They say no one likes a sore loser. And Iâ€™ve no doubt in person that after the winner was announced in last nightâ€™s Turner Prize, George Shaw was gracious in defeat.
But shortly after Martin Boyce stepped up to claim the Â£20,000 award, it appeared to be paintings by Shaw which commented most directly on the evening.
You donâ€™t even need to see these works to get the picture. Titles included â€˜The Age of Bullshitâ€™, â€˜Same Old Crapâ€™ and â€˜Landscape with Dogshit Binâ€™.
BALTIC was heaving with metropolitan types. And it all at once seemed, no way could artâ€™s most glittering accolade have gone to Shawâ€™s vision of dead end suburbia.
But the Coventry painter offered something so different, one gets the feeling this yearâ€™s Turner was his to lose. Perhaps ‘humankind cannot’bear very much reality’, as Eliot might have said of the panel.
Shawâ€™s exhibition was the last you came to after waltzing round the angular sculpture of Boyce, the heavy duty film rigs of Lloyd and the exploded soap factory of Black.
His dozen or so paintings brought you back down to earth here. There were gray skies and graffiti many would recognise as humble origins not a million miles from their own.
Too humble, perhaps, for a prize with international renown. So with those disgruntled titles, Shaw remains an outsider, his vision all the more powerful for not having won.
The 2011 Turner Prize was held at Baltic, Gateshead on Monday 5 December. Thanks to sponsors Nokia for an invite.