Modern art. Some of it is interesting and thought-provoking, some of it is exciting and challenging and some of it is… well ultimately nonsense. Of course, art is a very subjective matter, what one person will love another person will hate and that is all part of the beauty of art.
I (Mrs W) particularly enjoy modern art, my son is also a brilliant artist and is studying visual effects at university. So when we visited London recently we decided to visit the Turner Prize exhibition at the Tate Britain art gallery.
The Tate Britain is located in Millbank, a ten-minute walk from the Houses of Parliament. Housing art from the 1500s to the present day, this art gallery is well worth visiting and also importantly it is free, although donations are welcome. With displays from artists such as Francis Bacon to Henry Moore, if you are an art lover, it is a must see when visiting London.
The Turner Prize is an annual art award named after English painter J. M. W. Turner and is presented to a British visual artist every year, under the age of 50. Notable past winners include outgoing personality and transvestite Grayson Perry, Academy Award-winning director of ’12 Years A Slave’, Steve Mcqueen and controversial artist Damien Hurst, known for his displays of animals in formaldehyde. Nominated artists are always at the cutting edge of modern art and the award really provokes debate around British art.
This year’s exhibition showcases the work of nominees, Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten and Josephine Pryde.
For the Turner Prize, a selection of the artists’ work is exhibited but the award is not based on only what is seen at the Tate Britain, instead the breadth of their work is examined. Some of the notable pieces on display are below.
The 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) consists of £20,436 in pennies. The reason this amount was chosen is because it is the minimum amount of money the government states two adults and two children need for a year to survive in the UK. When the work was installed Michael Dean removed one penny, so it is one penny less than the poverty line.
Mrs W says, “A thought-provoking work.”
Mr W says, ” What would happen If I added a penny?”
Project for a Door (After Gaetano Pesce) is a large bottom inspired by a project of a doorway designed for a New York apartment block, although the original door was never made. Project for a Door is part of a series by Hamilton of larger than life-size remakes, physical realisations of images taken from her archive.
Mrs W says, “The scale is impressive, I bet this has brought in the punters eager to see a big ass”
Mr W says, “There wasn’t a bum hole”
Marten’s exhibition space is divided into three sections. Each suggests an area where some unknown human activity has been interrupted. Marten asks us to consider familiar items as if we are seeing them for the first time. In the process, these objects may become strange and abstract – ‘husked down’, Marten says, ‘to geometric memories of themselves’, that can be remodelled to give rise to new and unexpected stories or ideas.
Mrs W says, “I really like this, the shells and feathers add a native American feel to the work. I don’t understand the meaning behind the work though!”
Mr W says, “Interrupting human activities, not sure about that.”
The New Media Express in a Temporary Siding (Baby Wants To Ride) is a scale model of a Class 66 diesel locomotive and carriages. The carriages are tagged by graffiti artists from the cities in which the train has previously been exhibited. For its showing at the Tate Britain, the train, is temporarily static, elevated on a platform and awaiting its next move.
Mrs W says, “I think this is cheating as all she has done is put some pretend graffiti on a Hornby train set.”
Mr W says, “I like trains!”
The winner of the Turner Prize was Helen Marten. Do you think she was a worthy winner? Check out the video below to see more and read the comments, some funny, from the exhibition attendees.
All in all we thought the Turner Prize exhibition was interesting and worth visiting. It has now finished but be sure to check out the exhibition for 2017 when it goes on display in one of the Tate galleries later in the year.