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Top 3 European Art Prizes: Money and Fame for Antics

Nowadays, you can not only declare yourself, but also receive financial confirmation of your talent: every year, several prestigious awards are presented to young artists in the world. The goal of the "million dollar ventures" is to open up new names to the public, identify fresh trends in the modern art process, and, of course, turn it all into a show! Top 3 European awards and fresh paradoxes of 2013 are in our review.

Turner Prize for Brawlers and Innovators

The "naughty" and wayward British artists might not receive gifts from Santa Claus, but they can surely count on the most prestigious award in painting, established in 1984 and named after the English artist William Turner. As well as on a portion of its £ 25,000 prize pool. So, one of the laureates in 1995 was the author of the infamous shark in formaldehyde, Damien Hirst. The jury gave the highest rating to his work, Mother and Child (Divided), which consisted of dissected cow and calf. By the way, the winner… lost his award of 20 thousand pounds. According to the story of the hero himself, he lost it being dead drunk.

There are always people with antics among the winners of the Turner Prize. The championship was given for canvases with elephant dung, mating rodents and mutilated plastic figures torturing each other. However, the greatest indignation among those who like complaining ("Big deal, I could do even better!") was aroused by Martin Creed’s work, The Lights Going On and Off, which won in 2001. The essence of the installation is the fact that light in the room is turned on and off every now and then. For those who did not understand — in this way, author seems to hint: art is light and darkness.

Last year, Laure Prouvost, a French woman living in London, won the prestigious award. The language of the author’s artistic expression is a mix of installation and video. The Farfromwords performance and the Wantee video work unexpectedly bypassed the creations of eminent contenders: Tino Sehgal, the Venetian lion holder, and David Shrigley, the British renowned artist. This event became an indisputable proof of the thesis: the prize is to "light up" new stars in the horizon of contemporary art! The young artist creates the so-called "Instagram art", i. e. "filtered creativity". For Prouvost, these are the furnishings in which video works are demonstrated. For example, Wantee (from "Want tea?") is a video story shown by Prouvost at a table set for tea. This is a story about the author’s imaginary grandfather, a conceptual artist, who dug a tunnel into Africa and disappeared there forever. And his creations began to be used as household items.

The Turner Prize jury includes the director of the Tate gallery, projects curators, art critics. The prize presentation takes place annually in early December (once the prize was presented by Yoko Ono herself, the widow of John Lennon), and in October, an exhibition of the nominees' works is held.

Laure Prouvost, Laureate of the 2013 Turner Prize

The winner work of the 2013 Turner Prize: the Wantee installation by Laure Prouvost

Marcel Duchamp Prize: greetings from a framed urinal

The French answer to Foggy Albion is the annual Marcel Duchamp Prize. Yes, it bears the name of that very character of the bohemian society of the 20th century, who was the first to introduce the concept of ready-made into art: he began to raise household items to art objects. It is Duchamp who said: "I threw the bottle-rack and the urinal in their faces as a challenge and now they admire them for their aesthetic beauty." Representatives of the current generation have a chance to receive 35 thousand euros for innovation and the chance to organize an exhibition in the Center Georges-Pompidou. The prize has existed for 13 years. Experts including the President of the Association for the international diffusion of French art (ADIAF), directors of museums, collectors and artists summarize the results in October. Unlike the Turner Prize, the Duchamp Prize contains less kitsch and feigned entertainment.

Last year, the sympathies of the French art elite were with Latifa Echakhch and her Le Modèle installation. The work is a huge red knife throwing target with a yellow star in the centre. According to the chairman of the jury, Alfred Pacquement, Latifa captivated the judges with her ability to organize art in space and turn easily recognizable elements into symbols.

2009 Duchamp Prize Award Ceremony

Le Modèle installation, the winner of the 2013 Duchamp Prize

Arte Laguna: cash in advance!

For 8 years, the Italian Arte Laguna Prize has been offering winners of each of the nominations an award of 7,000 euros plus a ticket to one of the art residences of Italy, Germany or India. The age and nationality of the author do not matter. Among the nominations are art photography, painting, installation, sculpture. However, to apply you must pay the registration fee (50 euros per job). The further fate of the participant will be decided by art critics, gallery owners and curators from all over the world. The winners will have an opportunity to see their works at the exhibition in the Venice Gallery this spring. The organizers promise to open up new names to the world, but there are no world-famous authors among the winners so far.

Last year, the Detour #21 non-figurative painting, protruding beyond the canvas borders, won in the Painting category. The author is Ivelisse Jimenez, an artist from Puerto Rico. Among the installations, the prize was awarded to the creation of the Bulgarian Constantine Zlatev named The Last Gun. This is a rather complex sculpture, consisting of a gun, screen and flute, which symbolizes the tragedy of the world arms race. The melody produced is a mixture of music and the sounds of a reloading gun.

The Last Weapon musical installation by Constantine Zlatev — the winner of the 2013 Arte Laguna

Detour #21 by Ivelisse Jimenez

In Ukraine and Russia, a no less exciting struggle breaks out for being in the top of the art awards winners. Read more about it.