Scottish artist Boyce wins Britain's Turner Prize

AP News
Posted: Dec 05, 2011 5:55 PM
Scottish artist Boyce wins Britain's Turner Prize

A Scottish artist whose work harks back to the innovators of 20th century Modernism has won this year's Turner Prize _ Britain's best-known and most provocative art award.

Martin Boyce, 44, on Monday collected the 25,000-pound ($41,000) prize, awarded annually to a British artist under 50.

Boyce was nominated for his solo exhibition in Zurich, which included a stark installation compared to an indoor park complete with paper leaves. The jury praised Boyce for his contribution to contemporary artists' interest in historic modernism, and said he developed and found new directions using his knowledge of the field.

Boyce's installation "confirmed the consistency of his work while opening up a new sense of poetry," prize organizers said in a statement.

"It's about passing through the space and the space between the sculptures as much as the sculptures themselves," Boyce said about his work. On receiving the award, he said: "It's amazing, I'm shocked. I really didn't expect it."

He was the bookmakers' favorite to win the award, which was presented by photographer Mario Testino.

Three other shortlisted artists _ the sculptor Karla Black, video artist Hilary Lloyd and painter George Shaw _ won 5,000 pounds each.

The Turner Prize, named after 19th-century landscape painter J.M.W. Turner, was established in 1984 to honor younger British artists.

The prize often sparks controversy about the value of modern art and attracts bets from art-loving gamblers. Past winners include "Brit Art" upstarts such as transvestite potter Grayson Perry, dung-daubing painter Chris Ofili and shark pickler Damien Hirst.

An exhibition showcasing the shortlisted entries is held at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in the northeastern English town of Gateshead. It was just the second time in the prize's 27-year history that the prize-giving ceremony and exhibition had been held outside London.