women dominate this year’s cheeky turner prize shortlist
For the second year in a row, three quarters of 2016's nominees are women.
Anthea Hamilton, Project for Door (After Gaetano Pesce)
Following the shock win of Assemble's is it even art, a socially engaged architectural project that regenerated a street in the Liverpool suburb of Toxteth, this year's shortlist is dominated by more traditional works, predominantly sculpture, by artists Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten and Josephine Pryde.
The biggest, most immediate take away from the nominations list in Anthea Hamilton's giant, comic, sculpture of a pair of hands tightly clasping and just slightly pulling a pair of butt cheeks, breaking out through a brick wall. It's seductively humorous, light and oddly, unnervingly powerful, made to be Instagrammed in the way that all iconically comic should be.
On the surface maybe more serious is the work of Josephine Pryde, nominated for her solo exhibition lapses in Thinking By the Person i Am at CCA Wattis in San Francisco. She explores photography and image making and commodification through sculptural staging, but at the exhibition you got to ride around on a little train to see the works. So, you know?
Definitely more serious though is the work of Michael Dean, a more straight up sculpture, whose pieces refashion everyday and familiar materials into totem-like minimalist-inspired armies of assemblages.
Rounding off the shortlist is Helen Marten, who exhibited at last summer's Venice Biennale. She uses found objects and images and crafts them into tableaux-like images, that aesthetically slip between hyper-real very-now references to digital culture and post-internet art, and the crisp, cleanness of 60s conceptual art.
This year's Turner Prize returns to Tate Britain, with a selection of work by the four nominated artists running from 27 September 2016 until 8 January 2017. The winner will be announced in December this year, at an awards ceremony shown live on the BBC, the new broadcast partner for the prize.
Text Felix Petty