Boys' own club occupy shortlist for the Turner Prize shortlist

pounds 20,000 award plays safe with choice of art but risks row over artists' sex, reports David Lister

With one artist whose work includes a 24-hour showing of Hitchcock's Psycho slowed to two frames a second, and another who claims that painting can no longer engage with reality, this year's Turner Prize shortlist clings to its usual arena of controversy.

But the judges may inadvertently have created a larger controversy by cocking a snook at "shortlist correctness" and selecting a four-strong shortlist for the pounds 20,000 prize which does not include any women.

Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate Gallery and chairman of the judges, said he and his colleagues were "surprised" when they realised there were no women on the list. Many women artists were producing impressive work and had been considered, he said.

"It may be that there was no single manifestation by a woman artist that quite caught the imagination of the jury. We didn't want to include someone just as a token made to some category, like under-25s or whatever." It is the first time in 10 years that the jury has selected an all-male shortlist. Some critics are already viewing the list as a "safe" one, which, if nothing else, shows that it is now accepted as the unremarkable norm for film, photography and installation pieces to represent the best of contemporary art.

The shortlist was denounced by Brian Sewell, art critic of the London Evening Standard. He said: "If the Turner Prize is trying to commit suicide by boring the pants off us, it is going the right way about it. These four are nobodies. They are not outrageous or a slap-in-the-face or whatever else Tate director Nicholas Serota wants to tell us, they are plain damned dull and boring."

The Glasgow-born artist Douglas Gordon, 29, produces work exploring memory and perception. His 24-hour Psycho, in which Alfred Hitchcock's thriller was projected on to an overhanging screen and slowed down to two frames a second, is intended "to destabilise the established meaning of films".

The photographer Craigie Horsfield, 46, turned to film and photography following his "dissatisfaction with contemporary painting's lack of engagement with reality". He chooses his works from hundreds of black and white negatives, including uneasy portraits of his wife, Ava. Horsfield claims we cannot live a moral life without acknowledging our fellow humans. "The acceptance of the other is probably the starting point of an ethical world," he said.

Gary Hume, 34, came to notice with a series of 30 apparently abstract paintings which were based on hospital doors. According to the Turner judges, "Hume had also recognised the potential of a subject hardly explored before in painting, and one not without resonance - to pass through the swing doors in a hospital might well be to pass from life to death . . ." Hume has since branched out into more recognisable images, including a portrait of the DJ Tony Blackburn.

Simon Patterson, 29, takes familiar systems like the London Underground map and subverts them, for instance by replacing station names with those of great philosophers or inventors. This process of displacement and contradiction is said to upset established functions and rationales.

William Hill bookmakers yesterday declared Patterson the 6-4 favourite for the prize.

Mr Serota said: "There are a relatively small number of British galleries that are in a position to mount substantial shows of modern art. In the 1960s David Hockney's work could be seen at a major exhibition in Manchester but local authorities no longer have the resources. I think that it means the British public is failing to be given opportunities to see the work of British artists."

But the public remained keen to see contemporary art, he maintained, and the doors of the Tate sometimes had to be closed at weekends last autumn because of the huge number of visitors to be Turner Prize exhibition, he said.

The exhibition will be mounted from 29 October to 12 January and the winner will be announced live on Channel 4 on 26 November.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Summer nights: ‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’
TVBut what do we Brits really know about them?
Arts and Entertainment
Dr Michael Mosley is a game presenter

TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory