Tate Moving-Crowd Artist Sehgal on Turner Prize Shortlist

Tino Sehgal, a performance artist who had groups of people scurry around Tate Modern’s entrance lobby last year, is one of four nominees for the Turner Prize, the U.K.’s top contemporary-art award.

Sehgal was shortlisted for his Tate installation and for a piece at Documenta in Kassel, Germany. His installation at Tate, “These Associations,” involved trained participants walking, running, sitting or chanting inside the Turbine Hall. Some stopped to strike up conversations with visitors.

The Tate Modern exhibition “seemed to be the one thing that everyone talked about more than anything else in last year’s art,” said jury member Declan Long, a lecturer at Dublin’s National College of Art and Design, during a media briefing at Tate Britain. “It seemed that that needed to be recognized.”

Also shortlisted is David Shrigley, for his solo show at the Hayward Gallery last year, which judges said showed his “black humor, macabre intelligence and infinite jest.” The Hayward’s Director Ralph Rugoff is on the Turner Prize jury.

The other two nominees are film artist Laure Prouvost, winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women; and painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, who does portraits of imaginary people.

Last year, the prize went to Elizabeth Price, whose films splice together footage of such unrelated themes as 1960s girl bands and a fire in a furniture stockroom.

The Turner Prize, set up in 1984, goes to “a British artist under 50 for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work” in the 12 months before April 16, 2013. The prize money is 25,000 pounds ($38,170) for the winner and 5,000 pounds each for the runners-up. Previous victors include Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry and Mark Wallinger.

Muse highlights include Mark Beech on music, Lance Esplund on art, Jeremy Gerard on New York theater and Mike Di Paola on preservation.