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Lubaina Himid wins Turner Prize

06 December 2017

She is not only the oldest artist to receive the UK's top contemporary art prize, at 63, but also the first woman of color to win it.

Himid was born in 1954 in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Her own work challenges these boundaries, as seen in her solo show Revenge, featuring consecutive paintings of black women protagonists and memorials to the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade, at Rochdale Art Gallery and the South Bank Centre, London, in 1992, which contested the pictorial narratives so frequently repeated in art history. A further £5,000 was awarded to each of the other three shortlisted artists.

All of this - and much else besides - makes her newsworthy.

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Lubaina Himid, a key figure of the Black Arts Movement, was named as the victor of this year's Turner Prize for art on Tuesday evening at a ceremony in the northern English city of Hull. In one of most celebrated proposals, a fashionable marriage, Himid is inspired by paintings of William Hogarth in 17th century to recreate a satirical altarpiece in which Margaret Thatcher adopts pose of a Countess dissolute and Ronald Reagan Of his mistress, facing gaze of a black servant.

In the past, the prize has been viewed as a vehicle for younger artists, but it has moved in a new direction this year, with two nominees over 40 and the other two short-listed artists in their 50s and 60s.

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.

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"This year we opened the prize up to artists of all ages, recognising that breakthroughs can happen at any point in an artistic career", said the Tate's director, Maria Balshaw. He felt those artists" contributions had not been "recognized as a key aspect of the story of art at the time.

According to a statement, they praised Himid for "her uncompromising tackling of issues including colonial history and how racism persists today".

The prize's panel said they admired Himid's "expansive and exuberant approach to painting which combines satire and a sense of theatre".

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"The jury also acknowledged her role as an influential curator and educator who continues to speak urgently to the moment".

Lubaina Himid wins Turner Prize