It seems sometimes like fall has become art awards season in Canada. It's when the $70,000 Sobey for under-40 artists gets announced, as well as BMO 1st Art for students and the RBC Canadian Painting Competition.
But prize season starts early in a lot of ways. Yesterday the AGO announced Brian Jungen as the winner of the $25,000 Gershon Iskowitz Prize. (Best part of this news, so far--besides Jungen obviously deserving recognition--is that the artist will be giving a lecture at the AGO May 6 at 7pm. I just hope that the exhibition promised to Jungen on this award does better than the Francoise Sullivan prize show that irked me so earlier this year.)
The Sobey prize longlist also came out this week. It is:
West Coast and Yukon
Brendan Lee Satish Tang
Praries and the North
The Cedar Tavern Singers
Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby
The shortlist will be announced June 15, with the final winner announced November 18 in Montreal.
I think one thing that comes up about the Sobey, now that it's a few years old, is how many times we see nominee names repeated on this annual longlist. Daniel Barrow, Graham Patterson, Mark Soo, Kevin Schmidt, BGL, Adad Hannah, Mario Doucette, and others are repeat nominees. And for me that begs the question, a bit, of how static the Canadian art scene is. Alternatively, repeat appearances as a nominee would seem to indicate consistently high production -- but perhaps also, frustration?
Some absences are also notable. Shary Boyle, favoured by many for last year, is not on the longlist, nor is Luanne Martineau, who was on last year's shortlist and does produce very good work, I think.
In any case, if you have favourites for this year's Sobey, feel free to post. I'm interested in Barrow (a longtime crowd favourite), but also Borsato, Tang and (other longtime favouriets) BGL.
Image of Brian Jungen's Carapace from Smithsonian.com - the National Museum of the American Indian has a great site running right now in association with their wider Jungen exhibition, which runs to August 8
Friday, April 16, 2010
Posted by Leah Sandals at 11:22 AM