Turner Prize

If you have time to waste, visit the Turner exhibition

Tennent's and Turner
Tennent’s spoofs the Turner Prize

The late art critic Brian Sewell described the Turner Prize as an annual farce, as inevitable in November as the Pantomime at Christmas.

This year’s collection of oddball nominees, now on show in Glasgow, typically stretches definitions of art. For many, the Turner Prize has long earned the ridicule heaped upon it.

Let’s not beat about the bush – it besmirches the name of the man whose name it has taken in vain – yet it continues to draw huge attention.

It bills itself rather pompously as Britain’s most prestigious arts prize. In fact it is a huge confidence trick by the art world on the gullible and misguided who regard piles of bricks or unmade beds as “art”. No the aren’t, and never will be.

The winning “artist” receives £25,000. Good luck to them. To win is not to prove their artistic talents but their ability to pull the wool over the eyes of those who ought to know better.

In 2002, the Culture minister Kim Howells described the Turner Prize as “conceptual bullshit”. None other than Prince Charles wrote to him offering support and stating that “it has contaminated the art establishment for so long”.

Some artists, including Sarah Lucas and Julia Opie have refused to participate, regarding a nomination as “a poisoned chalice”.

This year it is coming to the Tramway in Glasgow and the nominees include 10 chairs draped with fur coats and a supernatural study centre, including five TV sets showing interviews with people who claim to have had paranormal experiences.

It will attract the usual crowd of pontificators and preposterous art critics desperately trying to convince themselves that they are witnessing something special.

They should save us all a lot of time and money by handing the prize to Tennent’s which has encased a glass of lager in a box in Buchanan Street in clear tribute to the city’s hosting of the event. It’s as good as anything you’ll see among this year’s contenders.

The exhibition opens at the Tramway on 1 October


2 Comments to If you have time to waste, visit the Turner exhibition

  1. Wise words on what is really Art! People are quick to accept what they are told is art? the length of time an Exhibit is viewed by the public the more it tells you about the quality of the so called ART!
    I took 2.5 hours to look at the Escher exhibition, and probably 20mins max to view the Turner Prize candidates. Says it all.

  2. I went to the final once at the Tate. They were the usual rubbish but most people liked one particularly creative artist who made attractive shapes out of string. Needless to say it didn’t win – the winner was a garage full of junk where the lights went on and off.

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