Top image: Anthea Hamilton, Project for a Door, Turner Prize 2016
In lieu of the annual Turner Prize exhibition, Tate Britain today announced they would be replacing the prestigious award with a series of one-off £10,000 bursaries that will be made available to ten artists. The strategy is intended to widen the financial safety net offered by the award, supporting a greater number of artists during this period of immense disruption.
This year’s ten recipients will be announced by a special jury at the end of June, consisting Richard Birkett, curator at large at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Sarah Munro, director of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Fatoş Üstek, director of Liverpool Biennial and Duro Olowu, designer and curator.
“Gallery closures and social distancing measures are vitally important, but they are also causing huge disruption to the lives and livelihoods of artists,” said Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner Prize jury. “The practicalities of organising a Turner Prize exhibition are impossible in the current circumstances, so we have decided to help support even more artists during this exceptionally difficult time. I think JMW Turner, who once planned to leave his fortune to support artists in their hour of need, would approve of our decision.”
After twelve months and hundreds of exhibitions held across the land, the jury have selected artists based on their contributions to new developments in contemporary art and will whittle down the long list to ten names via a virulent meeting. This is the latest evidence of the Turner Prize changing with the times following last year’s decision to award all four shortlisted artists with the prize.