A report by Farah Nayeri for the New York Times.
The artists Lubaina Himid, 62, and Hurvin Anderson, 52, were among the four nominees for the Turner Prize, Britain’s leading contemporary art award, in the first year since 1991 in which artists 50 and older were eligible.
The other two nominees on the shortlist announced on Wednesday by Tate Britain were Andrea Büttner and Rosalind Nashashibi, both in their 40s. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Hull, northeast England, on Dec. 5.
Born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Ms. Himid produces paintings, drawings and installations that make reference to the African diaspora and to the slave industry. Mr. Anderson, a painter whose parents were Jamaican immigrants, explores the theme of identity and is known for his depictions of Afro-Caribbean barbershops.
Ms. Büttner, originally from Germany, works in a variety of media ranging from woodcut and glass painting to performance; her subjects include religion and botany. Ms. Nashashibi, who is Palestinian-British, works principally in film; she represented domestic life in Gaza in a 2015 piece titled “Electrical Gaza.”
The change in criteria was announced in March by Alex Farquharson, the director of Tate Britain, who took over in 2015 and also heads the Turner Prize jury.
“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,” he said. “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 Turner Prize was set up in 1984 and goes to an artist born, living or working in Britain for a standout show or presentation of their work anywhere in the world in the preceding year. The prize money is 25,000 pounds (about $32,000) for the winner and £5,000 each for the runners-up.
Over the years, the prize has served as a launchpad for the careers of artists including Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley, Steve McQueen and Chris Ofili.