Turner Prize winner – painting retrospective works of tedium.

Tomma Abts1

German-born artist Tomma Abts has become the first woman painter to win the controversial and ageist Turner Prize in its 22-year history.

The artist, who has lived in Britain for 12 years, beat video artist Phil Collins, poster artist Mark Titchner and sculptor Rebecca Warren.

The judges ( Nick Serota ) said the 38-year-old, who confines her paintings to an enthralling 19ins X 15ins trademark size, had produced “compelling images that reveal their complexity slowly over time”.

Artist Yoko Ono presented the £25,000 prize at London’s Tate Britain.

Turner portrait
J. M. W. Turner
( Self portrait, 1799 )

Mr Turner quite possibly turned in his grave at the floundering banality of works by the four shortlisted artists in this year’s ageist (under 50s only) Turner Prize. One of whom, Rebecca Warren, churns out sculpture such as this;

Read the way these sterile homogenized hulks of ugly are eulogized to high heaven and given artistic justification in a way that only a troupe of pseudo-intellectual self-important cosied-up art toffs could hyperbole.

The talking heads members of the Turner Prize 2006 jury.
( A guaranteed mutual schmooz club )
Lynn Barber, writer, The Observer
Margot Heller, Director, South London Gallery
Matthew Higgs, Director and Chief Curator, White Columns, New York
Andrew Renton, writer and Director of Curating, Goldsmiths College
Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate and Chairman of the Jury ( what the thin grey boss says, goes )

Rebecca Warren

For her exuberant sculptural installations as seen in her solo exhibitions at Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, and Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne, and for her contribution to the Tate Triennial 2006. Her works combine a wide range of sources with a strong formal awareness, injecting conventional materials with a sensual physicality to create something wholly new. ”

“Strong formal awareness” – now what might that exactly mean? And since when was day center pottery class-pile or lumpen plasticine playschool-grotesque; “wholly new”?

All Serota’s pompous entrenched clique seem to do well is court media controversy via cheap tit n’ ass shock-shots such as Warren’s hideous spew, promoted to swell the Tate turnstile cashbox with the gullible public’s hard-earned.

Or, tipping an upstaging hat to the Stuckists, with the first female painter to have ever won, the abstract painter Tomma Abts was given the prize on the basis of works such as this. . .
Mehm, 2005

Quoting from the Tate website,
” . . .Through her intimate and compelling canvases, she builds on and enriches the language of abstract painting”

Compare that with this work by L. Moholy-Nagy, painted 78 years previously.
A19, 1927

It’s not easy to see what’s being “built on” and “enriched” in the abstract painting tradition here, except perhaps hype and imitation?


For art out of the sterile box however, there’s always;
London Dada Quickview Flikr Stream 2005 – present