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Lubaina Himid Wins the 2017 Turner Prize

Lubaina Himid.


Lubaina Himid has won this year’s Turner Prize, one of the most prestigious—and, often, one of the most controversial—art awards in the world. Himid’s win is a historic one, marking the first time a black woman has taken home the award. The prize, awarded by Tate in England, comes with £25,000 (about $33,500). Hurvin Anderson, Andrea Büttner, and Rosalind Nasashibi were also shortlisted for the prize; each will receive £5,000 (or about $6,700).

Since the 1980s, Himid has focused on a range of subjects related to race, from matters of the African diaspora to the visibility of black artists in museums. At 63, the Tanzanian-born artist is the oldest of this year’s nominees. Her paintings, prints, drawings, and installations are currently in the collections of Tate, the Whitworth Art Gallery, and the Leeds City Museum, among other institutions.

Typically, the Turner Prize, which is given out annually, is meant to recognize an emerging artist working in the United Kingdom. (In its first few editions, the Turner Prize also recognized museum directors and curators.) But this year, for the first time since 1991, artists over the age of 50 were eligible to be nominated for the prize. Without the change of guidelines, Himid and Anderson, who are both over 50 years old, could not have been nominated.

The jury for the prize comprised Dan Fox, a co-editor of Frieze magazine; critic Martin Herbert; Mason Leaver-Yap, a moving-image scholar at the Walker Art Center and an associate curator at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art; and Emily Pethick, the director of the Showroom gallery. The 2017 nominees’ work is currently on view at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, England, where the winner was announced in a ceremony this evening.

Past winners of the Turner Prize have included Damien Hirst, Helen Marten, Mark Leckey, Wolfgang Tillmans, Assembly, and Anish Kapoor.

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