Scottish artist Boyce wins Turner Prize

Scottish artist Boyce wins Turner Prize

LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Scottish artist Boyce wins Turner Prize

Artist Martin Boyce, the winner of the Turner Prize 2011, is seen at his installation called ‘Do words have voices.’ AP Photo

Scottish artist Martin Boyce, whose works include a modernist reworking of a library table and artificial trees, on Dec. 5 won Britain’s Turner Prize at a ceremony in Gateshead, north-east England.

On picking up the £25,000 award at the Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, 44-year-old Boyce paid tribute to his parents and highlighted the importance of teachers in light of the government’s spending cuts.

The Turner is regarded as the art world’s most edgy prize, but the decision to honour Boyce’s atmospheric, large-scale, site-specific installations was an uncontroversial choice.

The Hamilton-born artist takes his inspiration from the modernist giants of the early 20th century, and is known for taking styles found in furniture design and in the urban landscape and re-working them in modern spaces.

Boyce was given the prize by photographer Mario Testino. His entry included three artificial trees, artificial leaves made from wax-coated crepe paper scattered across the gallery’s floor and a leaning litter bin.

Boyce explained that his work explored “landscapes.” “It’s about passing through the space and the space between the sculptures as much as the sculptures themselves,” he added.

A judge described his work as: “Distinctive for the way that he employs his grammar of forms. Boyce’s sparse, intelligent sculptures evolve each time they are exhibited, exploring new tensions and new contrasts.”

The other nominees were realist-painter George Shaw, installation sculptor Karla Black and video artist Hilary Lloyd. The Turner Prize was set up in 1984 to promote public discussion of new developments in contemporary British art. It is open to British artists aged under 50.