Assemble Wins 2015 Turner Prize

The group was confused by their nomination.

Assemble. Photo: Tate.

London-based architecture, art, and design collective Assemble is the winner of this year’s Turner Prize, the prestigious annual award given to an artist under the age of 50 working in the UK. The announcement was made by artist and Sonic Youth frontwoman Kim Gordon this evening at approximately 7:30 p.m. GMT at Tramway, an art space in Glasgow.

The DIY design collective works across disciplines to create lasting, community-based projects. Their win this year comes for an ongoing collaboration with residents of the Granby Four Street in Liverpool—a group of terraced houses built around 1900, which residents have been fighting to save from demolition for the past decade.

The group told the Guardian upon receiving the nomination: “We were mostly confused.”

The 18-member collective has been together for less than five years, and are the first “non-artists” to take home the prize. The bootstrapping group was a fan favorite, with several art lovers taking to Twitter to express their love for Assemble’s mission both before and after the award’s announcement.

This year’s nominees were British multimedia artist Bonnie Camplin, Canadian audio and performance artist Janice Kerbel; and German sculptor, installation, and collage artist Nicole Wermers. Each of the shortlisted finalists receive £5,000, and are included in a group exhibition that will be on view until January 17, 2016 at the Tate.

The prize is named for painter J.M.W Turner, and was created by the Tate Britain in 1984. While the monetary award is £25,000, the prize has been known to catapult winning artists toward instant fame, and financial security.

Notable past winners include Gilbert & George (1986), Tony Cragg (1988), Anish Kapoor (1991), Rachel Whiteread (1993), Antony Gormley (1994), Damien Hirst (1995), and Jake and Dinos Chapman (2003). Last year’s winner was Duncan Campbell, an Irish video artist based in Glasgow.

The members of this year’s jury were Alistair Hudson, director of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; Jan Verwoert, an independent critic and curator; Joanna Mytkowska, director of the Warsaw Museum of Modern Art; and Kyla McDonald, artistic director of the Glasgow Sculpture Studios. The jury was chaired by Tate director Alex Farquharson.

This is the first time the award has been presented in Scotland, a decision that Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis noted felt especially natural this year. “Given how many artists from Glasgow have made up the Turner Prize shortlists over recent years, it is great to have the Prize on show in Tramway, which feels like a natural home…” she said in a statement.


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