Martin Boyce wins Turner prize 2011
Martin Boyce was today presented with the £25,000 award at a ceremony at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead during a live broadcast of the award ceremony on Channel 4, (UK). In his acceptance speech he thanked his art school, saying: “When education is going through the wringer, it is important to acknowledge the value of teachers.” Nick Serota said: “Boyce has consistently reinvented the language of early modern art. But he makes work that doesn’t depend on an understanding of early modern art: it is beautiful and arresting in its own right.”
This year’s £25,000 prize is sponsored by Channel 4, with £5,000 each for the other shortlisted artists. The prize is awarded to a British artist under fifty for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding 4 April 2011. The winner was decided by a jury of Katrina Brown, Director, The Common Guild, Glasgow; Vasif Kortun, Platform Garanti, Istanbul; Nadia Schneider, freelance curator; Godfrey Worsdale, Director, BALTIC and Penelope Curtis, Director of Tate Britain and Chair of the Jury. Turner Prize 2011 is connected by Nokia, presented by Channel 4 and supported by NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Arts Council England.
Martin Boyce’s group of works include Do Words Have Voices 2011, a sculpture inspired by a library table designed by Jean Prouvé for the Maison de l’Etudiant in Paris, and Beyond the Repetition of High Windows, Intersecting Flight Paths and Opinions (A Silent Storm is Painted on the Air), an architectural intervention made for the exhibition. Suspended from the ceiling, the leaf-like forms are drawn from the designs of Jöel and Jan Martel for the 1925 Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris. Boyce has created the most intellectual of the installations in the sense that it is possible to make sense of the artist’s clues and fetishistic references to the history of Modernist design through the work that satisfyingly creates a dialogue to itself and the space. For this installation, the concrete trees of Joel and Jan Martel reappear as graphic motifs and as quasi-Etruscan typefaces developed by the artist. The room contains a series of interrelated objects that repeat the lozenge shapes in the form of a table, bin, typography, mobile and other elements. A rectangular 8×4’ picture with the title Petrified Songs created typographically with metal letters echoes works by Frank Stella and Joe Tilson; a ceiling of white painted coated aluminium fins echoes iconic modern Italian design; a wooden rhomboid library desktop set within a steel frame and scratched with the artist’s invented alphabet references a Jean Prouvé design; a Calderesque mobile with perforated triangular sails/leaves in shades of black, blue, pink, yellow and green; a red distorted rhomboid waste bin with a fabric liner; four mock air vents are set in the wall echoing the art-deco typography; 100 or so brown paper leaves scattered on the floor are an origami version of the ceiling fins.
Turner Prize 2011 Exhibition. BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, South Shore Road, Gateshead. NE8 3BA. Open daily 10.00 – 18.00 except Tuesdays 10.30 – 18.00. Admission free. 21 October 2011 – 8 January 2012.