This decision could signal a change in the way the British art world operates and a potential step towards a more diverse and equitable industry in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Founded in 1984, the Turner Prize is one of the most prestigious awards on the UK art scene. Awarded annually to an artist who works primarily in Britain, or who was born in Britain and works overseas, the award has a major impact on the recipient’s career prospects. Celebrity artists Damien Hirst and Grayson Perry rank among the list of former winners, and Tracey Emin was catapulted into the media when her installation My Bed was among the nominees in 1999.
An award for contemporary art is bound to attract controversy, and the Turner Prize has received more than its share of criticism. While Prince Charles is reported to have asserted that the award had “contaminated” Britain’s art establishment, the art group known as the Stuckists suggested in 2000 that: “The only artist who wouldn’t be in danger of winning The Turner Prize is Turner.”…