Tate announced today that Helen Marten has won its 2016 Turner Prize. The young London-based sculptor will now receive £25,000, or about $31,800. Earlier this month, Marten also won the Hepworth Wakefield museum’s inaugural Hepworth Prize for Sculpture.

With two of England’s biggest art prizes in tow, Marten has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity this month. Her hard-to-describe sculptures are assemblages of unlike materials—the one that won her the Turner Prize, Lunar nibs (2015), which initially appeared at the 2015 Venice Biennale, combines taxidermy insects, coins, steel, plaster, fish skin, and aluminum, among many other items. They evoke worlds that have been destroyed, only to have been pieced together by the survivors of an apocalypse.


Installation view of Greene Naftali’s Helen Marten 2016 show.



Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton, and Josephine Pryde were also nominated this year. Each will now receive £5,000, or about $6,300.

Marten was named winner by a jury that included Bonner Kunstverein Director Michelle Cotton, curator Tamsin Dillon, Stedelijk Museum Director Beatrix Ruf, and Hepworth Wakefield Director Simon Wallis. Alex Farquharson, the director of Tate Britain, chaired the jury.

“The jury think the work is outstanding for its extraordinary range of materials and form,” a release noted. “They admire the work’s poetic and enigmatic qualities which reflect the complexities and challenges of being in the world today. The jury believe she is making an exceptional contribution to the continuing development of contemporary visual art.”

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By Alex Greenberger


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