The gallery will award one-off bursaries of £10,000 to 10 artists as part of a scheme called the Turner Bursaries, which has been funded by donations from Tate supporters.
The 10 artists who receive the bursaries will be selected by the 2020 Turner jury, who have spent the past 12 months visiting exhibitions in anticipation for the prize. The jurors are Richard Birkett, curator at large at the Institute of Contemporary Arts; Sarah Munro, director of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Fatoş Üstek, director of Liverpool Biennial; and Duro Olowu, designer and curator.
Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner Prize jury, said: “Gallery closures and social distancing measures are vitally important, but they are also causing huge disruption to the lives and livelihoods of artists. The practicalities of organising a Turner Prize exhibition are impossible in the current circumstances, so we have decided to help support even more artists during this exceptionally difficult time. I think JMW Turner, who once planned to leave his fortune to support artists in their hour of need, would approve of our decision. I appreciate visitors will be disappointed that there is no Turner Prize this year, but we can all look forward to it returning in 2021.”
The gallery said that its decision would “help support a larger selection of artists through this period of profound disruption and uncertainty”.
The 2019 Turner Prize was awarded to all of its shortlisted artists – Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani – after they requested to be considered as a group to recognise principles of “commonality, multiplicity and solidarity”.