British artist Richard Wright wins Turner Prize

British artist Richard Wright was named Monday the winner of this year's Turner Prize, one of the world's most controversial art awards, for his enormous gold-leaf fresco.

Wright beat hot favourite Roger Hiorns to win the 25,000-pound (41,000 dollars, 28,000 euros) prize, contemporary art's most prestigious award, at a ceremony at the Tate Britain gallery in London.

Wright, 49, said winning felt "shocking but very good, very good."

"Thanks very much. Just when I thought it was OK to relax, this happens."

"I have nothing grand to say about that, just thank you, that's all I have to say," he said after thanking his family and friends.

Wright, who creates wall paintings, spent four weeks on the huge gold-leaf fresco for the Turner prize, that almost covers one wall of the Tate gallery, and will be painted over once the exhibition closes.

"It was an intense process and we worked all the hours, every day," Wright, from Glasgow in Scotland, told Channel 4.

The Turner jury said in a statement that they "admired the profound originality and beauty of Wright's work."

Wright beat Hiorns, Enrico David and Lucy Skaer, who were also shortlisted for the prize, and will receive 5,000 pounds each.

The Turner Prize, one of Europe's most prestigious for the visual arts, is renowned for rewarding controversial works. However, this year's shortlist includes artists who practice more conventional painting and drawing.

Bookmakers William Hill said Hiorns was the 10/11 overwhelming favourite to win the prize, having attracted several high bets.

The prize was set up in 1984 to celebrate new developments in contemporary art. It is awarded to an artist aged under 50, born, living or working in Britain, for "an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work" in the 12 months to May.

Hiorns, 34, uses unusual materials for his installations. He transformed a London flat into a crystal cave by filling it with 90,000 litres of liquid copper sulphate which slowly crystallised. He is also nominated for turning a jet engine into a dust landscape.

Italian Enrico David, 43, is a "contemporary surrealist who creates rich and profoundly original painting, drawing and sculpture," according to Tate Britain.

His nominated work includes rocking papier mache egg-men and sinister-looking naked dolls.

Skaer, 34, makes drawings, sculptures and films, creating images often based on photographs that "hover in the space between recognition and ambiguity," Tate Britain said.

Her work includes the skull of a sperm whale which is viewed peepshow-style, as well as 26 sculptures made from coal dust.

Critics have argued for years about whether the award puts too much emphasis on hype over talent. Damien Hirst won in 1995 with a rotting cow's head and 1998 winner Chris Ofilie painted with elephant dung.

The 2005 winner Simon Starling, who dismantled a shed, made it into a boat, then turned it back into a shed again.

Stuckist artists, who campaign against "conceptualism" and favour traditional figurative painting, were to hold their traditional protest outside.

"The Turner Prize bears the same relationship to art as a pantomime horse does to show jumping," said the movement's co-founder Charles Thomson.

The Turner Prize 2009 exhibition will remain at Tate Britain until January 3.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian

film
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Led Zeppelin

music
Arts and Entertainment
Radio presenter Scott Mills will be hitting the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has taken home the prize for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Paige and Scott Lowell in Queer as Folk (Season 5)
tvA batch of shows that 'wouldn't get past a US network' could give tofu sales an unexpected lift
Arts and Entertainment
books... but seller will be hoping for more
Arts and Entertainment
John Kearns winner of the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award with last years winners: Bridget Christie and Frank Skinner
comedyJohn Kearns becomes the first Free Fringe act to win the top prize
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

    The phoney war is over

    Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
    From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

    Salomé: A head for seduction

    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
    From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

    British Library celebrates all things Gothic

    Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
    The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

    Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

    The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

    In search of Caribbean soul food

    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
    11 best face powders

    11 best face powders

    Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
    England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
    Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone