Turner Prize won by 'worst' artist

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The Independent Online
RACHEL WHITEREAD, the sculptor who made a cast of an entire house, last night enjoyed the fame and infamy of being both the best and 'worst' artist in Britain.

Whiteread, 30, won the 1993 Turner Prize, worth pounds 20,000, for her body of work over 12 months. It was presented to her at a black-tie dinner at the Tate Gallery. But the prize ceremony was, financially at least, upstaged as Whiteread trebled her money, winning pounds 40,000 for the 'worst body of work' over the past 12 months.

The idea for a 'worst of the Turner Prize' came from the self-styled K Foundation, set up by members of the pop group The KLF, who have decided to be arbiters of taste in contemporary art.

Last night Whiteread said that, as she was not prepared to associate herself with the aims of that prize, she would be distributing the cash, if she ever received it, to artists in financial need.

Later she brushed away tears after Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate and chairman of the Turner jury, announced that Whiteread's latest and most discussed work, House, a cast of the interior of an east London terrace house, was definitely to be demolished by Bow council.

'I'm incredibly upset' she said. 'I have no plans for the future. The project I have set my heart on has been destroyed.'

Whiteread's exhibitions abroad were mentioned by the Turner Prize jury in their citation, In awarding her the prize, the jury, chaired by Mr Serota, said her work 'engages audiences with issues of immediate relevance to their lives'.

They added that they were impressed with 'the scale and ambition of her work, and its originality, although it was also seen as possessing classical qualities and echoes of ancient art such as Egyptian tombs'.

They also noted its haunting quality, which they characterised as its 'poetic strangeness'. They added that her work makes a very positive contribution to the debate about the place of art in society.

By exploring such themes as memory, death, community, isolation and homelessness, it 'stimulated public awareness of these significant issues'.

Money to burn, page 2

Andrew Graham-Dixon, page 26

(Photograph omitted)

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