Go See – London: Turner Prize 2010 Finalist Exhibition at Tate Britain Through January 3, 2010

October 9th, 2010

Angela de la Cruz, Super Clutter XXL, 2008. All images via Tate Britain.

On October 5, Tate Britain unveiled its Finalist Exhibition for the 2010 Turner Prize. Painter Dexter Dalwood, installation artist and painter Angela de la Cruz, sound artist Susan Philipsz, and film collaborative Otolith (comprised of Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun) represent the shortlist for the coveted annual award. The winner selected from among this group will be announced at the museum on December 6, 2010.

Dexter Dalwood, Death of David Kelly, 2008.

Reactions to the announcement of finalists on May 4th tended to range from luke-warm to overtly negative. While nothing resembling critical consensus on the quality or merit of each of the finalists’ work has emerged, Philipsz and de la Cruz appear to have received the warmest media response thus far. As Richard Dorment from the Telegraph described “How felicitous, then, to find the work of a real artist, Spanish-born Angela de la Cruz, whose work has never, I think, received the recognition it deserves.” Johnathan Jones of the Guardian shares Dorment’s distaste for Dalwood’s work, but pegs Philipsz as the likely winner. London’s Evening Standard critic Ben Luke, describing the show overall as underwhelming, is among the local media’s only proponents of The Otolith Group.

The Otolith Group, Still from Otolith II, 2009.

Dalwood, who is represented by Gagosian Gallery, first gained critical attention for his representations of famous murder and suicide scenes, most notably in the exhibition “Die Young, Stay Pretty.” His work on view in the Finalist Exhibition continues in the vein of places and events he never witnessed, but is drawn more from literary history than popular culture.

Dexter Dalwood, Herman Melville, 2005.

Dexter Dalwood, Burroughs in Tangiers, 2005.

De la Cruz’ mixed-media installations fuse monochromatic painting and sculpture in an effort to assess the structural limitations and possibilities of both mediums. As Dorment described, “Until you’ve seen her work, you’ve never known how visually powerful a heavy piece of fabric can be.” In addition to addressing the traditional definition painting, she deconstructs and reconfigures ordinary objects, laying bare both their narrative and utilitarian qualities.

Angela de la Cruz, Clutter Wardrobe, 2005.

Susan Philpsz, Lowlands, Clyde Walkway, Glasgow, 2008/2010.

Susan Philpsz, Follow Me, Berlin, 2004.

Installation by Angela de la Cruz, 2010.

The Otolith Group, Still from Otolith III, 2009.

While occasionally dismissed as pretentious or overly esoteric, Otolith’s “monuments to dead television” are also embraced as “dense, studious installations.” Their representation of ancient Greek civilization through an ironically-anachronizing French lens contains extraordinary visual and conceptual appeal.

Susan Philipsz’ sound work is structured inherently to challenge the limitations of museum exhibition. She transforms acoustically-appealing yet unexpected spaces into sites of sonic exploration and performance, using her own voice as the primary instrument of investigation.

This year’s jury consists of Isabel Carlos, Philip Hensher, Andrew Nairne, and Polly Staple.

Related Links:

“Turner Prize 2010…” [The Guardian]
“Race For Turner Prize” [London Evening Standard]
“Turner Prize Shortlist 2010…”  [Telegraph]
“Drooping Paintings, Voice in a Room Vie for Turner Prize” [Bloomberg]
“Press Reviews” [BBC]
Official Website [Tate Britain]