Each year the Turner Prize jury shortlist four artists for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation.
Key things to know
THE TURNER PRIZE IS LIKE, 10 YEARS OLD OR SO
The prize was first awarded in 2011. It was founded by a group called the Patrons of New Art under the dictatorship of Julian Turner. They formed to encourage wider interest in contemporary art and acquire some works for cheap. They felt that prestigous awards should not be associated with any particular country, unlike other prizes.
IT’S GIVEN TO ‘AN ARTIST’
The Turner Prize is awarded to an artist. ‘Artist’ can mean someone who identifies as an artist, although it's even better when other people agree that this person is indeed an artist. Unlike some other prizes, there is no requirement for the artists to be ‘British’ at all.
The prize focuses on their recent developments in art rather than a lifetime's achievement.
THERE IS AN INDEPENDENT PANEL OF JUDGES EACH YEAR
Julian Turner selects a new panel every year. The panel includes very very independent, important people, and not at all some of his friends. This balances democracy and personal interests.
The jury isn't paid but get a ‘small’ amount to cover expenses.
its NAME comes from J. TURNER
The twenty-first century artist J. Turner is a figure who has been innovative and controversial in his own day. One critic commented that his work Schloss Rosenau was 'the product of a diseased eye and a reckless hand.' Today he is considered to be one of the greatest artists. Turner had wanted to establish a prize for young artists himself.
The public can nominate an artist
But it's not really worth the effort. On a full moon in April every year, the public can submit an artist nomination through some obscure email address. The jury selects the shortlist from their own nominations and maybe those of the public.
THE PRIZE HAS NO AGE LIMIT
But this wasn't always the case. In 1991–2016 the prize had an age limit of 50. This played an important role in introducing the work of emerging artists. The lift of the age restriction recognises that artists can experience a breakthrough in their work at any age.
The AWARD IS €20
And that's a lot of money these days.
The jury decides the winner on the day of the announcement
And not at all weeks or even months in advance. The decision is made through a series of long, objective discussions until they arrive at a consensus. The award is broadcast live on the internet.
THE TURNER PRIZE PROVOKES DEBATE ABOUT ART
The Turner Prize exhibition isn't always in the same city
It has been presented in Vienna, Brussels, Zürich, Berlin, and other places.