• Opinion-lead
Opinion

Opinion: Why David Shrigley should win this year's Turner Prize

Posted by Rob Alderson,

This week editor Rob Alderson reflects on the Turner Prize nominees and nails his colours to the mast of who he wants to win. As ever you can add your thoughts using the thread below.

When this year’s Turner Prize nominees were announced, Guardian art critic and former Turner juror Adrian Searle was quick to set out his stall. “A world-class artist in the way that the others are not, the bottom line is that (Tino) Sehgal is already the winner.”

His article ran with the following introduction. “The deviser of unsettling public encounters is a world-class artist in a way that the other contenders – Laure Prouvost, David Shrigley and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye – are not.”

Elsewhere though, it’s the inclusion of David Shrigley that has provoked the most discussion. Within minutes of the shortlist being unveiled, my Twitter feed included a passionate hope that he is named the winner come December, and an equally bombastic plea that he is not. The latter Tweet came from someone who works within the arts and design industry, the former did not.

I wrote a piece back in October that called on the Turner Prize to be more open about their criteria but the inclusion of Shrigley moves this debate on a bit.

Maybe it’s the fact that his wildly popular show at The Hayward Gallery was such a mainstream success that some turn their noses up at the Glaswegian master of surreal silliness. But while I enjoyed being unsettled by Tino Seghal’s Tate Modern performance piece – where a flock of people, ran, danced, played and approached you for whispered, random conversations – and I am a big fan of Laure Provost, Shrigley is my clear winner.

And it’s precisely because he gatecrashed the mainstream consciousness that I want him to win. In the past the Turner Prize has revelled in flagging up lesser-known exhibitions and has done it well. But sometimes the shortlist has smacked of a certain kind of snobbery. Shrigley’s show was joyous, funny, thought-provoking and tackled that hoary idea of what art is. To do all this and have them queueing round the block is certainly “outstanding” in my eyes.

Would David Shrigley be a worthy winner? Does he even deserve a place on the list? Leave your comments below.

comments powered by Disqus
Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Opinion View Archive

  1. List

    Last week features editor Liv Siddall put out a call to arms to the illustration community, inviting practitioners young and old to push their discipline further and keep their work exciting and fresh. She cited in particular the regurgitation of the same established names at illustration fairs and events as a cynical way to flog tickets and boost sales instead of creating a platform for new, innovative work.

  2. Main

    This week, Features Editor Liv Siddall wonders whether the world of illustration, and the events that champion them, have perhaps become a bit stale. And maybe we should take steps to champion as many new and exciting artists as possible, as opposed to falling back on the same names time and time again.

  3. List

    This week Rob Alderson welcomes the excellent Dazed 100 list of defining creative pioneers but wonders why readers are being asked to help rank the entries. As ever you can join the debate using the comment thread below….

  4. Opinion-list-new

    This week It’s Nice That director Will Hudson talks about why he reckons the new Randall Wright-directed documentary Hockney is so brilliant. You can let us know your thoughts in the comment thread below.

  5. Opinion-list

    This week assistant editor Maisie Skidmore asks what it is about weekly podcast Serial that has got the whole world talking. As ever, we want to hear what you think! Add your two pennies in the comment thread below.

  6. List

    This week Rob Alderson examines Paper Magazine’s attempts to “break the internet” with their nude Kim Kardashian photoshoot. He asks if it’s actually a good cover, and what (if anything) it tells us about the magazine industry. As ever you can add your thoughts below…

  7. List

    Ahead of a panel discussion we’re hosting at London College of Communication next week we’re keen to explore whether the gap between design schools and the creative industries is a problem that needs addressing. You can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below…

  8. List

    In a special Opinion piece, Rob Alderson explains why the closure of London’s Kemistry Gallery is a cause for concern, but why its ambitious future plans need to be encouraged. You can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below…

  9. Lead

    This week online editor Emily Gosling looks at who can really claim authorship of artworks created using technology designed by someone else. Who can really take the credit for art that might not be possible without the tech know-how of others?

  10. List

    This week Rob Alderson reflects on an interesting blog by Chloe Markowicz which suggests that people are ashamed to call what they do advertising. As ever you can join the debate and add your comments using the discussion thread below.

  11. Main

    Wake up! Freshers’ Week is done – all that colourful IKEA kitchenware your mum got you is nowhere to be seen and you’ve gained 478 new friends on Facebook and an awkward conversation with your home friends about who you’re actually going to Glastonbury with next year. To be honest, being a fresher usually goes on for way longer than a week. After a month or so of partying and drinking Glenn’s Vodka and Robinson’s out of tupperware bowls you wake up with a whole load of briefs to tackle and studio space and equipment to fight over. This is the START of ART SCHOOL.

  12. List

    In recent months the question of so-called spec work has been raised with us over social media in light of various design competitions we have helped promote. Off the back of that we have spent a lot of time discussing this thorny issue with various people so as to formulate a consistent approach, although the nature of these things is that each is best analysed on a case by case basis.

  13. List

    This week Rob Alderson reflects on the launch of the new Design Museum website and the strange suggestion that the redesign should have been given to a British agency rather than Dutch studio Fabrique. As ever you can add your thoughts using the comment thread below…