Susan Philipsz Wins Turner Prize 2010

The 2010 Turner Prize outcome reflects the necessity to select more women candidates for this coveted award. This year, two and a half of the four candidates were women and the favourite Susan Phillipsz, has won the 25,000 GBP award. “Lowlands”, on display at Tate Britian along with her other moody sound installations secured the prize.

Philipsz’s work is less about superficial appearance and more about the processes of swimming in the experience of sound.This factor convinced the 2010 jury who included, Isabel Carlos, Director, José de Azeredo Perdigão Modern Art Centre (CAMJAP), Lisbon Philip Hensher, Writer, critic and journalis Andrew Nairne, Executive Director, Arts Strategy, Arts Council England, London and Polly Staple, Director, Chisenhale Gallery, London.The jury is chaired by Penelope Curtis, Director, Tate Britain.

Philipsz installation work is better suited to the outdoor urban environment, than closed into a white room at Tate Britain. Her work is far more sublime and visually it barely exists. She paints with sound and emotive melancholy. Her work at the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art and in Mirrors, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, Spain captured the critics attention. Philipsz uses her own singing voice to create uniquely evocative sound installations that respond to the character of specific, often out-of-the-way spaces.

The work installed at Tate Britain puts her work into a “Public Art context” Her current exhibition presented by Artangle, “SURROUND ME A Song Cycle for the City of London” is open Saturdays & Sundays only, 10am – 5pm
 9 until 2 January 2011. This will give the visitor a better idea of what Susan Philipsz is about.

Accusations of blatant sexism connected to the Turner Prize have reverberated throughout the art world for the last decade and the statistics back up the need for more women to be taken seriously by the British art establishment. Major awards, like the Turner Prize have overlooked Women Artists for years. Only one woman, Tomma Abts, has won the Turner Prize in the last 10 years and she was the first woman to win since 1997. This imbalance needs to be addressed. 13% of the winners have been women. From 1984–2007, while 108 artists have been shortlisted or commended, 31 of these artists (29%) were women.

Only four women have ever won the prize:

  Tomma Abts

  Gillian Wearing

  Rachel Whiteread

*   Susan Philipsz

Last year the final jury decision valued Richard Wright’s dull wall pieces over the stronger candidate Roger Hiorns, a quieter, subtler artist and one who is capable of producing works of incandescent, ethereal beauty.

This year was a toss up between the politically charged but outright boring canvases of Dexter Dalwood, a traditional painter whose large scaled works merge politically motivated subject matter with a painterly Pop Art style.

The Otolith Group, presenting their project, “A Long Time Between Suns”, which took the form of exhibitions at Gasworks and The Showroom, London with accompanying publication. The Otolith Group work collaboratively across a range of disciplines, in particular the moving image, to investigate overlooked histories through archival and documentary material.

The final candidate, Angela de la Cruz, creates a more or less socially acceptable approach to her art by deconstructing her minimalist canvases by partially removing them from the stretchers and creating sculpture from the carcases. Her solo exhibition at the Camden Arts Centre, London utilized “The language of painting and sculpture to create striking works that evoke memory and desire through combining formal tension with a deeper emotional presence”.

Susan Philipsz is not a one off and I’m sure we will experience her work for years to come. Big congratulations!!!

Turner Prize 2010 Video


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