The 2021 Turner Prize will be presented at Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry as part of the city’s UK City of Culture 2021 celebrations. The exhibition of the Prize’s four shortlisted artists will be presented from 29 September 2021 to 12 January 2022 with the announcement of the winner on 1 December 2021.
The Turner Prize gives everyone a chance to see some of the most exciting art being made today – AF.
The 2021 Jury: Aaron Cezar, Director, Delfina Foundation; Kim McAleese, Programme Director, Grand Union; Russell Tovey, Actor; Zoé Whitley, Director, Chisenhale Gallery; Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain (Chair).
The Turner is one of the best-known prizes for the visual arts in the world; the Turner Prize aims to promote public debate around new developments in contemporary British art. Established in 1984, the Prize is awarded to a British artist for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the previous twelve months. The Turner Prize award is £40,000 with £25,000 going to the winner and £5,000 each for the other shortlisted artists.
Every other year the Prize travels outside London’s Tate Britain and has previously been shown in Liverpool in 2007, Gateshead in 2011, Derry in 2013, Glasgow in 2015, Hull in 2017, and Margate in 2019.
Francis Nielsen, Cultural & Creative Director of Culture Coventry said: “We are incredibly excited to host the prestigious Turner Prize at Herbert Art Gallery & Museum and display some of the world’s most captivating contemporary art. The show will be presented alongside a range of local, national, and international artists as part of Coventry Biennial 2021 which showcases the city as an exemplar of innovative, experimental, and radical artistic practice. We can’t wait to share this special moment in the UK City of Culture programme with new and existing visitors.
Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain and Chair of the Turner Prize jury said: “The Turner Prize gives everyone a chance to see some of the most exciting art being made today, and it offers all the artists involved a unique platform for their work. After the pandemic made it impossible to stage an exhibition this year, I’m delighted that the Turner Prize will now be coming to the Herbert Art Gallery. We’re looking forward to working with them as a part of Coventry’s ambitious programme for UK City of Culture 2021.”
The Herbert has an extensive and wide-ranging collection including social history, archaeology, natural history and art which are displayed in a series of engaging and interactive exhibitions. The History Gallery tells the story of Coventry and its people from the medieval period to the present day. It contains some of the treasures of the collection including a rare 15th-century carving of St George and the Dragon; numerous items reflecting everyday life in the medieval city, from shoes to a wooden toilet seat; beautiful silk ribbons and intricate watches made in the city in the 1800s; a Second World War Anderson air-raid shelter; everyday items such as toys, clothing and household goods from the 1960s to the present day.
Some of the Museum’s finest paintings are on show in the Old Masters gallery, including a portrait of King George III by Sir Thomas Lawrence and Luca Giordano’s monumental 17th-century painting of Bacchus and Ariadne, Johann Zoffany’s painting of 1768, The Porter and the Hare shows what is believed to be the very first depiction of a sandwich in art.
The Discover Godiva gallery shows objects and artworks which tell the story of Lady Godiva and her famous ride through Coventry. The star item is John Collier’s painting of Godiva on horseback, which is one of the Museum’s most popular exhibits.
The Peace and Reconciliation gallery tells the story of Coventry’s role in promoting peace and reconciliation, beginning with the Blitz of the city in November 1940. The displays include medals awarded to Coventry people for acts of heroism during the bombing. The centerpiece of the gallery is John Piper’s painting of the ruins of Coventry Cathedral on the morning after the Blitz, one of the most iconic and influential items in the collection.
Several of the touring exhibition galleries are currently closed for redevelopment in preparation for Coventry UK City of Culture, enabling the gallery to display more works and significant exhibitions.
Coventry UK City of Culture 2021
Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 will commence in May 2021, running for 12 months. The 365-day Coventry 2021 cultural programme will reflect Coventry as a diverse, modern city, demonstrating that culture is a force that changes lives. Coventry is known internationally as a city of welcome, a city of activists and pioneers, peace and reconciliation, innovation and invention, and now a City of Culture.
Top Photo: P C Robinson © Artlyst 2021