Turner Prize nomination for David Shrigley

GLASGOW’S lengthy run of recognition in Britain’s most prestigious art contest has continued after David Shrigley was confirmed as a contender for this year’s Turner Prize.

One of Shrigley's works. Picture: Complimentary

The 44-year-old Glasgow School of Art graduate, who still lives in the city, is one of four artists competing for the honour, with the winner being announced in December.

Shrigley is best known for his humorous line drawings making witty and wry observations on everyday life. But he was also shortlisted for a show at the Hayward Gallery in London last year that featured sculptures, photographs, paintings and animation – including a stuffed dog proclaiming: “I’m dead.”

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The Turner Prize judges said the solo exhibition, his first major retrospective, had revealed his “black humour, macabre intelligence and infinite jest”.

Shrigley’s work, which combines jokes and commentary, can be found on greetings cards, and in books and magazines, as well as galleries. He has inspired music by the likes of Franz Ferdinand and David Byrne, and directed a video for Blur.

The annual Turner Prize exhibition will showcase the work of Shrigley and the other three contenders: London-born Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, who is of Ghanian descent; French artist Laure Prouvost; and Tino Sehgal, who is based in Germany, but was born in London.

It emerged earlier this year that the Turner Prize, worth £25,000 to the winner, would be heading to Glasgow in 2015, in the wake of a string of winners and finalists from the city.

The Tramway arts centre, in the city’s southside, will host the event after Glasgow fought off rival bids from Manchester, Walsall and Nottingham. The Turner Prize, established in 1984, is awarded to a British artist under 50 for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the previous 12 months.

The Tate took the Turner Prize outside London for the first time to Liverpool six years ago, shortly before the city’s reign as European capital of culture. It travelled to the Baltic, in Gateshead, two years ago.

Professor Seona Reid, director of Glasgow School of Art (GSA), said: “David’s work is founded on witty and tragic observations of the human condition which are not only insightful but incredibly accessible. With his work, one frequently smiles and winces at the same time, but always reflects after.

“He is the ninth GSA graduate to have been nominated for this prestigious prize in the past ten years which underscores the continuing role of Glasgow as a leading centre of visual art. It is also a great inspiration for the new generation of artists making work here in the city.”

Scotland can boast six winners of art award

SCOTLAND has boasted six winners of the Turner Prize since its inception – and all have had strong links with Glasgow.

Four of them – Martin Boyce, Richard Wright, Douglas Gordon and Simon Starling – are graduates of Glasgow School of Art.

Of the other two, Martin Creed was brought up in the city from the age of three, but studied art at the Slade

School of Art at University College London, while Susan Philipsz, who was born and raised in Glasgow, studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee.

Analysis by Susan Mansfield: Shrigley would be the People’s Choice for prize

“Variety” would be one word which could be applied to this year’s Turner Prize nominees. “International” would be another. And “humour” a third. None of the four artists could be accused of being po-faced about their work.

It feels as though Glasgow-based David Shrigley is overdue a nomination: various of his contemporaries have been on the list already and his drawings are instantly recognisable and immensely popular.

But Turner nominations come along only when an artist has been recognised by a panel of curators after a major exhibition with a national profile, and Shrigley hasn’t

had many of those. Last year’s show at the Hayward Gallery in London was just what the doctor ordered.

However, as always with the Turner Prize, the nominations are really just the beginning.

Much will hinge on what each artist makes for the Turner Prize exhibition later in the year. The view from the starting blocks is that British-German artist Tino Sehgal has the highest art world profile. But Shrigley would be the People’s Choice.