In 2006 the Turner Prize gained its first ever female winner. The artist who achieved this feat hails from Germany and is called is Tomma Abts. In order to carry off the Turner Prize – in the final, Tomma had to overcome three notable artists .
In no particular order of importance these were – sculptress Rebecca Warren who was the fancied hot favourite with many bookies, „billboard artist“ Mark Titchner – and finally film maker Phil Collins…(No not him of Genesis fame!).
When the judges cast their votes however it was Tomma Abts who came out on top. She won twenty five thousand british pounds and of course the Turner Prize itself. I am sure the money will come in handy – however its the exposure that Tomma will get from winning thats the really important thing here.
What does Tomma Abts do? Well she actually paints abstract art; usually in oils or acrylics. – something of a novelty for the Turner Prize – some would say! Tomma Abts was originally selected for her solo art exhibitions at Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland, and Greengrassi, London.
- Tomma Abts has been praised by no less than the Tate Gallery who describes her canvases as „intimate“ and „compelling“ .
- They also comment on Tommas „consistent“ and even „rigorous“ method of painting.
- In addition the Tate states that Tomma Abts „enriches the language of abstract art“ .
- With such praise heaped upon her head its no surprise to me that she won the prize.
- However I actually feel that Tommas abstract artwork isnt „knock out“ but it definitely is OK.
The images or paintings of Tomma Abts are created by the repetiton of various geometrical shapes on a base of rich colour. Personally – I dont think that Tommas approach to painting is particularly original. However I have to admit that while not being „knock out“ I find some of Tommas images pretty compelling and touching. I have to say that this does surprise me.
48 x 38 cms – exactly. These are the dimensions of every Tomma Abts painting. Im not sure quite why Tomma selected these dimensions. Obviously she finds them appealing and I suppose they make for a very compact painting.
When creating titles for her paintings apparently Tomma simply plucks one from a dictionary of German first names! Titles like „Veeke“ for example were created in this way. In my view this is surely only slightly more interesting than numbering each picture!
All in all I think that Tomma Abts creates abstract art that is pretty accessible to the public at large. This is something that perhaps could not be said about the artwork of previous Turner Prize winners! I base my opinion of course on Tommas prize winning paintings. I would go further and state that I cannot conceive of a Tomma Abts creation offending anyone – even slightly.
In the end its just my personal opinion but I do believe that its entirely posible that Tomma Abts will go on to become a household name – within her own lifetime…Of course she could also disappear without trace from the media – and our minds in the blink of an eye, for precisely the same reasons.