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The Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the AGO

In 2007, the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation joined with the AGO to raise awareness of the visual arts in Canada with the renaming of the annual award established twenty years ago by Canadian painter Gershon Iskowitz (1921-1988). Iskowitz recognized the importance of grants to the development of artists and acknowledged that a grant from the Canada Council in 1967 enabled him to formalize his distinctive style. The AGO is home to the artist's archives, which include early works on paper, sketchbooks and ephemera, and holds 29 paintings by Iskowitz, spanning from 1948 to 1987, in its permanent collection.

The prize, in the official language of the foundation's documents, is "to be given to a professional Canadian visual artist who has achieved maturity and a measure of success as an artist, and who is on the verge of using his or her creative energy to produce a significant body of work, or to continue his or her research." Candidates are nominated by annual juries comprised of an AGO curator, two Iskowitz Foundation trustees and invited outside participants from the Canadian arts community. The prize recipient is selected by the jury and is awarded a $50,000 cash prize and a solo exhibition at the AGO.

Recipients 1986-2016

  • 1986: Denis Juneau
  • 1987: Louis Comtois
  • 1988: General Idea
  • 1989: Gathie Falk
  • 1990: Jack Shadbolt
  • 1991: Arnaud Maggs
  • 1992: Irene F. Whittome
  • 1993: Vera Frenkel
  • 1994: Eric Cameron
  • 1995: Betty Goodwin
  • 1996: Murray Favro
  • 1997: Ron Moppett
  • 1998: Shirley Wiitasalo
  • 1999: Stan Douglas
  • 2000: Paterson Ewen
  • 2001: John Massey
  • 2002: Geoffrey James
  • 2003: Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller
  • 2004: Rodney Graham
  • 2005: Max Dean
  • 2006: Iain Baxter&
  • 2007: Mark Lewis
  • 2008: Françoise Sullivan
  • 2009: Shary Boyle
  • 2010: Brian Jungen
  • 2011: Michael Snow
  • 2012: Kim Adams
  • 2013: Geoffrey Farmer
  • 2014: Liz Magor
  • 2015: Sandra Meigs
  • 2016: Rebecca Belmore

AGO Presents Solo Exhibition by Michael Snow, Winner of the 2011 Gershon Iskowitz Prize

Renowned Toronto artist Michael Snow explores the art of looking at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) with an exhibition celebrating his June 2011 winning of the Gershon Iskowitz Prize. On view from July 18 to Dec. 9 in the AGO’s Signy Eaton Gallery, the exhibition highlights Snow’s continuing contribution to Canadian art and his ongoing investigation into visual perception.

Kim Adams Wins 2012 Iskowitz Prize at the AGO

Sculptor and installation artist Kim Adams is the winner of the 2012 Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The AGO and the Foundation will celebrate the award with a reception and exhibition of Adams' work to be held in December 2012.

AGO to debut new work by 2013 Gershon Iskowitz Prizewinner Geoffrey Farmer

Acclaimed contemporary artist Geoffrey Farmer, winner of the 2013 Gershon Iskowitz Prize, will debut an automated sculpture work in the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) from July 5 to Sept. 7, 2014

Vancouver’s Liz Magor wins the 2014 Gershon Iskowitz Prize

The Gershon Iskowitz Foundation in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is pleased to announce that Vancouver-based artist Liz Magor is the recipient of the 2014 GERSHON ISKOWITZ PRIZE AT THE AGO.

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