Page last updated at 10:34 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 11:34 UK

In profile: Turner Prize nominees

The Tate has announced the four artists who have been shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2009.

Enrico David, Roger Hiorns, Lucy Skaer and Richard Wright are all in the running.

The winner, who receives £25,000, will be announced on 7 December, following an exhibition of the artists' work, which opens in October.

Here are brief profiles of the nominees.


Born in Ancona, Italy, in 1966, David has lived and worked in London since the 1980s, and completed a degree in Fine Arts at Central St Martin's College in the 1990s.

Enrico David
David's lurid, stylised works often draw inspiration from the fashion world

His kaleidoscopic, surrealist art embraces sculpture, painting and installation - but drawing is his usual starting point.

The artist resists attempts to describe his work, writing in Frieze magazine: "If you are after meaning of fixed value, then you're in the wrong shop."

He is nominated for his solo exhibitions How Do You Love Dzzzzt By Mammy? and Bulbous Marauder.

The latter show was held in a darkened gallery, where multi-coloured lanterns illuminated illustrations inspired by the covers of 1970s Italian poetry books and literary fanzines.


Birmingham-born 34-year-old Roger Hiorns has made his name with sculptures created with unexpected materials.

Roger Hiorns
Hiorns has also coated car engines and architectural models with crystals

His past works have included detergent-filled ceramics which slowly emitted columns of white foam, and sheets of steel scented with perfume.

He is nominated for Seizure, in which he took an abandoned London flat and covered it with blue crystals.

To achieve this, Hiorns made the apartment water-tight and flooded it with 70,000 litres of hot copper sulphate solution, which was then allowed to cool and crystallise.

One critic said viewing the installation was "like stepping onto the set of a sci-fi or post apocalyptic film set where normal human existence has been interrupted, invaded or eradicated".


This year's sole female nominee, Lucy Skaer makes drawings, sculptures and films which often use found photographs as their inspiration.

Lucy Skaer
Skaer graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 1997

She has been noted for a solo exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh and A Boat Used As A Vessel at the Junsthalle Basel.

One of the key works in both shows was Great Wave (Expanded), a reworking of Katsushika Hokusai's renowned woodblock print The Great Wave Off Kanagawa.

Skaer's version was painted on three large rolls of paper, which spilled out onto the gallery floor like waves crashing on a beach.

Another notable work featured large-scale drawings of whale skeletons, which were contrasted with a genuine skeleton from the Basel Museum of Natural History.

The artist, who was born in Cambridge, now lives in Glasgow.


A graduate of the Edinburgh College of Art, Richard Wright paints abstract wall drawings in unconventional spaces.

Richard Wright
The London-born artist resides and works in Glasgow

His designs range from organic, geometrical figures to cosmological sunbursts and typography.

Often improvised on the spot, the artist says his temporary paintings aim "to challenge the connection between decoration and triviality".

"The most important thing about the work is that it is destroyed," he adds.

The Tate, which has confirmed Wright will be allowed to paint on its walls for this year's exhibition, has recognised him for works he exhibited at the 55th Carnegie International and the Ingleby Gallery in Edinburgh.

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