The London museum, Tate Britain announces the cancelation of the Turner Prize for 2020. The high-profile contemporary art prize was launched in 1984.

The reason behind the cancelation is the difficulty of arranging the winner’s in-person exhibition due to the pandemic.

The 2020 Turner Prize is the 36th year of honouring British artists and architecture collectives. The organization will now give 10 grants of each of $12,000 or £10,000 to support struggling artists.

Prior to this year, in 1990 the award did not have a winner as the sponsor went bankrupt. Last year, the exhibition was at the Turner Contemporary in Margate.

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Photo Courtesy: Tate Britain

The same jury that was to pick a winner will now create a list of ten artists who shall receive the grant.

The jury includes curator, Duro Olowu; director of the Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, Fatos Üstek. The curator at large at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Richard Birkett and the director of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, England; Sarah Munro.

With the help of extra sponsorship, The Tate now has the value of the grants at approximately $122,000 in total.


Alex Farquharson, the director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner Prize jury speaks on this. He highlights the ways in which the pandemic has disrupted the lives of artists. Organising a Turner Prize exhibition would be impossible; instead, they shall support artists having a hard time.

The criteria for the grants shall remain the same as that for the winner. British and Britain-based artists who contribute to developments in contemporary art will be chosen.

The announcement of the “Turner Bursaries” will be in late June, after the panel holds virtual meetings to select the artists.


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