Tomma Abts Wins the Turner Prize for 2006

The Turner prize has been won by a painter this year, and if that wasn’t shocking enough, it was won by a woman artist!

The Turner Prize 2006 has been awarded to Tomma Abts, it was announced at Tate Britain this evening. The £25,000 prize, sponsored by the makers of Gordon’s gin, was presented by Yoko Ono. With Gordon’s support this year’s prize fund is £40,000 with £25,000 going to the winner and £5,000 each for the other shortlisted artists. The event was broadcast live on Channel 4 News.

I predicted that Rebecca Warren would win the Turner Prize for 2006, but it just goes to show that I am neither psychic nor a good guesser! Tate gallery has a profile, video interview, and painting demonstration by the German born painter up on their website here.

Judges said that Abts created “compelling images that reveal their complexity slowly over time”.
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About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. You should read Coxsoft Art News more often. I picked the winner back in October! But I must admit I didn’t think she would win, because the judges always pick junk. I selected her abstract painting as the only aesthetically pleasing work I found on the short list. The Turner Prize judges going for aesthetics! That’s the real headline! (Maybe they’ve started reading my blog to get tips. Mm….)

  2. A painter wins the Turner….whatever next? Maybe next year they’ll go really wild and choose a figurative painter instead of a safe abstract one. I’d like to nominate Nicola Slattery – just seen her latest Brute Tamer and Green Girl on her web site… really awesome!

  3. Anonymous says:

    From the Guardian Thursday December 7, 2006,,1966014,00.html

    The leading German art, Niklas Maak, critic writing in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Tomma Abts paintings look “like pattern samples from an old German Democratic Republic wallpaper factory.” Thus he is bewildered as to why the jury chose to award her the prize.

    What do you think?

  4. To be quite honest, I probably agree with the German art critic. The paintings don’t do very much for me, but I am happy that a painter won the prize.

    The problem with the Turner prize is that theyre very bad at choosing Turner Prize Finalists! Which means the winner has to be chosen from 4 average finalists, making the winner an average winner.

    Is just my opinion though.

  5. Well, I too was glad a painter won. And I was just so relieved that the contending works didn’t include a pickled sheep, a braying ‘dunny’ or an unmade bed!

    I read a piece about Tomma’s work a few weeks ago which described her process. But I could not see where ‘building layer by layer’ came in, although it did all look terribly precise and unemotional.

    I was a bit stunned to see that she names all her works from a book of first names … she has reached the E’s at the moment. Also a somewhat cold and passionless exercise to my way of thinking. Still I suppose its better than the ubiquitous “Untitled”.

    Just my opinion. Its good that we are not all alike.

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