The exhibition does not open until 7 November, but the bookmakers have calculated the odds already. The Tate announced the shortlist for the 2001 Turner prize on 30 May: Richard Billingham, Martin Creed, Isaac Julien and Mike Nelson. The prize, to be awarded in December, is £20,000. All the participants get their share of coverage in the press, the general public files past the exhibits, but in the end the decision rests with a panel of four art experts, not the general public. The visitor figures for the Turner prize exhibition last year were 70,000—the number peaked at 200,000 when Damien Hirst won the prize in 1995, although there was no charge for admission in that year. The 2001 jury consists of Patricia Bickers, editor of Art Monthly, Stuart Evans, representative of the Patrons of New Art, Robert Storr, senior curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Jonathan Watkins, Director, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. Sir Nicholas Serota, director of Tate, chairs the panel.
o Richard Billingham. William Hill odds: 2-1. Born Birmingham 1970, trained as a painter. Nominated for his solo exhibition at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, and for his contributions to The Sleep of Reason at the Norwich Gallery and to Body Beautiful at Galerie Jennifer Flay, Nice, in which he showed the extension of his work into video and a poignant return to places of childhood memory in his recent photographs.
o Martin Creed. William Hill odds: 5-2. Born Wakefield 1968, graduate of Slade School of Art. Nominated for “Martin Creed Works”, Leeds City Art Gallery, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, and Camden Arts Centre, London, and “Art Now: Martin Creed”, Tate Britain, London, in which he reaffirmed the rigour and purity of his work and its characteristic mixture of seriousness and humour.
o Isaac Julien. William Hill odds: 7-4. Born London 1960, graduate of St Martin’s School of Art, winner of Andy Warhol Foundation Award 1998. Nominated for exhibitions at the South London Gallery and Victoria Miro Gallery, London, of his films, which combine theoretical sophistication with lush sensuality, intelligence, wit and emotional complexity.
o Mike Nelson. William Hill odds: 7-2. Born Loughborough 1967, studied at Reading University and Chelsea College of Art and Design. Winner of the Economist Summer Show 1993. Nominated for his contribution to the British Art Show, National Touring Exhibitions, which exemplified the haunting resonance of his installation works, in which he creates places that suggest a sense of threat, danger, or life on the edge.