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Aeroplan and the AGO Announce the 2010 Grange Prize Shortlist

Photographic artists from Canada and the U.S. vie for $50,000 prize

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(TORONTO/MONTREAL - May 27, 2010) Four leading-edge photographers - two Canadian and two American - have been recognized for their excellence and chosen as finalists for the 2010 Grange Prize, presented by Aeroplan and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). The winner will be chosen by the public this fall, when exhibitions celebrating this year's finalists are mounted at the AGO and at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) at Columbia College Chicago, this year's partner institution.

The finalists for the 2010 Grange Prize are:                                 

  • Josh Brand, an American photographer based in Brooklyn, New York, who creates unique photographic objects, or photograms, through darkroom experimentation, often without the use of a camera or film, rendering subtle gestures and effects in works, and suggesting representational elements while remaining emphatically abstract.

  • Moyra Davey, a Canadian photographer, writer, and filmmaker living and working in New York City, whose intimate, poetic, and modestly scaled visual essays - documenting domestic objects, studio ephemera, and books - stand in contrast to the driving trends of contemporary photography.

  • Leslie Hewitt, an American photographer living and working in Houston and New York City, who uses photography, sculpture, and site-specific installations to create photographic arrangements that address notions of time and space, culture and representation.

  • Kristan Horton, a Canadian photographer living and working in Toronto, whose multi-disciplinary works incorporate sculpture, drawing, photography, and video. His practice involves extensive research and inventive, experimental uses of digital technology, often utilizing humour and repetition in novel ways.

The four finalists were selected by an esteemed curatorial jury comprising AGO assistant curator of photography Sophie Hackett; Toronto-based art collector and curator Dr. Kenneth Montague; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, associate curator Dominic Molon; and MoCP curator Karen Irvine.

"This year, the jury focused on artists who challenge us to think about what a photograph can be," says Hackett. "These four artists create works that engage science, sculpture, cinema, and literature, all the while addressing photography's rich history. We hope the selection will stimulate a lot of discussion about contemporary photography, one of the main goals of the prize." 

The Grange Prize, now in its third year, is Canada's largest photography prize, awarding $50,000 to the winner, and $5,000 to each of the runners-up - granting a total of $65,000 to photographic artists each year. Additionally, each of the four shortlisted artists participate in a residency sponsored by the prize. This year, the Canadian nominees will travel to the U.S., and the American artists will visit Canada. The Grange Prize is the only major Canadian art prize voted on by the public.

The Grange Prize was awarded to Mexican photographer Marco Antonio Cruz in 2009, and to Winnipeg-based artist Sarah Anne Johnson in 2008, when the partner country was China. Johnson's installation House on Fire was exhibited at the AGO in Summer 2009.  With the generous support of art collector Michael F. Nesbitt, the Gallery acquired the installation in its entirety in September 2009.

Areoplan and the AGO gratefully acknowledge the support of The Globe and Mail and Bravo!, official Media Partners for The Grange Prize. Contemporary programming at the AGO is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. Updates, blog postings, and more information about The Grange Prize can be found at www.grangeprize.com.

ABOUT AEROPLAN

Aeroplan, Canada's premier coalition loyalty program, is owned by Groupe Aeroplan Inc., a global leader in loyalty management. Aeroplan is a long-standing patron of the arts, with a history of supporting artists and arts initiatives across Canada. Of particular significance is the company's work, in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario, to develop The Grange Prize for contemporary photography. Aeroplan is committed to fostering a long-term, international dialogue about this important art form. Aeroplan has also joined the AGO in a three-year partnership as the Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program, supporting planned AGO activities to engage visitors with photography, including special lectures and tours.

For more information about Aeroplan, please visit www.groupeaeroplan.com or www.aeroplan.com.

ABOUT THE AGO

With a permanent collection of more than 79,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. In 2008, with a stunning new design by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the AGO opened its doors to the public to international acclaim. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase made of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block along the Gallery's façade; and the feature staircase, spiraling up through the roof of Walker Court and into the new contemporary galleries above. From the extensive Group of Seven collection to the dramatic new African Art gallery; from the cutting-edge works in the Vivian & David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art to Peter Paul Rubens' masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, a highlight of the celebrated Thomson Collection, there is truly something for everyone at the AGO.

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For images and more information, contact:

Sean O'Neill, 416-979-6660 ext. 403, sean_oneill@ago.net
Antonietta Mirabelli, 416-979-6660 ext. 454, antonietta_mirabelli@ago.net
Christa Poole, Aeroplan, 416-352-3745, christa.poole@aeroplan.com

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Culture. Additional operating support is received from the Volunteers of the AGO, the City of Toronto, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.