Turner Prize 2016

Short info about the Prize:

Since it was established in 1984 the Turner Prize has become one of the most prestigious international visual arts awards and has both reflected and contributed to a growing public awareness and interest in contemporary art. This year’s Turner Prize is awarded on 5 December 2016 and an announcement broadcast on the BBC. (Tate, 2016)

This year shortlisted artist:

Michael Dean

Working primarily in writing and sculpture, Dean is interested in the physical manifestation of text and typography. His sculptures and installations refer to the everyday urban environment, using familiar but often overlooked materials – from concrete to steel reinforcing bars and the corrugated metal of shop shutters. (Turner Prize, 2016)

Anthea Hamilton 

Hamilton works across sculpture, installation, performance and video. She uses her research into subjects as diverse as lichen, disco and design history to create works that have a surrealist or pop culture aesthetic. While rooted in the history of sculpture, her work seduces the viewer with humour an unexpected combinations of images, materials and words, as well as dramatic shifts in scale. (Turner Prize, 2016)

Helen Marten

Working with sculpture, screen printing and writing Marten produces works that are full of models and motifs taken from contemporary visual culture. Through her collage-like accumulation of these familiar reference points, she creates visual games of puzzles that create new meanings for the objects and imagery of our everyday lives. (Turner Prize, 2016)

Josephine Pryde

Pryde’s photography and installations explore the nature of image making and display. She is fascinated by the relationship between art and photography, of art as commodity, and of the seductive qualities of the wider art world. Her work often calls into question the conventions of the gallery and the complex networks of the art world. (Turner Prize, 2016)


Turner Prize is one of the most impressive recognition contemporary artists can achieve and with that come great expectations. Artist are shortlisted for an outstanding exhibition or public presentation of their work anywhere in the world in the previous year (Tate, 2016). With that in mind I entered this year exhibition expecting to see innovation, revolution and excellence. The exhibition was very well curated and organised with clear division, appropriate spaces and lighting. Unfortunately to my big disappointment I cannot say the same for the artwork itself. No innovation, no revolution and hardly any excellence.

As this exhibitions best work I would chose Michael Dean’s work “United Kingdom poverty line for two adults and two children: twenty thousand four hundred and thirty six pounds sterling as published on 1st September 2016″ made of £20,436 in pennies. One coin was removed by the artist himself while installing, making the pile of coins one penny below the poverty line.


By making the concept of poverty so tangible Dean succeeds in promoting social change and raising awareness about common problem of poverty in UK.

Helen Marten is one of this year shortlisted artists that aren’t convincing, inspiring, challenging nor intriguing. Visually unattractive collage-like gatherings of objects scare viewers away instead – as it was initially intended – inviting them to interact. Marten tries to force viewers to reconsider the objects they know from everyday life, to look at them from archeologists perspective. Even though she succeeds in making familiar objects seem alien, she leaves viewer with a pointless confusion that ends 3 minutes after he exits the exhibition. However initial intentions were different Marten’s work becomes marked as miscommunicated.

Despite this years doubtful success Turner Prize remains one of the most prestigious awards.



Cotton, M., Hamilton, A., Wood, C., (2012) Sorry I’m Late. Firstsite.

Dean, M., (2015) Now Leaves. Wysing Arts Centre

Hamilton, A., (2016) Anthea Hamilton. Available at: http://antheahamilton.com (Accessed: 25 October 2016)

Herald St (2016) Herald St. Available at: http://www.heraldst.com (Accessed: 25 October 2016)

Anastas, R., Gilligan, M., Rottmann, A. (2015) Josephine Pryde: The Enjoyment of Photography. 

Tate (2016) Tate. Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/turner-prize-2016 (Accessed: 25 October 2016).

Turner Prize (2016) [exhibition] Tate Britain, London, UK. Until 2 January 2017.

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