Notable Winners of the Controversial Turner Prize in Its Early Years
I was excited when the shortlist for the 2018 Turner Prize was publicised in April 2018, and the countdown to the announcement of the winner in September started. With this hype, contemporary arts enthusiasts all over the world were once again reminded of some of the controversial art greats who have won the prestigious prize. Here some of the most memorable winners from the early years.
1984, Gilbert & George – Coming
Calmly filthy, ego-driven and aggressive, the psychedelic photo-montage by Gilbert & George took the prize in 1984, even though the artists were not keen to accept it. They said, “We don’t like prizes…”
1993, House, Rachel Whiteread
Known as the first woman to win the Turner Prize, Rachel Whiteread had to get her hands full of cement for this achievement. She created a ‘house fossil’ by stripping the exterior of a house in London after filling it with concrete.
1995, Mother and Child – Damien Hirst
Indisputably one of the most famous pieces of art ever created, and likely some of the most famous dead animals, Damien Hirst’s winning piece features a cow and her calf cut in half and suspended in glass tanks.
1997, 60 Minutes of Silence – Gillian Wearing
Gillian Wearing directed a film of actors dressed as policemen standing still for an hour. The piece is particularly memorable because Wearing stormed out of a live discussion of the piece on Channel 4 News.
1998, No Woman No Cry – Chris Ofili
Known for using the interesting medium of elephant dung coated with polyester resin, Chris Ofili created the winning piece in 1998 which depicted a black woman heartbreakingly weeping over the death of Stephen Lawrence, a teenager who was murdered in South East London in 1993.