I Start without Any Idea and I Aim for an Eventual Result at Some Point-; Abstract Art Explained by First Woman Painter to Win the Turner Prize

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GERMAN painter Tomma Abts, who admits that she has no idea what her finished paintings will look like when she starts them, has won the Turner Prize.

Abts, who lives in Clerkenwell, is the first female painter to win the [pounds sterling]25,000 prize, which this year was untypically free of controversy.

The abstract painter beat reality TV video artist Phil Collins, installationist Mark Titchner and sculptor Rebecca Warren to land modern art's most famous accolade in a ceremony at Tate Britain last night.

The award to Abts, presented by Yoko Ono, was perceived as the Turner Prize returning to its artistic roots. The first two winners of the 22-year-old prize were painters Malcolm Morley and Howard Hodgkin. The last painter to win was Chris Ofili, who features elephant dung on his canvas, in 1998.

Abts, 38, has been living in London since 1995. She said: "I really like it here. I feel at home. When I came here there was so much more energy here than there was at home."

Abts, who has admitted her paintings don't symbolise anything, said last night of her artistic process: "I start without any idea and then it's a slow process to find shapes and establish abstraction. I aim for an eventual result at some point but not for a while." She added of her victory: "I think it's nice but every artist deserved to win."

Collins made history for being the first shortlisted artist not to have completed his Turner Prize submission by the time of the ceremony. …


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