Turner Prize at 40: is it still relevant? ...The Standard podcast


A red Ford Escort Cabriolet XR3i topped with a giant doily is among artworks nominated for this year’s Turner Prize - as Britain’s prestigious contemporary creative competition marks its 40th anniversary.

Four artists shortlisted to win the £25,000 prize include three Londoners whose work ranges from traditional drawing to more eccentric installations.

Previous winners include Gilbert & George, Damien Hirst and Sir Anthony Gormley, and of course Tracy Emin, who’s among celebrated nominees with her 1999 unmade bed installation.

So, are this year’s nominees - Pio Abad, Claudette Johnson, Jasleen Kaur and Delaine Le Bas - set to become household names of the future?

And as the Turner Prize turns 40, is it still relevant?

It’s certainly been divisive and spoofed in the past, previously derided as “banal”. “cold”, “mechanical” - with the Evening Standard’s acerbic late art critic Brian Sewell once describing the competition as an “annual farce”.

And, what is the health of London’s post-Covid arts scene?

The Standard podcast reports from the Southbank Centre, where chief executive Elaine Bedell has been highlighting the institution’s financial struggles as it needs to find around £50 million to fund urgent repairs.

Bedell even appeared to suggest in an interview with The Guardian that one solution could be to sell naming rights to the grand Brutalist complex.

To discover more, Mark Blunden is joined by Evening Standard arts correspondent Robert Dex.

Listen above, or wherever you find your podcasts.