In 2019, the Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate will play host to the Turner prize. The seaside town, known for its coastal views and brilliant culture, is a place where artist JMW Turner often visited to paint the attractive east Kent skies.
The prize is regarded as one of the most prestigious accolades in contemporary art, and the winner will be rewarded with some £40,000. The presentation ceremony is always situated in a location and venue outside of London every other year.
As reported by the Guardian, the contemporary art prize is named after Turner because of his unique approach to landscape painting. At the time, his work was often considered controversial and usually reviled, but nevertheless had a lasting impact on art.
In today’s world, Turner is considered one of the UK’s greatest artists, commonly know as ‘the painter of light’. Despite mostly being renowned for his oil paintings, he was also admired for his watercolour landscape paintings.
The Turner Contemporary gallery is small but internationally respected and opened only six years ago, on the site of the boarding house where Turner stayed during his visits to the town. Although there has been some local cynicism, the venue has also been credited for stimulating the social and cultural regeneration of the surrounding area, which has seen an injection of nearly £50 million.
Artworks bought by the gallery include those by David Hockney, Grayson Perry and Leonardo da Vinci, among others.
Because of Turner’s visits to Margate, Victoria Pomery, director of the Turner Contemporary believes the town is appropriate for exhibiting the nominated artists and is thrilled by the announcement.
“This is a truly transformative opportunity for Margate to be part of something which invites conversations on an international scale, connecting our audiences to outstanding contemporary art and inspiring future generations of creative talent,” said Ms Pomery.
“It seems even more fitting to host the prize here in Margate on the site where JMW Turner was so inspired.”
For the first time ever, this year the Turner prize is open to artists of all ages, after having previously only being available to those under 50. Because of this, the four 2017 nominees (Lubaina Himid, Andrea Büttner, Rosalind Nashashibi and Hurvin Anderson) are aged between 43 and 62.
Last year, sculptor Helen Marten scooped the Turner prize, and in the past, winners have included Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin and Wolfgang Tillmans.
Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner prize jury, commented: “It has helped revitalise south-east Kent, and the area is also now home to an exciting artist-led scene.The gallery’s associations with Turner have particular resonance, as Turner was an innovator in his day, and we are delighted that the prize will be presented in Kent.”