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Over-50s on Turner Prize shortlist after age limit scrapped

The artists’ work will be displayed at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull as part of City of Culture celebrations.

The shortlist for this year’s Turner Prize includes two artists over the age of 50 for the first time in more than 25 years.

Since 1991, the upper age limit for those eligible to be considered was set at 50 but the rule change was confirmed earlier this year to reflect “the fact that artists can experience a breakthrough in their work at any age”.

British painter Hurvin Anderson is 52, and Lubaina Himid, who was born in Zanzibar, is 62. They will compete against German artist Andrea Buttner and Palestinian-English artist Rosalind Nashashibi, both of whom are in their 40s.

Anderson, who was born in Birmingham and currently lives and works in London, is known for his vibrant still-life and landscape paintings with an overarching theme of community.

His notable shift between abstract and representational focus is one of his defining styles, and he often uses political and social topics for his subject matter as well as drawing on his Caribbean heritage.

Himid celebrates black creativity and the African diaspora with her work, which includes paintings, prints, drawings and installations.

A key figure of the Black Arts Movement, she currently lives and works in Preston.

For Buttner, who is based in London and Berlin, the limitations of the body are a frequent source of inspiration, and her diverse portfolio includes works of printmaking, sculpture, painting, film and collaborative projects.

Croydon-born, London-based Nashashibi works primarily in film and also paints and creates prints, often fusing the different art forms together, and she drew on domestic life in Gaza and the political background for her piece Electrical Gaza 2015.

In March, Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson, chairman of the Turner Prize jury, announced that artists of any age could now be shortlisted.

The four artists’ work will be displayed in an exhibition at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull as part of the UK City of Culture celebrations from September 26 2017 until January 7 2018.

The winner – who will receive a £25,000 prize – will be announced at a ceremony aired live on the Turner Prize’s broadcast partner the BBC on December 5. Named after the landscape painter JMW Turner, the prize has attracted heated debate since its inception in 1984.

Last year, a huge sculpture of buttocks around 16ft (nearly 5m) high was shortlisted for the prize, which was later won by Helen Marten, whose installation featured coins, cotton buds, shoe soles and eggs.

Previous winners have included Damien Hirst, famous for his pickled shark, Chris Ofili, known for incorporating elephant dung into his paintings, Martin Creed, who displayed a light going on and off, and transvestite potter Grayson Perry.

It is 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. Since 2011 it has been staged outside London every other year.

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