Stuckists Launch Their Annual Protest Against The Turner Prize At Tate Britain

By Culture24 Staff | 29 September 2008
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a poster with a man's face on it and the words Not Wanted

The back of the Stuckist Turner Prize 2008 leaflet. © The Stuckists

In an event that is becoming as much a part of the British artworld's biggest prize as the prize itself, the Stuckists art group are staging a demonstration at Tate Britain against the Turner Prize.

The demo, which takes place today Monday September 29 until 1pm, the day before the show opens, is a protest against Tate's promotion of conceptual art and what the Stuckists see as the marginalising of figurative painting. It is also very much aimed at the influence of Tate Director Nicolas Serota.

"Sir Nicholas Serota's personal and narrow taste dominates the Tate and its activities, regardless of who is nominally running something," said Charles Thomson founder of the Stuckists.

"The jury chaired by Dr Stephen Deuchar is indistinguishable from that chaired by Serota. He has brought no new independent thinking to it."

a poster with the words guide to the Turner Prize

© The Stuckists

The Turner Prize, which has been running since 1984, is worth £40,000 in total - £25,000 goes to the winner and £5,000 to the other three artists. The artist must be based in Britain and under 50 years of age.

Mark Leckey, Cathy Wilkes, Runa Islam and Goshka Macuga are the four artists in the running for this year's prize, which is very sculptural and film focussed.

Thomson is calling for more figurative painters to be included in the prize and singles out Stella Vine as a painter who should have been nominated this year.

"The majority of artists in this country are figurative painters, yet none is represented," he said. "Surely one of the nominees should have been Stella Vine, whose show at Modern Art Oxford gained considerable critical approval. She is another figurative painter, who has been completely ignored."

It's the eighth year running that the Stuckist have protested against the Turner Prize and a new Stuckist leaflet printed for this year calls it "an annual media circus created by the Tate Gallery in order to showcase the most bland and pretentious art currently produced in Britain."

It also has a spoof police '(not) wanted' poster accusing Serota of "crimes against art" and urging the public to sign the Stuckists' petition on the prime minister's web site against Serota's directorship of the Tate.

As if that wasn't enough to get the message across the Stuckists are also handing out button badges with the text, "The Turner Prize is crap."

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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