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the Hugo Boss Prize

THE $50,000 PRIZE MONEY is nothing to sneeze at, and the six finalists—Bul Lee (Korea), Douglas Gordon (Scotland), William Kentridge (South Africa), Huang Yong Ping (China), Pipilotti Rist (Switzerland), and Lorna Simpson (US)—whose work goes up at Guggenheim SoHo on June 24 in anticipation of a July decision, are serious, provocative artists. So how come nobody gives a patootie about the Hugo Boss Prize, the biennial award underwritten by the German haberdasher and administered by the Guggenheim Museum? The Turner Prize—about $30,000, handed out annually since 1984 to a UK artist—generates much more suspense and debate on the streets of both Sohos.

The Turner’s parochialism is actually its strength. Foreigners are curious about whom the British will pick to represent them on the international stage. Juicier still, the Turner usually goes to an artist (Damien Hirst, Gillian Wearing) who

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