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Toronto-based artist Kristan Horton wins $50,000 Grange Prize

(TORONTO/MONTREAL – November 3, 2010) After a forty-day public vote, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and Aeroplan are proud to announce that Toronto-based artist Kristan Horton is the winner of The Grange Prize 2010. The $50,000 prize is Canada’s largest photography prize, also granting $5,000 to each of the runners-up, and is the only major Canadian art prize whose winner is chosen by the public.

“Photography captures our imaginations and transcends borders,” says Matthew Teitelbaum, the Michael and Sonja Koerner director, and CEO, Art Gallery of Ontario.  “The Grange Prize exists to showcase the best in international photography and to engage the public in a conversation about why photography matters. No better is this exemplified than in the outstanding work of Kristan Horton and our three finalists, and I congratulate them all on their accomplishments.”

Works by all four finalists — Americans Josh Brand and Leslie Hewitt, and Canadians Moyra Davey and Horton — were on view at thegrangeprize.com and in concurrent exhibitions at the AGO and at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) at Columbia College Chicago, 2010’s international partner institution. In addition to online voting, viewers could vote for their favourite in-person at voting stations inside both exhibitions. The AGO’s exhibition continues to January 2, the MoCP’s to December 22.

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; St Louis Museum of Contemporary Art chief curator Dominic Molon; and MoCP curator Karen Irvine. The winner was chosen entirely by the public, including voters from Canada, the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, India, Mexico, and China.

The Grange Prize finalists each participate in an international residency, part of the prize’s mandate to foster the development of contemporary photography. Brand, Hewitt and New York-based Davey each spent a week in Toronto earlier this summer creating new work; Horton traveled to Chicago to celebrate the opening of the MoCP’s exhibition and explore new directions in his artistic practice.

 “This year’s shortlisted artists are a very talented group of individuals whose passion for photographic research, experimentation and creation is extremely inspiring,” said Vince Timpano, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aeroplan.  “We’re proud of our partnership with the AGO and hope that the Grange Prize will continue to grow and inspire creativity amongst the artists and throughout our communities.”

In 2009, The Grange Prize was awarded to Mexican photographer Marco Antonio Cruz, 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 thegrangeprize.com.

ABOUT KRISTAN HORTON
Kristan Horton's multi-disciplinary practice includes sculpture, drawing, photography and video. Using layered processes of construction, both material and virtual; he has produced several long-term projects linked conceptually by their serial and episodic structure. Horton researches and creates his subjects in an intensive studio practice, ultimately realizing his artworks through inventive and experimental uses of digital technology.  Horton's acclaimed Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove project was seen in a series of over forty photographs exhibited at the Art Gallery of York University and accompanied by a publication illustrating all 200 diptychs (2007). He has also had solo exhibitions at White Columns, New York (2008) and The Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2007), among others. Horton studied fine art at the University of Guelph and the Ontario College of Art and Design. For the past decade he has shown his work widely in Canada and abroad. He currently resides in Toronto.

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 79,450 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
Amanda Gabriele, 416-979-6660 ext. 372 amanda_gabriele@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.

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