Turner Prize 2006
Well, the contenders for this year’s Turner Prize have been named and it looks like it might be an interesting year for once. You’ve got to love Rebecca Warren, right? Her work has managed to stay attractively crazy and unresolved in spite of being embraced closely by the art establishment. The big clay ladies (and their great wheelie-plinths) have become something of an institution themselves I’d say, although I do miss her more ‘formless’ shelves of oddments from a few years before. Mark Titchner’s OK by me, although he has blotted his copy book somewhat with that overblown and frankly ridiculous show at Arnolfini recently. Stick to the signs, mate, and leave the carving to Ricky Swallow (not really). You can’t go wrong with Phil Collins it seems. Dry, a bit political, a bit pale youth, perfect for the Dazed & Confused/Frieze audience with their ‘interesting’ haircuts and sallow complexions – so he’s probably my tip for a winner. And finally Tomma Abts sneaks in with little abstracts that the press is already delighting in saying “don’t mean anything”, as if that’s the greatest crime of the century! So all in all this is a respectable list that should prove hard for anyone to make much of a fuss about.
The judges, on the other hand, this year include mad old Lynn Barber from the Observer, who recently wrote in the paper that she had never heard of the Wrong Gallery, thought Monet looked cheesy next to Pollock, had never seen Beuys’ Lightning with Stag in its Glare (in spite of this being on display at Tate Modern for several years) and was disappointed (actually “shocked”) that the new rehang didn’t include the work of any YBAs. What Andrew Renton and Dame Margot Heller will make of this vain has-been hack voicing her opinions is anybody’s guess. Roll on October and the annual gin & tonic bender that marks the opening.