Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's Madeleine Holt
"Not everyone is impressed"
 real 28k

Steve McQueen talks to Sue MacGregor
Listen to Steve McQueen's reaction to winning
 real 28k

Tuesday, 30 November, 1999, 22:15 GMT
McQueen wins Turner Prize
Steve McQueen: Winner of Britain's most controversial art prize

Film-maker Steve McQueen has won Britain's best-known art award, the Turner Prize, beating provocative front-runner Tracey Emin.

The 30-year-old artist, whose latest exhibition includes footage of a tape recorder drifting off beneath a balloon and a house collapsing, was the second favourite to take the 20,000 prize.

Steve McQueen Steve McQueen: Delighted
His success was announced at a dinner at the Tate Gallery in London in front of movers and shakers in the art world.

Accepting his award, Mr McQueen made a very brief speech, saying: "I would like to thank my family and friends who are here tonight ... that's it really."

The film-maker who now lives and works in Amsterdam and Berlin, and the other nominees, were largely overshadowed in the countdown to the prize by the notoriety of Emin's work.

For her Turner exhibition at the Tate she displayed a stained, unmade bed surrounded by empty bottles and other detritus left after a week of being bedridden.

The prize jury awarded him the award tonight for the "poetry and clarity of his vision, the range of his work, its emotional intensity and economy of means".

The jury, chaired by Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota, was also excited by his continuing intellectual and technical evolution.

Artistic licence
Last year's Turner Prize winner, Chris Ofili, used elephant dung in his painting
Damien Hirst won the prize in 1997 for displaying the severed halves of a cow and calf in formaldehyde
Artist Tony Kaye tried to submit a homeless steel worker for the prize
McQueen's three works in the Turner exhibition - an opportunity to showcase the nominated artists - included his film Prey which focuses on a tape recorder playing the sound of tap dancing.

Eventually as the film progresses it becomes clear that it is being dragged into the air beneath a balloon and eventually disappears.

In another, Deadpan, he is seen recreating a Buster Keaton silent movie stunt in which a building front collapses, falling around him.

He is seen from various angles escaping unscathed, standing where the window frame falls.

McQueen was presented with the prize by architect Zaha Hadid. Channel 4, which has sponsored the award since 1991, also announced that it will continue its support for three more years.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console

See also:
01 Dec 99 |  UK
Steve McQueen: Profile
14 Nov 99 |  Entertainment
Art award under fire
25 Oct 99 |  Wales
Housewife 'outraged' by dirty bed exhibit
24 Oct 99 |  UK
Feathers fly at art show
20 Oct 99 |  UK
The Turner Prize draw
02 Dec 98 |  Entertainment
Elephant dung artist scoops award
03 Jun 99 |  Entertainment
True confessions and coming clean
04 Oct 99 |  Americas
Sensation: Critics give mixed response

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other UK stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories