The victor is Lubaina Himid, an artist, and art teacher born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, 63 years ago, whose colorful paintings stand out for treating racism and the legacies of slavery.
Himid, 63, is the oldest artist to win the award so far. She is now based in Preston, England; her work primarily addresses racial politics and the representation of black people in art. The 2017 award announced by DJ, producer and artist Goldie blasts off tonight, Tuesday 5 December from 21:30 GMT. Established in 1984 by the Patrons of New Art, it is awarded to a British artist for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding 24 April 2017.
Himid beat British painter Hurvin Anderson, whose images often draw on his Caribbean heritage; German-born multidisciplinary artist Andrea Buttner; and Palestinian-English artist Rosalind Nashashibi.
The jury commended the nominated artists for their socially engaged and visually imaginative work.
An exhibition in Hull's Ferens Gallery showcasing the nominees work, which organizers said has been visited by over 90,000 people since opening in September, runs until January 7.
This year's shortlist was also noted for being one of the most diverse.
Works by all of the nominees are on display in an exhibition at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull.
The prize's panel said they admired Himid's "expansive and exuberant approach to painting which combines satire and a sense of theatre". The jury praised these exhibitions for addressing pertinent questions of personal and political identity.
Himid has consistently foregrounded the contribution of African diaspora to Western culture.
The works are joined by Anderson's dream-like tropical landscape paintings, Büttner's woodblock prints of beggars and two films by Nashashibi-a commission for the Imperial War Museum observing daily life in Gaza and Vivian's Garden, which explores the relationship between the mother-and-daughter artists in Guatemala, Elisabeth Wild and Vivian Suter. Often incorporating archival material, Büttner's exhibitions investigate shame, vulnerability and poverty. She is Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire. They show how the intimate and everyday collide with issues of surveillance and control.