Britain’s Turner Prize has announced that it is eliminating its rule stating that only artists under fifty are eligible for the contemporary art award. It is also expanding the judging parameters. Previously, artists were only judged based on work for which they were nominated. Moving forward, the selection panel will also take into consideration works created for the Turner Prize exhibition.
Director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner prize jury Alex Farquharson told The Guardian that it was the right time to make a change. “The Turner prize has always championed emerging artists,” he said. “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 stage.”
Prize organizers revealed the changes when it announced the jury members for the 2018 prize—novelist Tom McCarthy; Lisa Le Feuvre, head of sculpture studies at the Henry Moore Institute; Elena Filipovic, director of Kunsthalle Basel; and Oliver Basciano, art critic and international editor of ArtReview.
Founded in 1984, the prize originally honored critics, curators, and cultural leaders as well as artists. In 1988, it decided to only recognize artists, and in 1991 the age restriction was created.