Glasgow eyes the Turner prize
Friday 27 May 2011
When the nominations for the Turner Prize were announced recently, at least one feature of the list was rather predictable.
Had there been no nod towards artists based in Glasgow, the art world might have registered a sense of shock. But no, there were Karla Black and Martin Boyce, following on from the 2010 winner, Susan Philipsz; the 2009 winner, Richard Wright, and nominee Lucy Skaer; the nominee Cathy Wilkes in 2008; and so on.
In truth, Glasgow's contemporary art scene has been on a high since Douglas Gordon became the first video artist to win the Turner, with Confessions of a Justified Sinner in 1996. But the sense that new heights have been scaled comes with the return of the British Art Show, in which Black's work appears. The city is now easily the UK's second largest hub of contemporary art production, outside London. The Glasgow School of Art, alma mater to Charles Rennie Mackintosh, is a centre of excellence within the city.
Francis McKee, the director of the Centre for Contemporary Art on Sauchiehall Street, believes the most important lesson that Glasgow teaches its artists is "how to be no-bullshit". It's a place where people just get on and do things," he says.
British Art Show 7, CCA, GoMA and Tramway, Glasgow (www.britishart show.co.uk) to 27 August
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