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LONDON (Reuters) – An artist who paints portraits of imaginary people joined a French-born filmmaker, a British-German performance artist and a British multimedia artist on the shortlist for modern art’s most prestigious and controversial award on Thursday.
The portraits of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, the first black woman to be named a finalist for the annual 25,000-pound Turner Prize, appear traditional but are of imaginary people with invented histories, the Tate Britain museum said.
Laure Prouvost’s films employ quick cuts, montage and deliberate misuse of language to create “surprising and unpredictable work”, said the Tate, which chairs the prize.
British-German Tino Sehgal’s “intimate works” consist purely of live encounters between people, and David Shrigley’s “macabre” multimedia works dwell on black humour, it said.
The Turner Prize rewards British artists aged under 50 for an “outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding”. The three finalists who do not win will receive 5,000 pounds each.
Established in 1984, the prize has thrived on public debate about what constitutes art, with critics accusing past winners of creating works designed purely to shock.
Damien Hirst was presented with the prize in 1995 for a pickled cow, and in 2001 an empty room with a light that switched on and off clinched the prize for Martin Creed.
Critics were delighted last year when British video artist Elizabeth Price won the prize for her film “The Woolworths Choir of 1979” about a fatal fire in Manchester in that year, describing it variously as “terrifying” and “exhilarating”.
This year’s Turner exhibition will be held in Derry-Londonderry, 2013’s UK City of Culture. The winner will be announced on December 2.
Reporting by Paul Casciato; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall
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