The Contemporary Austin has named cultural activist and multimedia artist Lubaina Himid as the recipient of the 2024 Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize. Himid will receive an unrestricted award of $200,000 and a solo exhibition of her work that will appear at the Texas institution in 2024 before traveling to FLAG Art Foundation in New York. The prize, established by collectors Suzanne Deal Booth and Glenn Fuhrman, is one of the largest and most prestigious in the United States.
“As a British artist, you don’t expect to win an American prize,” Himid told Artnews in an interview. “I know people say it all the time when they win things, but I really am honored.”
The Zanzibar-born artist, who lives and works in Preston, UK, is currently the subject of a retrospective at London’s Tate Modern. A curator, critic, and educator, she is the founder of the Blk Art Group, which profoundly influenced many British Black artists working in the 1980s. Himid won the Turner Prize in 2017, becoming the first Black woman to do so. She has in the ensuing years exhibited her work on New York’s High Line as well as at the Sharjah Biennial and the Berlin Biennale.
“Himid’s work is both content-rich and aesthetically beautiful, making her an excellent choice for this prestigious award,” said sharon maidenberg, executive director and CEO of the Contemporary Austin.
Though she mainly considers herself a painter, Himid is also widely known for her installations, and she hinted that her forthcoming prize-affiliated exhibition may center around works of this nature, as the Tate show does. Himid has said that she will treat the Contemporary Austin as though it were a theater, and that she hopes to place the audience “center-stage, as though they’re the most important people in the room and not the art.”