The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada announced the five finalists for the 2018 Sobey Art Award. The work of all five will be featured in a group exhibition opening October 3, 2018 at the National Gallery of Canada.
As one of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art prizes, the Sobey Art Award is presented annually to a visual artist age 40 and under who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated.
By choosing one nominee from each of the five regions of Canada, the Sobey Art Award provides visibility and financial support to young Canadian contemporary artists, while also offering an opportunity to exchange ideas and to learn about different artistic and curatorial practices from across the country.
The five shortlisted artists contending for the grand prize are: Jordan Bennett (from the Atlantic region), Jon Rafman (from Québec), Kapwani Kiwanga (from Ontario), Joi T. Arcand (from the Prairies and the North) and Jeneen Frei Njootli (from the West Coast and the Yukon).
Jury member November Paynter (Director of Programs at Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto) states about the nomination of Kapwani Kiwanga:
The artist long list for Ontario was incredibly strong this year, yet Kapwani Kiwanga stood out for the urgency of her research and the emotive, formal qualities of the art works that result. One juror described Kiwanga’s work as “necessary at this time”; a statement that sums up the experience of spending time with, sometimes within, her recent sculptural installations. Describing her works as “exit strategies,” Kiwanga investigates historic narratives in dialogue with contemporary realities and future perspectives, allowing us to look differently at existing structures. She is particularly interested in the continued force of colonization and how the dynamics of colonial heritage play out similarly across time and space. Kiwanga lives in Paris and has shown extensively in Europe. With more recent invitations to show in Canada and North America, Kiwanga’s practice has evolved to consider new audiences and cultural contexts. For Canada, Kiwanga’s inclusion on the Sobey shortlist is a timely recognition of the voice and talent of an exceptional and internationally engaged artistic practice.
About the Sobey Art Foundation
The Sobey Art Foundation was established in 1981 with a mandate to carry on the work of entrepreneur and business leader, the late Frank H. Sobey by collecting and preserving representative examples of 19th and 20th century Canadian art. The Foundation has since broadened its scope to support contemporary Canadian art through the Sobey Art Award. In one of the finest private collections of its kind, the Sobey Art Foundation has assembled outstanding examples by Canadian masters such as Cornelius Krieghoff, Tom Thomson and J. E. H. MacDonald. The collection is housed in an intimate setting at Crombie House, the former home of Frank Sobey and his wife Irene, in Pictou County, Nova Scotia.
About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st centuries, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research centre dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians.