a conceptual artist. It is symptomatic of the way British art is changing that Douglas Gordon, the winner, makes dramatic video installations which draw on film, literature and psychology … I don’t see how a painter stood a chance.
Richard Dorment, The Daily Telegraph, November 1996

Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG
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29 October 1996 – 12 January 1997

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