The United Kingdom’s most publicised art award, the Turner Prize is back at the Tate Britain gallery. With Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin counted among previous winners of the award, the challengers for this year’s title have stepped up to their predecessors with an assortment of controversial exhibits which push the boundaries of contemporary art.

Shortlisted for this year’s coveted Turner Prize award are four British artists under the age of fifty. This years contenders include; Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten and Josephine Pryde. Here are the HausMag Highlights!

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Michael Dean, Sic Glyphs | Photography by Andy Keate

Newcastle-born artist Michael Dean works across sculpture, photography and drawing. Language plays a pivotal part of his work, and so his projects usually begin by putting pen to paper. Dean creates sculptural moulds and casts of his words using striking cut-outs of everyday materials such as concrete, steel, soil and corrugated metal. The artist then abstracts these words, distorting them into a human-scale alphabet of shapes. Their finished form is barely discernible as real words, yet they still strongly convey a sense of language.

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Michael Dean | Photography by Joe Humphrys

Michael’s centre piece is a social commentary concerning the poverty line in the UK. Informatively entitled The United Kingdom’s poverty line for two adults and two children: twenty thousand four hundred and thirty six pounds sterling as published on 1st September 2016. The work consists of £20,436 in pennies, the minimum stated by the government that a family of four can reasonably survive on in the U.K. When installing the work, the artist removed one single coin, meaning the pennies which form the installation on display is one pence under the poverty line. Rising out of the copper pennies are sculptures of child and adult sized fists, giving a sense of the quiet desperation of those who do live under this paltry line of poverty.

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Anthea Hamilton | Image Courtesy of Dazed Digital

The most headline grabbing piece in the exhibition comes from London-born Anthea Hamilton. Her Project for a Door is a large sculpture of a buttocks, which was originally intended as a doorway into an Upper East Side apartment in New York the 70’s, a project by Italian designer Gaetano Pesce. This work is exemplary of the Hamilton’s use of unexpected materials, shape and humour in her art.

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Helen Marten, Limpet Apology | Photography by Annik Wetter

Helen Marten was born in 1985 in Macclesfield and is now based in London. The artist’s pieces for the Turner Prize are presented in a riddle-like manner, prompting the viewer to reconsider the images and objects we are surrounded by everyday, through her poetic collaging. Marten’s exhibition space is divided into three sections, with each area suggestive of interrupted human activity. Her pictorial puzzles are visually intriguing, like time-capsule stories begging to be uncovered.

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Josephine Pryde | Image Courtesy of Dazed Digital

Josephine Pryde uses sculpture and photography as her main mediums in an exploration of image-making. Separated into three main parts, Pryde’s visuals take us on a pictorial journey. Concerned with the markings of time, Pryde’s first installation was made over the summer of 2016. For this, the artist left domestic kitchen worktops exposed to sunlight in London, Athens and Berlin. The artist recorded the resulting marks and fading, which represent the amount of time passed between her nomination for the Tuner Prize and the opening of the exhibition.

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Josephine Pryde | Image Courtesy of Dazed Digital

Pryde also showcases her ongoing photo series, Hands Für Mich. In a resemblance to fashion and advertising imagery, these images centre in on hands touching items such as mobile phones and notebooks, focusing on the gesture of the body interacting with a variety of objects.  You can also hop aboard Pryde’s installation, The New Media Express train, which for this exhibition remains stationary, as the direction of the artist’s success in the Turner Prize remains to be decided.

This year’s winner will be announced in December. All four nominated works will be on display until January.

References
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/may/12/turner-prize-shortlist-anthea-hamilton-michael-dean-helen-marten-josephine-pryde#img-3 [Accessed October 2016]

http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/gallery/22797/6/turner-prize-2016 [Accessed October 2016]