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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Arts and Entertainment
James singer Tim Booth
latitude 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Lee says: 'I never, ever set out to offend, but it can be an accidental by-product'
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe judges were wowed by the actress' individual cooking style
Arts and Entertainment
Nicholas says that he still feels lucky to be able to do what he loves, but that there is much about being in a band he hates
musicThere is much about being in a band that he hates, but his debut album is suffused with regret
Arts and Entertainment
The singer, who herself is openly bisexual, praised the 19-year-old sportsman before launching into a tirade about the upcoming Winter Olympics

books
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in the eleventh season of Two and a Half Men

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

film
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
Latest stories from i100
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.

    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?

    Some couples are allowed emergency hospital weddings, others are denied the right. Kate Hilpern reports on the growing case for a compassionate cutting of the red tape
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit