Turner Prize shortlist is not just about the big bum

Nominees are a 'good and unexpected' list of sculptors and photographers

Turner Prize Buttocks
(Image credit: Photo: Kyle Knodell)

Four artists are to battle it out for this year's £25,000 Turner Prize and their work is sure to raise the same amount of excitement and bewilderment as ever.

The awards have been staged each year since 1984 and are given to the British artist under the age of 50 considered to have staged the exhibition of the year.

This year, the most eye-catching work is Project for a Door (After Gaetano Pesce) - a 32ft-high sculpture of a man's buttocks by…

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Anthea Hamilton

Hamilton's bare bottom makes an obvious target for the now-traditional annual pouring of scorn over the prize's more avant-garde competitors.

"We so love to hate the Turner Prize" and to lament the state of modern art, admits Claire Cohen in the Daily Telegraph.

But it taps into the zeitgeist, rather than hitting a bum note, she adds, because we've reached "peak bottom" as a society, thanks to the posing of Kim Kardashian and plastic surgery.

Hamilton's work "reflects our own obsession" with our posteriors, continues the critic, and she is happy to declare: "I, for one, rather like it."

It remains to be seen what work the London-based artist will choose to exhibit for the Turner Prize itself - there may not be a bum in sight.

Helen Marten

Adrian Searle in The Guardian singles out Marten from a "good and in some ways unexpected" shortlist. Hailing from Macclesfield, she creates sculptures and tableaux and her work is "baffling… in a good way", he says. "In fact, she could probably take a word like baffle and tease a sculpture from it."

With a Serpentine exhibition this year and shortlisted for the Hepworth prize, Marten is on a roll.

Michael Dean

As the only male artist on the list, says Searle, Dean "cannot win".

The Geordie sculptor works with unusual materials, including the corrugated metal of shop shutter, and tries to "put words into a physical form", says the BBC.

According to the Tate, Dean creates "vigorous sculptures and installations [that] reference the everyday urban environment... updating the influential legacies of art after minimalism in the late 60s".

Josephine Pryde

Northumbrian Pryde is a photographer who last year commissioned a working model Union Pacific locomotive to rattle gallery goers around her San Francisco show.

She "explores the very nature of image making and display" and her work places "as much importance on the staging of the work as the images themselves", according to the Tate gallery.

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