Turner Prize drops age barrier to allow mature nominees

Two artists over 50 are among finalists for the prestigious Turner Prize, famed for launching the careers of Damien Hirst and other members of the “Young British Artists” generation.

Organizers have removed an upper age limit of 50 for nominees, a restriction in place since 1991.

As a result, the finalists announced Wednesday reflect a more mature, distinguished group:

  • British painter Hurvin Anderson
  • Zanzibar-born, London-raised artist Lubaina Himid
  • German-born multidisciplinary artist Andrea Buttner
  • Palestinian-English artist Rosalind Nashashibi

Anderson is 52 and Himid 62, while Buttner and Nashashibi are in their 40s.

The winner of the £25,000 (around $44,235 Cdn) prize will be announced Dec. 5.

Founded in 1984, the prize goes to a U.K.-based artist and often sparks debate about the value of modern art. Here’s a look at this year’s nominees.

Hurvin Anderson

Anderson grew up in Birmingham and his images often draw on his Caribbean heritage and Birmingham’s black community. His work was showcased last year at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, his first Canadian solo exhibition.

Hurvin Anderson 'Is it OK to be black?'

A look at Hurvin Anderson’s piece, Is it OK to be black? (Hurvin Anderson)

Lubaina Himid

Himid is ​one of the U.K.’s leading black female artists. Her work focuses on cultural history, including what she think her life would have been like in Zanzibar (she left for London at a young age).

Himid’s work came to prominence in 1980s during the U.K.’s Black Art movement.

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Andrea Buttner

Buttner is a multidisciplinary artist, working with wood, glass, video and sculpture. She often references religious communities in her work, notably groups of nuns.

She has had a solo exhibition in Canada at the Banff Centre in Alberta.

Andrea Büttner

An installation view of Andrea Buttner’s Gesamtzusammenhang. (Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen/Gunnar Meier/Andrea Buttner)

Rosalind Nashashibi

At 43, Nashashibi is the youngest artist on the list but she’s no less accomplished. Her work largely consists of films, including Electric Gaza. She’s exhibited in Canada at OCAD University in Toronto and the Presentation House Gallery in Vancouver.

In 2003, she was the first female recipient of the now discontinued Beck’s Futures prize, which came with an even bigger cash amount than the Turner.

Rosalind Nashashibi

A still from Rosalind Nashashibi’s film Electrical Gaza (Rosalind Nashashibi)

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