Tate, the organiser of the Turner Prize, has announced that it will be lifting the under-50 age limit for the 2017 prize shortlist. Artists of any age will now be eligible for the prize from this year onwards.

The age limit was introduced in 1991 – the year the prize was won by Anish Kapoor – in order to ensure that the prize reflected contemporary developments in art rather than it being a lifetime achievement award. However, there have been increasing calls for the age limit to be abolished.

Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson, chair of this year’s jury, said of the move: “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.”

Helen Marten, the winner of the 2016 Turner Prize, was the youngest artist on that year’s shortlist at 31. The artist Richard Wright, who won the prize in 2009, was 49 when he was nominated.

Tate also announced that the artists’ work for the Turner Prize exhibition itself will now also be taken into consideration by the jury when deciding on a winner, as well as the projects for which the artists were nominated.

The 2017 Turner Prize shortlist will be announced in May. The exhibition will this year take place at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, from 26 September 2017 to 7 January 2018.

Helen Marten, Turner Prize 2016, Tate Britain. Photo: Joe Humphrys © Tate Photography

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