City of Culture chief executive Martin Green is “highly optimistic” that talks with the Tate will result in the Turner Prize – past winners memorably have included Damien Hirst’s bisected cow and calf – coming to Hull.
One of the few art prizes recognised by the general public, every year it puts the question: “Is this art?” under the spotlight.
Mr Green said: “The Tate have always made a public commitment that they will support the Turner going to whoever is designated City of Culture.
“If we want to go for it we want to get it right and we are currently discussing detail with the Tate.”
The city’s is no stranger to hosting major art events.
The Leonardo da Vinci exhibition in 2012 drew in huge crowds, while David Hockney’s Bigger Trees Near Warter, a mammoth painting spread over 50 separate canvases, drew a record-breaking 63,000 visitors to the Ferens Art Gallery in the city in 2011.
Asked about other awards Hull could bid to host such as the Man Booker, Green said he was not hung up over big-name prizes: “It is great to have the Press attention that prizes bring but they traditionally tend to have very selected invited audiences. “What we are interested in is growing the opportunity for everybody in Hull and the East Riding to come and see stuff.”
The latest winner of the Turner Prize – now in its 30th year – was announced at Tate Britain. Irish-born artist Campbell won for his series of films called It For Others.
Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor presented the £25,000 prize to him.
In the run up critics had labelled the show “timid” and “underwhelming”.
The anti-conceptual art group the Stuckists, who regularly protest at the lack of figurative painting said they could not be bothered this year as it had “sunk to a predictable and pathetic level of elitist repetition”.
Three of the four artists, Tris Vonn Michell, Ciara Phillips and Campbell – who was the bookie’s favourite – are alumni of the Glasgow School of Art.
The fourth artist Cardiff-born Richards, 31, is showing Rosebud 2013, his film which includes censored, erotic images from a book found in a Tokyo library.
As well as scenes of puddles, a bird, and the contours of a fingertip, his black-and-white footage also features “a head of elderflowers trailed lightly over lips, skin and genitals”.
His footage, described as “poetic meditations on the pleasure, sensuality and the voyeurism that is in the act of looking” carries a warning from the gallery about “scenes of an adult nature.”
Vonna-Michell’s film Finding Chopin: Dans l’Essex (2014), features salt marshes and the Essex coastline and is inspired by a French sound poet who spent part of his life in Essex, close to where the 31-year-old artist grew up.
His other work, Postscript II (Berlin) 2014, is a slide installation based on a story about the artist’s mother’s childhood in post-war Germany.
Dublin-born Campbell’s films – one of which lasts almost an hour – tackle African art and colonialism and equations from Karl Marx’s Capital Volume 1.
Glasgow-based artist Phillips, 38, is the only artist not to use film in the exhibition. Her installation, Things Shared (2014), features prints.
The Turner Prize 2014 exhibition runs to January 4 at Tate Britain in central London.