What does winning mean?

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Howard Hodgkin, painter. Winner 1985

Born in 1932, Hodgkin studied in the Fifties at Camberwell and Corsham, where he immediately began teaching. By the time he was nominated for the Turner Prize, Hodgkin had already become an establishment figure. He was a Trustee of the Tate from 1970-76 and of the National Gallery 1978-85. In 1984 he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. It is unlikely that the Turner Prize played any part in his receiving a knighthood in 1992.

Gilbert & George, 'artists'. Winners 1986

Born in 1943 and 1942 respectively, they met at St Martin's School of Art in 1967. In 1971 they achieved fame when, with gold-painted faces and wearing their now characteristic suits, they performed Underneath the Arches. By the time they won the Turner Prize they were already big names. Nine years on, they say: "We were thrilled to win because our supporters were so happy and our enemies so infuriated. But our career was unaffected."

Rachel Whiteread, sculptor. Winner 1993

Born in 1963, Whiteread trained at the Slade and shot to fame before the Turner winner was announced with the ambitious and important House, a cast of part of an East End terrace. On the night that she won the prize, Bow council announced that House would be demolished. Outside the Tate, Whiteread reluctantly received a further pounds 40,000 from the mysterious "K Foundation" for being the "worst artist of the year". She donated the money to needy artists. While her Turner nominations certainly heightened her profile, her subsequent career has been built on the success of House. A show of new work is planned for next autumn at the Tate in Liverpool.

Antony Gormley, sculptor. Winner 1994

Gormley was the bookies' favourite to win. Born in 1950, a product of Goldsmiths' and the Slade, Gormley had been neglected in Britain. His body casts had more appeal abroad and by the time he won the prize he had a large international following. He describes winning the prize as "a symptom rather than a cause" of his success. He admits, however, that "all that cheering and clapping was good for me. Making art is a bit like sending messages out in a bottle. You never know whether they make contact.

Past winners:

1984 Malcolm Morley; 1985 Howard Hodgkin; 1986 Gilbert & George; 1987 Richard Deacon; 1988 Tony Cragg; 1989 Richard Long; 1990 NO PRIZE; 1991 Anish Kapoor; 1992 Grenville Davey; 1993 Rachel Whiteread; 1994 Antony Gormley.

Comments