The shortlist for art’s most prestigious award, the Turner Prize, is due to be announced tonight – and Coventry-born artist George Shaw is among the contenders.
The list is due to be announced on Channel 4 news from 7pm tonight, but several leaks on Twitter and on various websites name Karla Black, Martin Boyce, Hilary Lloyd and George Shaw as the names up for the award this year.
In many ways being up for the Turner Prize is the next logical step in the increasingly-successful career of George Shaw, who was born in Coventry in 1966, and grew up in Tile Hill.
He is currently enjoying a highly-successful, large, solo exhibition at the Baltic in Gateshead – it has attracted large crowds and had glowing reviews in the nationals. Shaw has been highly acclaimed by art critics for some time.
Shaw paints using Humbrol enamel paints, usually used to paint plastic models. He began a BA in Fine Art in Sheffield, but then left and worked as a teacher before returning to painting. In 2004 the Channel 4 series The Art Show had an episode called The Late George Shaw in which he ran a programme about his own obituary and talked about his interest in the subjects he paints.
His artworks have immortalised unglamorous parts of Tile Hill – such as houses, pubs, a bleak playground, and trees, and they’re given titles such as The Passion, Jesus Falls for the Third Time, and The Washing of Hands.
His exhibitions over the years have included the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham in 2003. The University of Warwick owns a Shaw painting, Scenes From The Passion: The Swing, which is currently on loan to the Baltic show, plus twelve etchings of short walks in Coventry.
The Turner Prize is the best-known art prize in the UK and usually attracts contoversy over at least one of the artists on the shortlist. In the past it has been won by artists such as Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley and Gilbert and George, with Tracey Emin another artist who made the shortlist.