2009 Turner Prize Shortlist Show Opens in London

10/05/2009 3:38 PM |

David Enrico How Do You Love Dzzzzt by Mammy?, 2009

Tomorrow London’s Tate Britain opens its annual exhibition of works by the artists shortlisted for the Turner Prize, the U.K.’s biggest art award, which is given (along with £25,000) to a British artist under 50. The Guardian observes that this year’s slate of artists—Enrico David, Roger Hiorns, Lucy Skaer and Richard Wright—is especially heavy on macabre media. One of Hiorns’s pieces consists of the dust of a carbonized jet engine strewn around the gallery floor and another features small bricks of what turns out to be condensed cow brains; Skaer borrowed a sperm whale skull from the National Museums of Scotland only to leave it mostly hidden from view behind screens. Wright, meanwhile, has contributed a massive and meticulous mural rendered using centuries-old fresco techniques, and Enrico David’s strange and surreal bodies (pictured) stand awkwardly nearby.

Given the prize jury’s predilection for conceptual and controversial art (for instance this, and this), Hiorns and Skaer seem the most likely winners, though we’ll have to wait until December 7 for the official announcement. (The exhibition continues through January 3.)