German artist, Tomma Abts, has become the first female painter to win the Turner Prize in its twenty two year history. Click here to read the news item on the BBC.
I think her work is amazing. J'adore paintings with which one needs to spend some time in order to appreciate them. I also really like paintings where one finds or sees something new on returning to them.
The Turner Prize was developed to promote public discussion of new developments in contemporary British art and is widely recognised as one of the most important and prestigious awards for the visual arts in Europe. Would you agree with that statement, dear reader?
Sometimes the award is seen as ridiculous and laughable. Last year, for example Simon Starling won with his work Shedboatshed in which he turned a shed into a working boat and then back into a shed again. Click here to read about his reaction on the BBC news website.
Two newspapers bought sheds and sailed them down rivers to parody the news.
I adore seeing philistines take the piss out of art. It's the snooty part of me, I think, which tips me over the edge. It makes me feel superior. I'm quite sad to see that it will be difficult to rip the winner's work to shreds this year. Newspapers and quasi-celebrities on panel games will be left twiddling their thumbs.
My favourite ever winner of the Turner Prize is Wolfgang Tillmans. Click here and here to see why. Go on, you know you want to. Wolfgang is thrilling. How many artists can you say that about, dear reader? Exciting! Nice to be thrilled!
If Wolfgang is my favourite (you know how I love lists, lady), then Grayson Perry has to be number two. Check out some of his delicious vases. Go on, you'll be glad you did, dear reader.
Ok, I'll go for a number three, but then I'll stop there. I promise. Gilbert and George.
Other favourites who have not won include Derek Jarman, Sam Taylor-Wood, Tracey Emin (remember her bed?) and Lucian Freud. He does a mean Queen. And his self portrait is one of my favourite paintings of all time.
Who are your favourite artists, dear reader?
And what are your favourite paintings? Limiting myself, once more, to a top three:
1) Study after Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X by Francis Bacon
2) The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse
3) Ophelia by John Everett Millais