• 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. Opinion-davidpearson-int-list

    Last week an interesting Twitter debate sprang up after a comment by graphic designer Andy Pressman who admitted that on a recent series he worked on it wasn’t always possible to read the books before designing the covers. So we decided to speak to a few other book cover designers and find out where they stand on this apparently quite divisive design issue; as ever you can add your thoughts using the comment thread below…

  2. Marckremers-opinion-int-list

    As part of the digital design showcase we are running with Represent, we interviewed Marc Kremers and found him in an unflinching mood as he detailed some of the issues he felt were affecting the industry. Such was the reaction to Marc’s piece both on the microsite and social media, we have decided (with his permission) to republish an excerpt of his interview here. You can add your thoughts using the comment thread below, and check out the dedicated digital design showcase here.

  3. Ije-nwokorie-indaba-sun

    As CEO of Wolff Olins, Ije Nwokorie is well-versed in the creative landscape; the forces that shape it and in turn how it shapes our world. Describing himself as “born in the US, bred in Nigeria and enlightened in England” he also has a global sensibility that sets him apart from many of his peers.

  4. Opinion-int-list

    A new survey has identified what clients see as the four worst types of design agency, and Rob Alderson suggests we should listen to what they had to say. As ever you can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below..

  5. Robertbye-opinion-list

    The intern debate is still one of the most talked-about issues whenever we meet young designers. This week Robert Bye wrote an interesting article about why, after three months interning in a design consultancy, he believes doing crappy jobs did sometimes make sense.

  6. List

    Assistant editor Maisie Skidmore chimes in on the debate about the presence of full-frontal male nudity in Rick Owens’ AW15 collection which showed in Paris a few days ago. Do you think penises on the catwalk are a step too far? Leave your comments below!

  7. List

    Following this week’s news that plain cigarette packaging could be introduced in England as soon as next year, Studio Minerva co-founder and creative strategy lead Silas Amos tells us about the designs that made his relationship with smoking “always equally one with the branding.”

  8. Artsemergency-list

    Earlier this week James Blunt’s open letter to shadow culture secretary Chris Bryant went viral, in which the musician hit back at the MP’s assertion that the arts was dominated by those from privileged backgrounds. But Jonathan Wakeham of Arts Emergency and The London Comedy Film Festival believes James’ (admittedly amusing) letter missed the point. As ever you can add your thoughts using the comments thread below.

  9. List

    Branding agency Morillas’ chief executive officer Marc Morillas considers the way advertising agencies commandeer symbols of protest for use in advertising campaigns and commercial branding. What do you think about the reappropriation of these symbols? As ever, you can add your comments in the discussion thread below.

  10. List

    It is now one week since the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people were killed, including some of France’s best-known and best-loved cartoonists. We have already covered the immediate responses of the illustration community but in the past seven days so much has been said and written about satire, cartoons, free speech and the subversive magazine that it’s been tricky to try and make sense of it all.

  11. Unnamed-2

    Back to school, back to work – it’s not surprising everyone’s got anxious, upside down smiles at this time of the year. Most fresh starts are usually followed by fresh resolutions – and we’re no stranger to looking ahead and trying to predict what’s going to happen in our own lives, as well as that of the creative world. With that in mind, we’ve put our slightly mushy heads together and concocted a list of ten animators, designers, illustrators, magazines and artists who are about to spring from the perfectly acceptable “small time” to the much-lauded “big time.” Ready? Here they are in no particular order…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.