Runa Islam, Mark Leckey, Goshka Macuga, and Cathy Wilkes are the artists in the running to win the Turner Prize, the same honor Damien Hirst so controversially won in 1995, according to Artforum. The Turner is awarded annually to a British artist under the age of 50 and has been handed out since 1984. But the prize lost a bit of its prestige to some critics when Mr. Hirst won. Conservative politician Norman Tebbit wrote in the Sun: "Have they gone stark raving mad? The works of the "artist" are lumps of dead animals. There are thousands of young artists who didn’t get a look in, presumably because their work was too attractive to sane people. Modern art experts never learn."
The Telegraph reports that Mr. Leckey, who lives and works in London, is an artist who makes films and describes himself as "slightly obsessed with Felix the Cat." Cartoons such as The Simpsons also feature in his recent work. Runa Islam makes films that, according to The Guardian, reference Fassbinder and Get Carter, and are "open-ended narratives that are analytical and emotionally charged". Her recent video installation Be The First To See What You See As You See It, 2004, depicts a woman dressed in white wandering around a gallery space of fragile porcelain pieces, before throwing them to the floor. Goshka Macuga creates carefully staged installations she describes as "cultural archaeology"; her 2005 work A Time to Live, A Time to Die reworked images from Picasso and Max Ernst in hand-tooled leather. Glasgow artist Cathy Wilkes uses shop mannequins in her installations, including a mannequin sitting on the toilet and one pushing a pram. We Are Pro-Choice, 2008, features a mannequin on a toilet with a bowl with leftover bits of dried porridge at her feet.
Last year, Mark Wallinger won for his installation State Britain, a detailed recreation of Brian Haw’s Parliament Square protest. Past winners include Gilbert and George, Anish Kapoor, Mr. Hirst, Grayson Perry, and Chris Ofili. The winner will be announced on December 1.