It has to be said that this year’s Turner Prize is being somewhat overshadowed by the posterior presented by shortlisted artist, Anthea Hamilton. However, once you divert your gaze, the overwhelming focus of the four shortlisted artists (Helen Marten, Anthea Hamilton, Michael Dean and Josephine Pryde) is realised. As the Turner Prize returns to its rightful home, London, it brings with it the previously dwindling spirit of innovation and expression.
Sculpture is king this year, each of the entrants has chosen to frame their collections around tangible, physical materials, taking innocuous items and skilfully manipulating them into masterpieces.
Michael Dean, from Newcastle, is nominated for sculptures and installations made from "aesthetically-overlooked materials" like salvaged corrugated metal from a shop shutter. The Tate said his work, seen at South London Gallery and de Appel arts centre in Amsterdam, is "concerned with the physical presentation of language".
Helen Marten creates sculpture, screen printing and writing featuring the "collage-like accumulation" of "models and motifs taken from contemporary visual culture". The Tate said she "creates poetic, pictorial puzzles" drawing on "gestures and imagery of our everyday lives". From Macclesfield, Cheshire, she is nominated for her presentations at the 56th Venice Biennale and Greene Naftali in New York.
Josephine Pryde's work, meanwhile, focuses on the meeting point between art and photography.
Tate said it examined the idea of "art as commodity and of the seductive qualities of the wider art world", adding that she "calls into question the conventions of the gallery".
The artist, from Alnwick, Northumberland, is nominated for her solo exhibition Lapses in Thinking by the Person I am at CCA Wattis in San Francisco.
Anthea Hamilton, who lives and works in London, is shortlisted for her Lichen! Libido! Chastity! exhibition at SculptureCenter, New York. The Tate said her sculpture, installation, performance and video bring "a surrealist sensibility to popular culture" and "seduce the viewer with comic and unexpected combinations of images, materials and words".
What the critics are saying
The Guardian: “this is perhaps the most peculiar and baffling Turner prize show I can remember. I haven’t enjoyed being so confounded and perplexed in a long time.”
Evening Standard: **** “the display of work by the four contenders efficiently captures art’s current mood.”
The Upcoming: **** “The works on show are engaging and ask key questions about the nature of art and how we interact with it.”
The Telegraph: **** “this is one of the strongest Turner Prize shows in ages.”
Turner Prize 2016 is on display until the 2nd January 2017. For more information and to book tickets visit here