Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press (born 1966) is an English artist, who was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2002. In 2010, she produced new work for a Duveen Hall commission at Tate Britain. She is one of the Young British Artists.

Life and work

2010 Tate Britain exhibition of an RAF Jaguar installed by Banner.

Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press was born in Merseyside, North West England. She studied at Kingston University and completed her MA at Goldsmiths College in 1993. The next year she held her first solo exhibition at City Racing.[1]

In 1995, she was included in General Release: Young British Artists held at the XLVI Venice Biennale.[1] She is one of the "key names",[2] along with Jake and Dinos Chapman, Gary Hume, Sam Taylor-Wood, Tacita Dean and Douglas Gordon,[2] of the Young British Artists.[3][4][5][6]

Her early work took the form of "wordscapes" or "still films"—blow-by-blow accounts written in her own words of feature films including Point Break (1991) and The Desert (1994). Her work took the form of solid single blocks of text, often the same shape and size as a cinema screen. In 1997, she founded The Vanity Press, through which she published her own works, such as the Nam, The Bastard Word and All The World's Fighter Planes. The Nam (1997), is a 1,000-page book which describes the plots of six Vietnam films in their entirety: the films are Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fourth of July, The Deer Hunter, Full Metal Jacket, Hamburger Hill and Platoon. Since then she has published many works, some in the form of books, some sculptural, some performance based. In 2009 she issued herself an ISBN number and registered herself as a publication under her own name. Humour, conflict and language are at the core of her work.[7]

Following her shows at the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, and Dundee Contemporary Arts, Banner was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2002. The wall of her show in the Turner Prize exhibition at [2] was dominated by a 6 x 4-metre advertising billboard, titled Arsewoman in Wonderland. The billboard presented a written description of a pornographic film. The Guardian asked, "It's art. But is it porn?" calling in "Britain's biggest porn star", Ben Dover, to comment.[8] The prize was won that year by Lancastrian artist Keith Tyson.

In 2010, she was selected to create the 10th Duveen Hall commission at Tate Britain[9] for which she transformed and displayed two decommissioned Royal Air Force fighter jets.[10] Other recent exhibitions include: Runway AW17, De Pont Museum, Tilburg, Netherlands (2017),[11] Buoys Boys, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, UK (2016),[12] Scroll Down And Keep Scrolling, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2015)[13] and Kunsthalle Nuremberg, Germany (2016), Wp Wp Wp, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield (2014)[14].

Banner’s work includes sculpture, drawing and installation; text is the core of her oeuvre. She has also treated the idea of the classic, art-historical nude, observing a life model and transcribing the pose and form in a similar vein to her earlier transcription of films.

On 1 October 2010, in an open letter to the British government's culture secretary Jeremy Hunt—co-signed by a further 27 previous Turner prize nominees, and 19 winners—Banner opposed any future cuts in public funding for the arts. In the letter the cosignatories described the arts in Britain as a "remarkable and fertile landscape of culture and creativity."[15]


  1. ^ a b Stonard, John-Paul. "Fiona Banner", Tate from text of Grove Art Online, 10 December 2000. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  2. ^ a b Grant, Simon. "Cultural propganda?"[sic] Archived 28 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Apollo, 27 March 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  3. ^ "Fiona Banner born 1966", Tate. Retrieved 13 June 2010. Archived at WebCite.
  4. ^ Darwent, Charles. "The painted word", New Statesman, 12 February 1999. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  5. ^ Johnson, Ken. "Art in review; Fiona Banner, The New York Times, 26 March 1999. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  6. ^ Gleadell, Colin. Market news: the bronze age", The Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2003. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  7. ^ https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/art-artists/name/fiona-banner-ra
  8. ^ Brockes, Emma "It's art. But is it porn?", The Guardian online, 5 November 2002. Retrieved 21 May 2007.
  9. ^ [1] Art Review magazine, January 2010
  10. ^ http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/video/fiona-banner-harrier-and-jaguar
  11. ^ http://www.depont.nl/en/exhibitions/archive/fiona-banner/
  12. ^ https://www.dlwp.com/exhibition/fionabanner/
  13. ^ http://www.ikon-gallery.org/event/fiona-banner/
  14. ^ https://ysp.org.uk/exhibitions/fiona-banner-wp-wp-wp
  15. ^ Peter Walker, "Turner prize winners lead protest against arts cutbacks," The Guardian, 1 October 2010.

External links