Favorite Martin Boyce scoops UK's Turner Prize

Mon Dec 5, 2011 5:02pm EST
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By Alice Baghdjian

GATESHEAD, England (Reuters) - Bookmakers' favorite Martin Boyce won the Turner Prize on Monday, claiming a 25,000 pound ($40,000) check and one of the art world's most prestigious and controversial awards.

The 44-year-old's distinctive sculptural installations, which seek to create an urban landscape within the confines of the gallery space, topped a shortlist of works that some critics said was one of the best in the Turner's 27-year history.

"Some really good artists have won the Turner Prize and some really good artists have not won the Turner Prize," Boyce said at a press conference afterwards. "The impact of this hasn't even hit yet and I don't know when or if it's going to hit."

Brown paper "leaves" are strewn across the floor of his exhibition at the BALTIC gallery in Gateshead, northern England, which hosted the awards -- only the second time they have been held outside London.

"I guess it has something to do with hope and finding the poetic in the abject," Boyce said of his work.

A trashcan-like structure fitted with a fabric liner and small, rectangular grills attached to the wall at ankle-height produces the atmosphere of a city park.

"Boyce ... has steadily shown himself to be strong through his work seen internationally and in a number of big shows," Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate galleries which run the annual award, told Reuters.

It is the second year running that a Scottish artist has won the Turner Prize after Susan Philipsz claimed the 2010 award for her sound installation.   Continued...