Suicide, homicide, frenetic violence: 2010 Turner Prize finalists

Angela de la Cruz, :Larger Then Life,” 2004,
oil and acrylic on canvas, 260 x 400 x 105cm
Angela de la Cruz, “Clutter VI with White Blanket,” 2004,
acrylic and oil on canvas, 54 x 200 x 247 cm 
 Dexter Dalwood,”Gatsby,” 2009, oil on canvas, 85 x 86 1/4″
  Dexter Dalwood, “Gorky’s Studio,” 2009, oil on canvas, 78 11/16 x 98 3/8″

Painters Dexter Dalwood and Angela de la Cruz are among the four finalists for the Turner Prize, Britain’s well known and controversial art award sponsored by the Tate. Named after 19th-century landscape painter J.M.W. Turner, the prize was established in 1984 to honor young artists. Surprisingly, this year the finalists are all in their forties. Dalwood, 49, who recently had a solo show at Gagosian’s Beverly Hills outpost and currently has a show at Tate St. Ives, gained attention for his depictions of famous suicides and homicides such as the Sharon Tate massacre. Angela de la Cruz, 45, who currently has a show at the Camden Arts Centre in London, is known for a distinctively traumatized minimalism. Her crumpled, crushed, and broken canvases are strewn lifelessly on the gallery floor or hung limply on the wall. “The moment I cut through the canvas,” de La Cruz says,” I get rid of the grandiosity of painting.” She sees the work as violent, unapologetic and darkly humorous, exposing a visceral emotionalism and the sense that a scene of frenetic violent activity has just taken place–leaving in its wake the strangely paradoxical feeling of spent energy and a sense of calm; a visual catharsis.

The other finalists include Susan Philipsz, 44, who has played recordings of herself singing pop songs in stairwells, supermarkets and under bridges, and London-based filmmaking duo the Otolith Group � Anjalika Sagar, 42, and Kodwo Eshun, 44. (via)

An exhibition of work by the finalists opens at the Tate Britain gallery on Oct. 4. The winner will be announced Dec. 6.

Related posts:
Dexter Dalwood’s disrupted images
Jonathan Jones calls the selection ‘half-baked.”


  1. Reality scares Dexter Dalwood. Thought and fantasy aren�t near enough to lift his art up into real art. He is playing on the manipulation of history for his style, which is only another trick in the end. Where are his balls?

  2. "The moment I cut through the canvas," de La Cruz says," I get rid of the grandiosity of painting."

    Really? Her paintings look and feel pretty grandiose, and I don't see any loss of "grandiosity. The work comes across more like a critique of a symbol of a specific type of painting discourse that revolves around a type of Greenbergian formalist ideology. Ironic since her supposed destructive gesture turns that "material" and "surface" of painting further into the "material" etc… and pushes it even further into a modernist formalist critique. It is a pretty grandiose agenda to try to flatten "all" painting, which this doesn't… but maybe De La Cruz should be more specific in her rhetoric.

  3. Ooops, posted by mistake…

    Who has balls today? And what does that mean. Kinda like saying, "you are too sensitive", do they want me to be insensitive? So back to balls, I would say Daniel Hesidence, Kelli Williams, Caroll Dunham (still), Tomma Abts (wall flower balls), Garth Weiser and Bill Komoski (show this week- let's meet and chat!) They all have moxi and show it to differing degrees.

    As to La Cruz, I feel her "grandiose" comment could speak to the posturing in painting (I am guilty here: toseemoreworld.com.) that appears to be complete and "grand" but lacks any simple truth. Currin would fall into the grand, with little EVIDENT truth. I am sure he finds truth in these works- to me they are more images. So La Cruz is more experiential to me and this removes a layer of grandness and takes it to the dirt.

    Hope this all comes across as a response and not as a critique. Sharon, thanks for what you offer. I draw more than paint, and will be posting more drawing soon, but want to acknowledge that you do a great deal for me and my students.

    Be well Thomas Bosket

  4. Just in case anyone still takes The Turner Prize with any degree of seriousness Dalwood & de la Cruz are there to prove the contrary,

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