Artist research: Angela de la Cruz and an excursion to the Turner Prize

Updated on 17 March 2017 (Harvard referencing).

19 October 2016. Another Turner Prize nominee in the list of artists my tutor has chosen for me to look at. So I suppose it is time to have a quick look at the Turner Prize, to see who they choose and how they reason their choice.

The Turner Prize has been organised at the Tate gallery since 1984 (Tate, n.d.) and publicised as problematic for a number of incidents and public outrage at the work of some of the award winners, e.g. “My Bed” by Tracey Emin (Saatchi Gallery, n.d.). Named after 19th century innovative and controversial painter J.M.W. Turner it was initiated however to do just that – raise the awareness for novel art work and fuel debate about art. It is awarded to an artist born in or working in Britain for “the greatest contribution to art”. So, if I understand this correctly, the prize is a recognition not for an outstanding achievement in an existing field, but for pioneering work along the twisted route of art development and appears to have been extremely successful in keeping the debate alive.

Superficially, the work of philopsopher and sculptor Angela de la Cruz (*1965, Spain and UK) looks mainly like three-dimensional investigations of the properties of cloth (enter her name in your browser for a first impression). I have to admit that I was at a loss when looking at her installations for the first time, but after having read an article published in The Guardian (Searle, 2010) I began to realize that they are caricatures of the art world itself and started to immensely enjoy the brutally subtle messages. De la Cruz has an admirable ability to literally wrap an art issue in canvas, handing over the parcel itself as the gift.
Having taken in her message, however, I wonder at how easy it is to have one’s ideas challenged when vulnerable.

References:

Saatchi Gallery (n.d.) Tracy Emin. My Bed [online]. Saatchi Gallery, London. Available at: http://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/artpages/tracey_emin_my_bed.htm [Accessed 19 October 2016]

Searle, A. (2010) Angela de la Cruz’s Brush With Death [online]. The Guardian, London, 10 April. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/apr/05/angela-de-la-cruz [Accessed 19 October 2016]

Tate (n.d.) What is the Turner Prize? [online]. Tate, London. Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/turner-prize/about [Accessed 19 October 2016]

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