There are a number of different awards in contemporary art, operating on local, national and international levels. These awards are important to artists as they provide exposure, opportunities and funding. In this feature we aim to unravel the mystery behind contemporary art awards and explain three of the most talked-about and influential accolades; the Turner Prize, the Max Mara Prize for Women and the Hugo Boss Prize.
The Turner Prize, named after the famous 19th century British artist J. M. W Turner, is an annual award presented by Tate to a British-based artist under the age of fifty for an outstanding exhibition or presentation of work that year. An independent jury, which changes annually, made up of museum and gallery professionals such as directors, curators and art academics, selects the shortlist of four artists, and eventually chooses the winner who is awarded £25,000. The shortlisted artists present their work in a show which is usually held at Tate Britain, however in recent years the exhibition venue alternates between Tate and other UK galleries.
In 2015 The Turner Prize will be held at Tramway in Glasgow.
The Turner Prize is often controversial due to the often conceptual nature of works, but it has played a significant role in provoking debate about visual art and in stimulating public interest in contemporary British art in particular.
|Ian Hamilton Finlay||Nominated 1985|
|David Mach||Nominated 1988|
|Peter Doig||Nominated 1994|
|Callum Innes||Nominated 1995|
|Douglas Gordon||Winner 1996|
|Christine Borland||Nominated 1997|
|Martin Creed||Winner 2001|
|Anya Gallaccio||Nominated 2003|
|Jim Lambie||Nominated 2005|
|Nathan Coley||Nominated 2007|
|Richard Wright||Winner 2009|
|Lucy Skaer||Nominated 2009|
|Susan Philipsz||Winner 2010|
|Martin Boyce||Winner 2011|
|Karla Black||Nominated 2011|
|Luke Fowler||Nominated 2012|
|David Shrigley||Nominated 2013|
|Ciara Phillips||Nominated 2014|
|Duncan Campbell||Nominated 2014|
|Tris Vonna-Michell||Nominated 2014|
The Max Mara Prize for Women
The Max Mara Prize for Women is sponsored by the design house after which the prize takes its name, and is hosted by the Whitechapel Gallery in London. This biannual award promotes and nurtures female artists based in the United Kingdom who have not previously had a major exhibition. The winner receives a fully funded six month residency in Italy to develop and make new work to be exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery. The holder of the award in 2014 is the Scottish-based artist, Corin Sworn.
The Hugo Boss Prize
Like the Max Mara Prize, the Hugo Boss Prize is a biannual award sponsored by the fashion house after which it is named, and is administrated by the Guggenheim Museum. This award differs from the two above as there are no restrictions on age, nationality or gender. A jury of five to six curators, critics and scholars is responsible for nominating six or seven artists for the short list from which a winner is chosen, receiving $100,000 and an exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. As there are no restrictions for nominations, this prize allows a broad spectrum of contemporary artists to be represented, and has promoted numerous emerging and established artists. In 1998 Scottish artist Douglas Gordon won the Hugo Boss Prize.