Lubaina Himid, first black artist to win the Turner Prize

Lubaina Himid, first black artist to win the Turner Prize

Himid is the first black woman to win the prize, as well as the oldest-ever victor, at 63.

"I think there is no longer an overwhelming focus on youth as equating to what's innovative in contemporary art".

Lubaina Himid was born in 1954 in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

The Turner Prize award money is 40,000 pounds ($54,000), with 25,000 pounds going to the victor and 5,000 pounds each for the other short-listed artists.

For her solo exhibition On This Island at The University Art Galleries at UC Irvine's Claire Trevor School of the Arts in California, and her participation in Documenta 14. And then, of course, there is her art, which celebrates black creativity.


At 62-years-old, Himid becomes the oldest person to ever win the Turner Prize, 2017 being the first year since the introduction of a rule change allowing artists over the age of 50 to compete. The figures preen, gawp and guffaw across a raised stage. Incorporating painting, drawing and collage on cut-outs, the installation relates its historical inspiration to our current climate by including contemporary newspaper headlines and images of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

In a more recent piece, "Swallow Hard: The Lancaster Dinner Service" (2007), a dinner set has been repainted to tell the story of slavery. In all probability, she herself will now make the front page of the paper.

Speaking about the age limit being increased before the victor was announced Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain and chairman of the jury, said: "The Turner Prize has always championed emerging artists - it has never been a prize for long service but for a memorable presentation of work in that year". Yet increasingly, there is a widespread acceptance that the "80s black art movement ushered in a lot of what we see today".

For the first time in history, a black artist won the Turner Prize, the most prestigious art award in the United Kingdom. Himid won the day for her "uncompromising tackling of issues including colonial history and how racism persists today" and her influence as a curator and professor as well as a visual artist, according to the statement.

The jury admired Himid's expansive and exuberant approach to painting which combines satire and a sense of theatre. The panel added that they "acknowledged her role as an influential curator and educator who continues to speak urgently to the moment".

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