Karla Black, George Shaw on Shortlist for U.K. Turner Art Prize

The four artists in contention for the Turner Prize, the U.K.’s top contemporary-art award, include a sculptor who uses cosmetics in her work.

Karla Black, who makes messy floor-based or hanging sculptures using plaster and powder-paint as well as lipstick, nail polish and eye shadow, is on the shortlist, announced today at Tate Britain. She was in the just-ended British Art Show 7 at London’s Hayward Gallery.

The nominations also feature George Shaw, who produces almost hyper-realistic paintings of his childhood surroundings: the housing estate, the neighborhood pub and his longtime hangouts in Coventry, central England.

Hilary Lloyd makes video installations where the projection equipment becomes a sculpture in itself. And Martin Boyce -- currently in the Royal Academy of Arts’ “Modern British Sculpture” show -- draws inspiration from four concrete trees designed for a modernist garden in 1925: He has turned them into motifs for his practice, and for a new typeface.

The shortlist was announced at Tate Britain by its director Penelope Curtis, who chairs the prize’s five-person jury, and by two fellow judges.

Jury member Godfrey Worsdale -- director of Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, northern England -- said that “at first glance,” some of the works might “appear to be something quite banal.”

“One of the threads in art generally, at the moment, is this idea that the easily overlooked can, if you give attention to it, develop more and more,” said Worsdale, whose gallery will host the prizegiving ceremony on Dec. 5.

Last year’s winner was Scotland-born Susan Philipsz, who makes sound-based installations where her singing voice is played through loudspeakers in public places.

The Turner Prize was set up in 1984. It goes to “a British artist under 50 for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work” in the 12 months before April 4, 2011. The prize money is 25,000 pounds ($41,300) for the winner and 5,000 pounds each for the runners-up. Previous victors include Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry and Mark Wallinger.

To contact the writer on the story: Farah Nayeri in London at farahn@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

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