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Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 10:18 GMT
Turner Prize: What's your verdict?
The painter Keith Tyson has won the controversial Turner Prize for art.
The artist - originally from Ulverston in Cumbria - picked up a cheque for £20,000 at last night's awards ceremony in central London.
His entry featured 39 paintings surrounding a twelve foot high, black column filled with whirring computers.
Tyson, the bookmakers' favourite at 5/4 on to win, beat Catherine Yass, Liam Gillick and Fiona Banner to the award.
The shortlist was called "conceptual bullshit" by Labour minister Kim Howells and Tracey Emin, a former Turner nominee, described the prize as undemocratic.
Was Tyson your choice? What's your verdict?
This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Pete D, UK
Whether the public like or dislike the artists highlighted by the Turner prize is irrelevant. The rationale of the prize giving is to promote comment with regard to art, establishment and people's perception.
I have looked at photographs of Tyson's winning entry, hoping to find at least the tiniest glimmer of talent. Sadly, I could find none.
Having read Helen Bushby's excellent review of this year's entries for the Turner Prize, I will, for the first time ever, try to see them at first hand. They certainly sound far more interesting - some even requiring real traditional artists' skills to realise - than previous years' trivia (e.g. piles of bricks, tyres, unmade beds, etc). For once, it seems as though there might be some attempt at art revival. I do hope so!
Awarding £20,000 for such dire pieces of work seems to undermine the work of genuinely talented artists.
You can rely on the Turner Prize to provoke comment from people who admit to having no interest in art, no understanding of art and no artistic ability of their own but nonetheless feel confident that people are interested in hearing about their small-minded opinions through forums such as this.
Even people who "couldn't care less" somehow manage to generate the enthusiasm to come out with the same boring, trite comments that make an appearance every year. It's not important, get over it; let people who get something from the Turner Prize enjoy it in peace.
I dropped my dinner on the floor. I'll call it art, and make a million. What emotional response should I get from a black tower and some PCs!?! (Oh woe, we all work in towers filled with PCs. It's called doing some real work).
I think Nicholas Serota said good art was about ideas at the Turner Prize last night, but I then went on to watch Dr Zhivago. Good art has a direct emotional impact, and the Turner Prize art looked completely banal and irrelevant in comparison.
All I know is that the lady who won a couple of years ago with the unmade bed and untidy bedside table was not being original. My wife invented that piece of 'art' years ago.
Tyson commented that "when Damien Hirst dies the whole country will mourn his loss". Are you sure? This is the sort of blinkered self-congratulatory nonsense that gives rise year after year to the equally self-congratulatory nonsense that is the Turner Prize.
Having looked at all the entries carefully, my two-year-old sneezed in her hanky and we left it on the side at the show. We were amazed to win first prize, but I naturally gave it back to the other two-year-old organisers of the event and it went to Tyson.
Best of a bad bunch, I say. It's all pretentious twaddle, but at least I get the feeling that some work went into Tyson's entry. On a more comforting note, in a hundred years' time we will still be talking about Picasso, Van Gogh and Rodin. Dyson, Emin and the rest of the "Turnerites" will find their work and their reputations in the dustbin of mediocrity and hype, where they belong.
John Rogers, UK
It's all a bit sad really. It really, really wants to be controversial, but these days it's about as radical and dangerous as Terry and June.
All the artists but Tyson went to Goldsmiths. Maybe it should be called the Goldsmiths Prize, seeing the influence the college exerts on the art world. Tyson was the only one who thought outside of the box - vive diversity!
I'd like to protest in the strongest terms to the Turner Prize organisers at their decision to let a piece of art win. They've ruined all the work they're done in the past few years to destroy good art in the UK. I hope they won't do it again, and that they will give next years award to some hopeless waster who wouldn't know art if it hit them.
Art is an abstract concept which is difficult to place within definite parameters. It is a matter of personal taste as to what is good art and bad art. 'Conceptual' art, as is celebrated by the Turner Prize, however, is merely the deliberate blurring of what art is. It is designed purposely to be obscure and confusing, in an effort to create a supposed intellectual elite, who pretend to understand it. Several years ago a tabloid newspaper displayed the daubings of a chimp in a conceptual art exhibition. The modern art herd loved it. When confronted with the artist, they tried to cover up by saying that it didn't matter who or what created it, art is art. Enough said.
We hear a lot about the underlying message and meaning of art. That is all very nice and very commendable but surely to be great art, it must also evidence some degree of skill. Hence, unmade beds or cows in formaldehyde is never art to my old fashioned or philistine mind, because anyone could do it. Hats off maybe to their imagination or vision (in some cases), but great artists? It is surely only displaying one or two of the elements that make 'art'.
At least the winner appeared to have spent more than a few minutes working on his creations, unlike many previous winners. But I think the Turner award has about as much relevance to art as the government has to honesty.
Art is to each of us what we get from it.
The old dogma that art is about a well sculpted piece of marble or a detailed analysis of human form in oils is long gone. However, prizes for art should voted for by art lovers and be paid for out of their own pockets.
After previous Turner "art" prize winners I was surprised to see good art actually winning. I have only seen the entrants on TV but I thought Tyson's paintings were excellent - far too good for the Turner contest - and clearly the best of what was on offer.
My verdict is that I couldn't care less who won the Turner Prize. I'm not sure whether that makes me a philistine or an art lover.
09 Dec 02 | Entertainment
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