The Telegraphs art critic, Richard Dorment, waxes enthusiastic about this year’s Turner Prize finalists and the fact that there are painters on the short list–more than one! Stephen Adams picks up the theme in the newspaper:
Jonathan Jones, art critic for The Guardian and another member of the jury, [ . . . ] argued it was “not conceivable that you could say this is a return to traditional values”, he said he did have in his mind how the public would perceive this year’s shortlist. “I think the Turner Prize is about public perception [of contemporary art],” he added.
Stephen Deuchar, director of Tate Britain, denied the choices were a reaction to the competitions of recent years, which have been criticised for rewarding art that only a small elite of curators can appreciate. Last year’s shortlist, which besides Leckey’s winning work also featured a video of crockery being smashed in slow motion, was attacked for being particularly dry and academic. Deuchar said: “We certainly didn’t begin with a post-mortem on last year.”
Bloomberg‘s Martin Gayford makes this observation about the shift in course:
Conspiracy theorists might detect an abrupt change of course by the Tate organizers after much criticism of last year’s effort. That this adverse comment was taken seriously was suggested by the fact that, in his speech at the award presentation, Nicholas Serota, director of the gallery, went out of his way to insist that the critics were wrong. It was like hearing Prime Ministers proclaim their confidence in colleagues who are about to resign. Still, there is reason to ignore the art-world conspiracies. This very different shortlist is probably the result of a jury — containing the critic Jonathan Jones and broadcaster Mariella Frostrup — with more robust tastes in contemporary art.
In Profile: Turner Prize Nominees (BBC News)