Steve McQueen beats that bed to win Turner

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The Independent Online
THE VIDEO artist Steve McQueen has won the pounds 20,000 Turner Prize, contemporary art's most prestigious and studiedly controversial award.

He received the prize at a dinner at the Tate Gallery last night. The 30-year-old artist, who describes himself as a film-maker, beat a shortlist that included Tracey Emin, the twins Jane and Louise Wilson and Steven Pippin. Even for a prize that courts controversy, this year's has proved particularly provocative, and in a way the Tate Gallery and its director, Sir Nicholas Serota, will not have appreciated. First, two people jumped on Emin's bed exhibit and had a pillow fight as a piece of protest art.

Rather more seriously, Chris Smith, the Secretary of State for Culture, attacked the shortlist as "controversy for controversy's sake" and echoed the thoughts of many by adding that it too often failed to reflect painting and concentrated too much on videos and shock installations. Sir Nicholas, who is also chairman of the Turner judges, has not yet responded to this. Mr Smith was not at last night's prize-giving dinner.

This year's shortlist certainly gave Mr Smith ammunition, in that it consisted entirely of videos and installations and photography, with not a painting in sight. Pippin transformed 12 laundry machines into cameras, Emin exhibited her unmade bed complete with emotional and physical debris. And the Wilsons made a film showing the interiors of two casinos.

McQueen was shortlisted for three video films. In awarding him the prize, the jury admired "the poetry and clarity of his vision" and his range. They were excited by his intellectual and technical evolution.

Tom Lubbock, page 5

David Lee, Review, page 4