My first thought on leaving the exhibition of the work of the finalists for the Turner Prize, at Tate Britain, was “That’s £8 down the drain”. The art was completely devoid of beauty or craftsmanship and the ideas behind the works of art were for the most part facile. The saddest exhibit was by Susan Philipsz (sic), who didn’t present any art at all but , but put two speakers into an empty room, through which came the sound of her own voice singing, unaccompanied, Scottish folk songs (or dirges) on a loop. The sound was slightly distorted and competed with the noise of a video being played in the adjacent room.
Almost as dire, was the sculpture displayed by Angela Cruz, of which there is an example in this picture, called the 3 Leg Chair. This piece wasn’t even new, as she first exhibited it in 2004.
The Turner Prize is supposed to represent the best of British art, which it doesn’t, in any respect. In contrast, the exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, entitled Newspeak: British Art Now, displays the work of 55 British artists, almost all of whom knock spots off the Turner Prize finalists. And it’s free.