Artists' choice

Twenty contemporary artists were asked to choose what they consider to be the most important works of art created since the Institute of Contemporary Arts opened in London in 1947. Here are six of the best from the ICA's resulting exhibition, which has just opened

Winner of the 1997 Turner Prize, Wearing studied at the Chelsea School of Art and then Goldsmiths. She is best known for 'Signs...', a series of photographs of the public holding placards on which they had written their thoughts and feelings.

GILLIAN WEARING

Selection: D'Est, 1993 by Chantal Akerman
Winner of the 1997 Turner Prize, Wearing studied at the Chelsea School of Art and then Goldsmiths. She is best known for 'Signs...', a series of photographs of the public holding placards on which they had written their thoughts and feelings.

"Akerman's film has a peculiar quality that has remained with me since I saw it in 1996. I was particularly moved by the parts of the film shot in Russia. She has captured the mood so acutely I don't know if I am remembering her film or my own memories of Moscow - it has blurred so much in my recollection."

CORNELIA PARKER

Selection: Fiato d'Artista (Artist's Breath), 1960 by Piero Manzoni
A former Turner Prize nominee, Parker is known for her unusual installations - including the glass case at the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, London inside which the actress Tilda Swinton slept

" Fiato d'Artista - lungfuls of air, encapsulated in rubber, that have long since escaped into the ether - is a particular favourite. Manzoni has monumentalised the fundamental act of breathing, his charismatic egoism allowing it to stand in lieu of every breath he took (few, considering his short life). He has subverted the idea of the 'monument' as a thing that lasts forever, replacing it with a reminder of mortality. The fact the breath isn't there any more seems simultaneously tragic and comic. We are left with a catalyst for thought in the guise of a deflated balloon."

SUSAN HILLER

Selection: Untitled (WA), 1947 by Kurt Schwitters
Florida-born Hiller settled in London where she had her first solo show in 1973. Her work often features strange phenomena and stories of how people live

"I can still feel the excitement of seeing, for the first time, how Schwitters recycled materials, how he slyly incorporated fragments of culture (traces of other people's work) into his work, getting them to say something different; maybe something they'd been wanting to say, giving them aesthetic weight. This means that things from the gutter didn't just biodegrade into the past's oozy compost heap, but stayed cut out, sharp and clear, to be resurrected in some kind of future.

"Through Schwitters, I discovered that words on paper were just things; that images, words, colours and textures could all be cut up, re-arranged and pasted together. I was growing up as an artist when purity, politics or pop seemed the only choices, and I wrote: 'The act of cognition is a form of collage' (1972). Schwitters was inconsistent, he didn't do 'political art', though some of his best friends did, and he pasted politics into late works such as A Finished Poet. Often his work was elegant, clean, exquisitely layered and subtle, but sometimes his best collages were enriched by disturbing blotches, miniature ceramic dogs or clots of dirt."

LUC TUYMANS

Selection: Untitled, 1976 by Narcisse Tordoir
Tuymans is comparatively unknown in Britain but he is considered one of the most influential painters at work today. He has also practised as a photographer and film-maker. His paintings are currently part of a major exhibition at Tate Modern

"This had an instantaneous impact on me when I first saw it nearly 25 years ago. At that time, the artist was exploring the idea of an image as a moment moving through time. It is about making things visible by means of comparison or pairing the actual object to a mental image. This work deals with the space between things, and no matter how static an image may appear, it can never be truly stable."

MARTIN CREED

Selection: Vesuvius, 1985 by Andy Warhol
Creed won the Turner Prize in 2001 for a subversive work in which his entire exhibit consisted of lights going on and off in his allotted gallery. He was born in 1968 and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. Music and sound are crucial elements in many of his works and he also works with texts

"Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Andy Warhol are among my favourite artists. For me, their work is concentrated on the surface. It is beautifully shallow, superficial: the surface is all there is. It has a lightness, a decorative quality I like very much. It feels unburdened, fun, free. In their work, everything is treated in the same way with equal value. I like this all-overness. I remember seeing Warhol's Vesuvius for the first time and thinking it was beautiful, like an ice-cream. It was a relief."

LIAM GILLICK

Selection: Blown Away Under Certain Circumstances, 1977, by Lawrence Weiner
Gillick is another former Turner Prize nominee who is known for the intellectual theorising that underpins his work. He is regarded as much as a writer as a maker of objects. Born in 1964 in Aylesbury, he studied at Goldsmiths in London and now works in London and New York

"While the subtext of this exhibition may suggest something about notions of quality, choice or influence, it can also be used as an opportunity to recognise some parallel relationships: the artist as mediator between two people who are not linked except through the person who insists on both in order to reveal some processes that are normally repressed."

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Life & Style
tech
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 iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers