The artists Lubaina Himid, 62, and Hurvin Anderson, 52, were among the four nominees for the Turner Prize, Britain’s leading contemporary art award, in the first year since 1991 in which artists 50 and older were eligible for application.
Another artist tackling black history is Hurvin Anderson, 52, of Jamaican descent, who was born in Birmingham and is now based in London. His paintings draw from his own childhood: a barbershop interior decorated with images of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, and an image of his brother scrumping for apples displayed alongside a child climbing a mango tree in Jamaica. Anderson was chosen for his exhibitions Hurvin Anderson: Dub Versions at New Art Exchange in Nottingham and Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Canada. He was cited by the jury as “an outstanding British painter” whose work “speaks to our current political moment with questions about identity and belonging”.
The other two nominees on the shortlist announced on Wednesday by Tate Britain were Andrea Büttner and Rosalind Nashashibi, both in their 40s.
All the artists have had “stand-out” shows in the past year, according to the jury. Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Modern and jury chairman, said: “I think we can safely acknowledge that artists can experience a breakthrough at any age without any risk of the prize becoming a lifetime achievement award. This year’s shortlist is a case in point: two of the four artists on this year’s list are over 50. They all had breakthrough years in 2017.”
An exhibition of the four shortlisted artists’ work will be on display at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull as part of the UK City of Culture celebrations, from 26 September 2017 – 7 January 2018. The winner will be announced on 5 December 2017 live on the BBC. The prize is £25,000, with £5,000 going to the other three shortlisted artists. Last year’s winner Helen Marten famously shared her prize money with the other nominees.