Lubaina Himid, first black artist to win the Turner Prize
Dec 06 2017 by Johnny Bowman
The £25,000 prize was presented by DJ, producer and artist Goldie during a live broadcast on the BBC.
Lubaina Himid, 63, on Tuesday became the oldest victor of the Turner Prize, Britain's most prestigious yet controversial visual art award, for her works celebrating black creativity.
Lubaina Himid works with diverse techniques, mainly engravings, paintings and installations with diverse materials. The jury praised the artist for her "uncompromising tackling of issues including colonial history and how racism persists today". Also speaking to the Guardian, Himid stated that she was happy to have won the award, and honored the many other black women who were never able to win, even after they were shortlisted.
Alongside her artistic practice Himid has curated exhibitions to showcase underrepresented Black artists.
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The jury chose to reward her for the "vitality of her work" and "the seriousness of the issues she deals with, which are very relevant today", said Tate Britain museum director and president of the award jury, Alex Farquharson. Himid was chosen ahead of Hurvin Anderson, Andrea Büttner and Rosalind Nashashibi, who each took home £5,000. They admire her expansive and exuberant approach to painting which combines satire and a sense of theatre.
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.
The Turner Prize, organized by Tate Gallery, is considered the most high-profile prize in the British art world and one of the most prestigious awards in the visual art world. Established in 1984 by the Patrons of New Art, it is awarded to a British artist for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding 24 April 2017.
The jury was led by the Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson and included the Frieze editor Dan Fox, the critic Martin Herbert, the Walker Art Center scholar Mason Leaver-Yap and the The Showroom director Emily Pethick. Once exclusively exhibited in London, the prize is now displayed out of capital, with this year's location being Hull, the "the UK City of Culture 2017" at the Ferens Art Gallery. Perhaps seismically. For the first time in a long time (aside from the relentlessly predictable cycle of auction records) contemporary art has elbowed its way back onto the front pages - and thrillingly.