Lubaina Himid’s win is richly deserved but raises questions about the future of the Turner Prize. It may be impossible for juries to give the award to younger artists ahead of long deserving ones. Lubaina Himid’s paintings and painterly sculptural tableaux, teeming with powerful political and social messages and no shortage of absurdity and wry humour, have been a consistent, if too little acknowledged, presence on the British art scene for decades. But her win raises all sorts of questions about the Turner Prize’s past, present and future.

The centrepiece of Himid’s presentation in Hull (until 7 January) is her work A Fashionable Marriage (1986), a play on Hogarth’s series Marriage A-la-Mode (around 1743), recast amid the turbulent politics of the 1980s, complete with a satirised Margaret Thatcher figure. Earlier this year, Himid told The Art Newspaper that with this work, she was “laying down the gauntlet in every way I possibly could—I was full of hope and looking for a fight”. The piece is a “very particular way of talking about the history of why black people are here and also about the circumstances in which we found ourselves in the 1980s”, Himid told us. “There were black political activities going on in the streets, and in the art world we were trying to decide whether calling ourselves black artists was sensible because it drew attention, or alienating because it flagged up the work as political rather than considering it as art.”…read more

Image: Lubaina Himid By Danny Lawson