Ageism Sucks: Turner Prize Scraps Under Fifty Age Restriction

The Tate announced today that The Turner Prize will scrap the stipulation that the shortlisted artists must be under 50, in a bid to become more inclusive. The rule was introduced in 1991 to distinguish the Turner Prize from a lifetime achievement award. Established in 1984 by the Patrons of New Art, it will continue to be awarded annually to an artist, born, living or working in Britain, for an outstanding exhibition or public presentation of their work anywhere in the world in the previous year. As one of the best-known prizes for the visual arts, it aims to promote public debate around new developments in contemporary art. Since 2011 it has been staged outside of London every other year. 

“I am delighted to announce the modified terms of the award” – Alex Farquharson

It has also been announced that Oliver Basciano, art critic and International Editor at ArtReview; Elena Filipovic, Director, Kunsthalle Basel; Lisa LeFeuvre, Head of Sculpture Studies, Henry Moore Institute; and Tom McCarthy, novelist and writer, will be the jurors for Turner Prize 2018 at Tate Britain. It is also announced today that the criteria of the Prize have been modified. Artists of any age will be eligible to be shortlisted and the Turner Prize exhibition will now be taken into consideration by the jury as part of the terms of the Prize, alongside the projects for which the artists are nominated.

Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain and chair of the Turner Prize jury said: “I am delighted to announce our esteemed jury for Turner Prize 2018 as well as the modified terms of the award. We have always kept these terms under review and we feel that now is the right moment to make this change. 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. Now that its reputation is so firmly established, we want to acknowledge the fact that artists can experience a breakthrough in their work at any age.”

The jury for the 2017 Prize will now be able to consider artists over 50 for their shortlist. The jury for 2017 is Dan Fox, Co-Editor at Frieze; Martin Herbert, art critic; Mason Leaver-Yap, Walker Art Center’s Bentson Scholar of Moving Image in Minneapolis and Director of LUX; and Emily Pethick, Director, Showroom. The four shortlisted artists will be announced in early May, and the exhibition of their work will open at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull on 26 September 2017.

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