( news.bbc.co.uk ) Tomma Abts, who has lived in London for 12 years, beat video artist Phil Collins, poster artist Mark Titchner and sculptor Rebecca Warren.
The judges said the 38-year-old had produced "compelling images that reveal their complexity slowly over time".
Artist Yoko Ono presented the ВЈ25,000 prize at London's Tate Britain.
Abts, whose paintings always measure 48 x 38 cm (19 x 15 in), said it was "a real honour" to receive the prize.
She said she did not know what she would do with the prize money, adding: "I think it's nice but every artist in the prize deserved to win."
Judges included Tate galleries chairman Sir Nicholas Serota and newspaper writer Lynn Barber.
Collins' work also features a film of Turkish people discussing how their lives have been ruined by appearing on reality TV.
Sculptor Rebecca Warren's exhibits include displays of found objects, including bits of fluff, twigs, and a discarded cherry stone.
Mark Titchner's entry features a computer-designed billboard with the slogan, "Tiny Masters Of The World Come Out".
The Turner Prize, which began in 1984, is given to a British-based artist aged under 50 "for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work.