Montréal, September 27, 2010Take good note of these artists’ names: Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Daniel Barrow, Brendan Fernandes, Patrick Bernatchez, and Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby. They are shortlisted for the 2010 Sobey Art Award, and one of them will be awarded the top prize this coming November 18. As well, from October 8, 2010 to January 4, 2011, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal will present a selection of their works in an exhibition organized by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and titled 2010 Sobey Art Award. In conjunction with this exhibition, the MAC will showcase the works of the Québec semifinalists: BGL, Pascal Grandmaison, Adad Hannah and Karen Tam, which will also be on display from October 8, 2010 to January 4, 2011.

2010 Sobey Art Award

Created in 2002 by the Sobey Art Foundation, the Sobey Art Award is the country’s pre-eminent award for contemporary Canadian art. It is given every year to an artist under forty who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within the eighteen months prior to being nominated. Selected from around a hundred candidates nominated by a curatorial panel, the winner is awarded $50,000, and the other four finalists receive $5,000 each, for a total of $70,000 in prize money presented annually at a gala event.

In addition to the awarding of the prize, an exhibition of the finalists’ works travels to one of the five major regions represented and, the following year, is presented at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the main organizer and administrator of the award and the exhibition. This year, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal has the honour of welcoming the five finalists for the prestigious prize: Brendan Lee Satish Tang, West Coast and Yukon; Daniel Barrow, Prairies and the North; Brendan Fernandes, Ontario; Patrick Bernatchez, Québec; and Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby, Atlantic. The exhibition is curated by Sarah Fillmore, Chief Curator, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Curator, Sobey Art Award.

“The Sobey Art Award highlights the brightest in contemporary art,” says Fillmore. She adds that “the panel has worked hard to reduce the long list,” from twenty-five semifinalists to the five finalists, one for each region. This year, the Curatorial Panel consists of: Grant Arnold, Curator, Vancouver Art Gallery; Jen Budney, Associate Curator, Mendel Art Gallery; Philip Monk, Director, Art Gallery of York University; David Diviney, Curator, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; and Lesley Johnstone, Curator, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. They will have the difficult task of choosing the winner, who will be announced at the gala this coming November 18 at the Musée d’art contemporain.

Representing the West Coast is Brendan Lee Satish Tang. Tang was born in Dublin, Ireland and currently resides in Kamloops, B.C. He produces hybrid ceramic objects that combine meticulous craftsmanship, traditions of Chinese porcelain and French ormolu with motifs and forms from contemporary manga and techno-pop cultures.

Winnipeg-born artist Daniel Barrow is representing the Prairies. He uses obsolete technologies to present narratives revolving around the practices of drawing and collecting. Since 1993, he has created comic book narratives and adapted them to “manual” forms of animation by projecting, layering and manipulating drawings on overhead projectors.

Born in 1979 in Kenya, Brendan Fernandes, the Ontario finalist, immigrated to Canada in the 1990s. Using multiple media, his works address post-colonialism and question how identity is constructed in globalized cultures.

The Québec representative, Patrick Bernatchez, develops complex multimedia projects that evolve over a number of years and centre mainly on what he describes as a kind of “chronicle of a death foretold.”

Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby, finalists for the Atlantic region, have been working collaboratively since 1994. Focusing mainly on video installation, their work explores grand ideas such as innocence, good and evil, and the human relationship to the natural world.

The exhibition is organized by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia for the Sobey Art Foundation, and hosted by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. The presentation has received support from the Bravo! television network and the FedEx company.

Meeting with the artists and performance

A meeting with the artists Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Brendan Fernandes, Patrick Bernatchez, and Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby is scheduled for Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 5 p.m. Moderated by exhibition curator Sarah Fillmore, it will take place in the actual exhibition galleries, in French for Bernatchez and in English for all the other artists. Later, at 7:30, artist Daniel Barrow will give an approximately one-hour performance in BWR Hall. Admission to both activities is free.

BGL/Pascal Grandmaison/Adad Hannah/Karen Tam exhibition

October 8, 2010 to January 4, 2011

In conjunction with the exhibition 2010 Sobey Art Award, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is presenting works by the four Québec semifinalists BGL, Pascal Grandmaison, Adad Hannah and Karen Tam also nominated for this year’s award. The show features a selection of their recent works chosen by Lesley Johnstone, curator at the Musée and member of the Curatorial Panel for the 2010 Sobey Art Award.

The BGL collective is primarily known for its large-scale site-specific installations and performances combining humour, irony, and social and political commentary. Often using found and recycled materials, their installations are about both work and play, and address such topical issues as deforestation and ecology, unbridled consumerism and material waste.

Pascal Grandmaison’s films and still photographs are meditations on time, duration and visual perception. His subjects are the structures and tools of the photographer or filmmaker and, perhaps most importantly, light itself. In works that are nearly always black and white, he makes us think about how we see.

Adad Hannah transposes historical paintings and sculptures into videos and photographs, interrogating the codes, conventions and temporal dimensions of each of these media. Here he investigates Rodin’s famous sculpture The Burghers of Calais.

Karen Tam’s works centre on the history of the Chinese diaspora, the infiltration of chinoiserie into the North American aesthetic and the continuing, conflicted relationships between East and West.

Meeting with the artists

The public will have a chance to meet the artists BGL, Pascal Grandmaison, Adad Hannah and Karen Tam in the exhibition galleries during the show’s run. Schedule: Karen Tam, Saturday, October 9 at 2 p.m., in English; Pascal Grandmaison, Wednesday, October 13 at 6:30 p.m., in French; Adad Hannah, Wednesday, October 27 at 7 p.m., in English; and BGL, Wednesday, December 8 at 6:30 p.m., in French. The Wednesday meetings are free.

Source and Information

Anne Dongois
T. 514 826-2050
[email protected]