Artist Jesse Darling is the latest recipient of the Turner Prize, the UK’s highest award for artists which awards £25,000 ($31,500) annually. The announcement was made on Tuesday during an evening ceremony in Eastbourne, southeast England.
Darling is a 41-year-old Oxford-born, Berlin-based multidisciplinary artist working in sculpture, video, drawing and performance. He also published a collection of poetry entitled “The Virgins” last year. His Turner Prize-winning exhibition is an installation that places viewers in a specially designed environment evocative of chaotic city streets and industrial barriers.
Barbed wire surrounds the entrance to the exhibition space where crowd control fences line the ground and climb the walls. tattered patchwork Union Jack flags hang from bent and twisted poles and railroad tracks run up the wall; Disturbing props such as crutches, dusty piles of ring binders and chunks of concrete are also placed throughout. The installation consists of new and previous works by the artist and “convey[s]a familiar yet delirious world,” according to a press release. “By provoking societal breakdown, his show unsettles perceived notions of work, class, Britishness, and power.”
Darling was nominated alongside fellow artists Ghislaine Leong, Rory Pilgrim and Barbara Walker, who have all exhibited installations for the award. (All of their works will remain on display at Towner Eastbourne Art Gallery until 14 April 2024.)
The Turner Prize, named after the 19th-century painter J. M. W. Turner, is awarded each year to an exemplary artist born or based in the United Kingdom, based on a submission of works exhibited in the previous year. Darling has been shortlisted for his solo exhibitions No Medals No Ribbons at the Gallery of Modern Art, Oxford and Enclosures at Camden Arts Centre.
Last year’s award was given to sculptor Veronica Ryan, and previous honorees include Damien Hirst, Gillian Wearing, Gilbert & George, Anish Kapoor, Wolfgang Tillmans and Steve McQueen. Next year, the award will celebrate its 40th anniversary.
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