Shifting Terms

The Turner Prize is making some historic changes to its eligibility criteria and judging process in 2017 and 2018. Tate has revealed that the renowned award will now welcome artists of any age into its shortlist, foregoing its previous eligibility criteria stipulating that nominated artists must be under 50. This rule was first introduced in 1991 to distinguish the Turner Prize from a lifetime achievement award. Moreover, 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.

Established in 1984 by the Patrons of New Art, the Turner Prize 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. In 2017, the jury is comprised of 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. They will reveal their shortlist in early May, and the next exhibition will open at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull on 26 September.

In other news, the Prize’s jury for 2018 has also been announced by Tate. 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 next jurors for the award, which returns to Tate Britain in 2018. One of the best known prizes for the visual arts, the Turner Prize promotes public debate around new developments in contemporary art. Since 2011 it has been staged outside of London every other year.

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.”

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1. Richard Wright, 2009.