Leeds Art Gallery Online

home of contemporary art in yorkshire


No Photo



Art Awards

The Turner Prize

Genre: Research Article

Article by: Dave Roberts - First Published: 1 November 2011

Culture Minister Kim Howells "conceptual bullshit"
Prince Charles "the dreaded Turner prize. It has contaminated the art establishment for so long."
Graffiti artist Banksy stencilled "Mind the crap" on the steps of the Tate.

The Turner Prize: So named after the painter J. M. W. Turner, The Turner Prize is an annual awards ceremony, rewarding British visual artists who under the age of 50. Organised by the Tate gallery and staged at Tate Britain. Founded in 1984 without an age restriction - by a group of contemporary art enthusiasts calling themselves the: Patrons Of The New Art and with an award of £10,000 - it is now the most publicised art award in the UK. Although representing all media, it has evolved to become associated primarily with modern conceptual or installation art, even though some painters have won the prize.

A controversial event, with nominations and awards seeming to continuously challenge the boundries of what some people consider to be art. Although in the early years criticised because the awards seemed to be somewhat predictable, an example of this being by 1989 all of the artists named on the original 1984 shortlist had actually won. An art award which had seemingly set out to be controversial, yet becoming apparently restrictive and franchised in practice. Matters seemed to come to an anti-climax in 1990 with the collapse of the main sponsor DBL (Drexel Burnham Lambert), which led to the suspension of the awards.

DBL was a major USA investment banking firm, forced into bankruptcy in 1990 due to its involvement in illegal activities.

In 1991 Channel 4 stepped in with a much improved package, it would draw new interest from a broader range of people including from the art-world itself, and the general public, which would increase awareness including enthusiasm and criticism for contemporary art. Channel 4 doubled the prize money to £20,000, and produced live broadcasts of the award ceremonies.

In 2004, Channel 4 were replaced as sponsors by Gordon's gin, who in turn doubled the total prize money to £40,000. With £25,000 to the winner and £5,000 going to each of the shortlisted artists.

For the first time ever, the exhibition will this year be held outside of a Tate venue. You can visit the exhibition at BALTIC this autumn (21 October 2011 - 8 January 2012) to see this year's nominated artists - pieces by; Karla Black, Martin Boyce, Hilary Lloyd and George Shaw.

OPENING TIMES: Open Daily 10.00-18.00 except Tuesdays 10.30-18.00.

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art: Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BA

Please confirm availability and opening times before planning your visit:
Tel: +44 (0)191 478 1810, Fax: +44 (0)191 478 1922, Text phone: +44(0)191 440 4944

WINNERS LIST 1984 to 2010 REVERSED ORDER (excluding 1990 due to suspension)


Try these links to search the following topics:

The Turner Prize | Research Article | Art Awards


Submit a comment, review or correction.

Please note: All fields are required



(Please enter above security text)
Click if you cannot read the text









© 2020 Leeds Art Gallery Online

Our Terms & Your Privacy