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Five artist collectives – and no individuals – shortlisted for Turner Prize

Plus: Istanbul Biennial postponed to 2022 | Colosseum to get a wooden floor | and Karl Wirsum (1939–2021)

7 May 2021

Five artist collectives and no individual artists are on the shortlist for this year’s Turner Prize. The groups are Array Collective, Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.), Cooking Sections, Gentle/Radical, and Project Art Works, all of whom are engaged in ‘what people sometimes call social practices’, says Alex Farquharson, chair of the judges and director of Tate Britain. The prize was cancelled last year, with £10,000 being given to 10 artists instead. This year’s prize exhibition will run from 29 September at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry.

After a spike in cases of coronavirus, the Istanbul Biennial, which was due to open in September, has been postponed until September 2022. A statement from the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts said, ‘The 17th Istanbul Biennial, its curators and participants continue to be affected by the pandemic and its life-altering consequences.’

The Italian culture ministry has announced the winning project to build a floor for the Colosseum in Rome. The winning design led by Milan Ingegneria is a lattice of rotating wooden slats that will allow air to circulate. The Colosseum is the city’s most-visited site and the new floor will allow visitors to stand in the middle of the arena once more. The floor is expected to be constructed by 2023.

The American artist Kirl Wirsum has died at the age of 81. With the exception of a short period of teaching in Sacramento, Wirsum spent his entire life in the city of Chicago where in 1957 he enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago – initially with the goal of forging a career as a comic-book artist. This interest in cartoons is evident in the graphic, colourful artworks he went on to produce. Wirsum was a core member of the Hairy Who, an influential group of Chicago-based artists that formed in the 1960s.

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