News
Older artists prove age is no barrier
Financial Times
James Pickford
4 May 2017

The Turner Prize has flouted convention by rediscovering it. The annual contemporary art prize, which has provoked protest in the past over unmade beds and picked cows, has revealed a 2017 shortlist including two painters on canvas, an artist in woodcuts and a 16mm film-maker.
 
The four shortlisted artists for the £25,000 prize, which is given for an “outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work”, are Hurvin Anderson, Andrea Büttner, Lubaina Himid and Rosalind Nashashibi.
 
For the first time since 1991, the hurry scrapped the age limit of 50, which was put in place to ensure it focused on work by younger artists, rather more established names.
 
Mr Anderson, a 52-year-old Birmingham-born artist of Jamaican heritage, explores themes of identity and cultural history in his vibrantly coloured paintings, with depictions of barbershops and famous figures from black history such as Martin Luther King and Malcom X. 
 
Ms Büttner, a Stuttgart-born artist who studied at the Royal College of Art in London, works in prints, sculpture, painting and film, but attracted attention for her use of unfashionable media such as woodblock prints and glass painting.
 
Born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Ms Himid, a professor of contemporary art at the University of Central Lancashire and the oldest artist on the list at 62, has worked over three decades on paintings, drawings and installations that “celebrate black creativity and the people of the African diaspora”, the judges said.
 
Two films by Ms Nashashibi prompted the judges to include the 43-year-old Croydon-born artist on the list: Electrical Gaza (2015), in which she splices observations of family life in Gaza with the realities of political conflict; and Vivian’s Garden (2017), focused on a mother-daughter relationship in a jungle garden in Guatemala.
 
An exhibition of work by all four artists will open on September 16 in Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery as part of the UK City of Culture programme. The award will be announced on December 5.