LONDON, August 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Winner to be chosen by public vote starting today; Canada House to host UK exhibition
The Grange Prize, an innovative partnership between Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and Aimia, parent company of Nectar, the UK's largest coalition loyalty program, has selected the UK as its international partner country this year. The annual £32,000 award is one of the largest of its kind for contemporary photography, and one of the few major art prizes in the world whose winner is chosen entirely by public vote.
Two photographers from the United Kingdom, Jason Evans and Jo Longhurst, and two from Canada, Emmanuelle Léonard and Annie MacDonell, have been shortlisted for the Prize. Online voting for the winner begins today at http://www.thegrangeprize.com and is open until 11:59pm on 30Oct,2012. The winner will be announced on 1 Nov, 2012. All four artists will receive an international residency supporting their artistic development, and the three runners-up will each receive £3200 toward the research and production of new work.
The artists on the shortlist have been selected by a jury of leading British and Canadian photography experts led by Sophie Hackett, assistant curator of photography at the AGO, and including Sara Knelman, a London-based writer and curator; Charlotte Cotton, a prominent writer and curator; and UK-based artist duo Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin.
This year's shortlisted artists share a fascination with the world of images that surround us every day - from fashion editorial and sports photography to landscape images and crime scene documentation.
Exhibitions of the finalists' work will be mounted in London, at Canada House in Trafalgar Square, and in Toronto, at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Canada House will celebrate the opening of the UK exhibition with a reception on 27 Sept, 2012. A voting station will be on site in each exhibition to allow visitors to vote in person. Each exhibition, in London and in Toronto, will be on view until 6 Jan, 2013.
Canada's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Gordon Campbell, said: "We're very pleased to be able to exhibit the work of the finalists for the Grange Prize at Canada House, and to offer the public a chance to see such exciting work in an iconic location. The relationship between Canada and the UK is an important one politically, historically and culturally. That fact is reflected in the choice of the UK as the first European partner country for The Grange Prize."
Rupert Duchesne, Group Chief Executive, Aimia, said: "Showcasing the works of great British and Canadian photographers at Canada House in London is particularly meaningful and exciting to us given our strong presence in this country with Nectar, the UK's largest coalition loyalty program. Our partnership with the AGO is a unique collaboration of two organisations that recognise the importance of photography in contemporary art."
Matthew Teitelbaum, Director and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario, said: "The United Kingdom is known internationally for its excellence in contemporary photography, and I'm delighted that it is our first European partner for The Grange Prize. The AGO and Aimia founded the Prize with the shared intent to provide a platform for photographic artists who are at pivotal moments in their careers. We're proud to accomplish that, and I offer my sincere congratulations to all four of the shortlisted candidates."
The Grange Prize 2012 Shortlist:
- Jason Evans was born in Holyhead, Wales. His wide ranging photographic practice includes fashion editorial, art photography, online projects, and collaborations with musicians including Caribou, Four Tet, and Radiohead. His online project The Daily Nice features one image per day that makes him smile, with no archive. Evans' series Strictly, featuring portraits of highly-styled young men on the suburban streets of the UK, is part of the collection of the Tate.
- Jo Longhurst was born in Essex, UK and has gained international recognition for her work, having exhibited in London, Paris, and Berlin, including at Documenta (13), currently on view in Kassel, Germany. A PhD graduate from the Royal College of Art, Longhurst's work investigates ideas of physical perfection and self-creation, capturing the striking portraits of elite gymnasts and Whippet show dogs in her two primary bodies of work Other Spaces and The Refusal.
- Emmanuelle Léonard was born in Montréal. A graduate from the Université du Québec à Montréal, she has exhibited widely at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Kunsthaus Dresden and Neuer Berliner Kuntsverein in Germany, and Mercer Union in Toronto. Her works tackle the persuasive nature of the photographic image, questioning such tenets as artistic and legal authority, the nature of evidence, and perceptions of beauty. In 2005, she was the recipient of the Pierre-Ayot Award, presented by the city of Montréal for excellence in visual arts.
- Annie MacDonell is a Toronto-based visual artist working in a variety of media. Moving between appropriation, re-animation and deconstruction, her practice includes photography, film, installation, sculpture, and sound. She studied photography at Ryerson's School of Image Arts, followed by an MFA at Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains, in France. Her photos have been shown at the Art Gallery of Windsor, the AGO, The Power Plant, and Le Grand Palais in Paris.
ABOUT THE GRANGE PRIZE
The Grange Prize was launched in 2008 with a mandate to recognize the best in Canadian and international contemporary photography. A unique partnership between the Art Gallery of Ontario and Aimia, The Grange Prize aims to engage the public in a vital discourse about the power and prevalence of photography in our world today through public exhibitions, voting and online dialogue.
Each year, The Grange Prize works with an international partner country to form a nominating jury of curatorial and scholarly experts, who select a shortlist comprising four photographers - two from Canada and two from the partner country. Previous winners include Gauri Gill of India (2011), Canadian photographer Kristan Horton (2010), Marco Antonio Cruz of Mexico (2009) and Canadian photographer Sarah Anne Johnson (2008).
The winner will receive a CDN$50,000 cash prize purse. The three remaining finalists will each receive a cash honorarium of $5,000, dedicated to the research, creation, and production of new work. All four finalists will receive an artist residency, one of the unique features of The Grange Prize compared with other international art competitions. In the coming months, Jason Evans and Jo Longhurst will be joining the AGO's Artist-In-Residence program in Toronto, and Emmanuelle Léonard and Annie MacDonell will travel to the UK to conduct research and explore new avenues of practice.
Updates, blog posts and more information about The Grange Prize can be found at http://www.thegrangeprize.com.
The Grange Prize is generously supported by The Canada Council for the Arts.
Aimia Inc. ("Aimia") is a global leader in loyalty management. Aimia's unique capabilities include proven expertise in delivering proprietary loyalty services, launching and managing coalition loyalty programs, creating value through loyalty analytics and driving innovation in the emerging digital and mobile spaces. Aimia owns and operates Aeroplan, Canada's premier coalition loyalty program and Nectar, the United Kingdom's largest coalition loyalty program. In addition, Aimia has majority equity positions in Air Miles Middle East and Nectar Italia as well as a minority position in Club Premier, Mexico's leading coalition loyalty program and Cardlytics, a US-based private company operating in merchant-funded transaction-driven marketing for electronic banking.
Aimia is a Canadian public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: AIM) and has over 3,400 employees in more than 20 countries around the world. For more information about Aimia, please visit http://www.aimia.com.
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ABOUT THE AGO
With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens' masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Kenneth Thomson's generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO's Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults.
The AGO acknowledges the generous support of its Signature Partners: American Express, Signature Partner of the Conservation Program; and Aeroplan, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program.
The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.
SOURCE Art Gallery of Ontario and AIMIA