Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, 'Midnight, Cadiz', 2013. Courtesy: Corvi-Mora, London and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Photo: Marcus Leith, London. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye was today announced as a nominee for the Turner Prize 2013, a decade after she completed a post-graduate course at the Royal Academy Schools. The London-based painter’s inclusion in the shortlist is on the back of her stand-out show last year at the city’s Chisenhale Gallery. I interviewed the artist at the time about her portraits of fictitious figures.
Laure Prouvost in another emerging talent that will feature in the Turner Prize exhibition, which this year is hosted in Derry as part of its role as the UK City of Culture 2013. The young French-born artist blended history and fiction in dizzying fashion in her mixed-media installation piece about Kurt Schwitters, which is on view in the current Tate Britain exhibition about the Dada-driven artist’s period in England.
The “is it art?” question will this year be asked about the work of Tino Sehgal, the British-born Berlin-based artist whose works, rather than objects, are the encounters between people he facilitates. Headlines were grabbed by his commission for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall this year, in which a group of performers’ movements and conversations with the general public were part-choreographed, part-improvised. But more effective in my view was his piece for Documenta 13, This Variation, where performers and the audience were plunged into total darkness together.
Tino Sehgal and participants of These Associations. Photo courtesy of Johnny Green.
Sehgal is perhaps the most successful of the artists on the list – in terms, at least, of his blue-chip status within the current art world – but the most established figure included is the humourist David Shrigley. I’ve always loved his illustrations, which are pitched at just the right frequencies of laugh-out wit, acute irony and bathos. His now-mature blend of absurdity and conceptualism came to the fore in his recent Hayward Gallery mid-career survey show.
The money will be on Sehgal, but the RA Schools will be rooting for one of its own.
Sam Phillips is a London-based arts journalist and contributor to RA Magazine