Crystal Bedsit Creator among Turner Nominees

LONDON ~ A sculptor who turned a derelict flat in south London into a cave of blue crystals is among four artists nominated for the Turner Prize, contemporary art’s most prestigious award.

Roger Hiorns, 34, uses unusual materials for his installations, and recently filled a sealed bedsit with 90,000 litres of liquid copper sulphate that eventually caused every surface to be covered with bright blue crystals.

He has been nominated alongside Enrico David, 43, Lucy Skaer, 34, and Richard Wright, 49, for the £25,000 (US$36,500) prize.

The Turner Prize is renowned for rewarding controversial art – previous winners include Damien Hirst and Gilbert and George – but this year’s shortlist includes artists who practice more conventional painting and drawing.

David was described by the Tate Britain museum in London, where the four nominees will display their work, as a “contemporary surrealist” who creates disconcerting yet beautiful painting, drawings and sculptures.

Skaer also makes drawings, sculptures and films, creating images – often based on photographs – that “hover in the space between recognition and ambiguity,” the museum said.

Meanwhile, Wright creates subtle wall paintings – “the thinking person’s grafitti artist,” according to one judge – combining graphic imagery and intricate patterning in works that respond to the nearby architecture.

Work by all four nominees will be on display at the Tate Britain from October 7, and the winner will be announced on December 7.

The prize was set up in 1984 and is awarded to a British artist under the age of 50 for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the previous 12 months.

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