A selection of monumental and iconic works of art produced by the winners of the 2018 Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts (GGARTS) is showcased in a special exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) in collaboration with the Canada Council for the Arts. Works created in a variety of mediums ranging from ceramics to sculpture, and from photography to film, will be on view from March 29th until August 5th, 2018.
Exhibition curator, Rhiannon Vogl, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada, has selected works made by the winners between the 1980s to the present. She chose pieces from the Gallery’s national collection, from the Mackenzie Art Gallery and the Slate Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan and from the artists’ private collections.
Loss, trauma, and memory are the themes prevading the works featured in the exhibition. "While several pieces deal with those ideas in relation to the physical body – on a micro, or even cellular level, others explore historical and personal suffering that has resulted from sociological stigmas, governmental regulations, and culture shock," explains Ms. Vogl. "To another end, the theme of technology – how we can use, manipulate or take advantage of its advancements in alternative and inspiring ways, is also at play in several laureates’ work. Many pieces are variations on portraiture – whether that of the artists’ or their loved ones, which in turn contribute to the poetics of the installation."
"Through their achievements in performance, photography, film, fine craft and curation, the 2018 GGARTS winners continue to innovate their artistic practices while sharing deeply personal stories. We are proud to honour and celebrate them through this beautiful exhibition," said Canada Council for the Arts Director, Outreach and Business Development, Tara Lapointe.
The winners, selected by a committee of their peers, are represented by works that will encourage audiences to explore subjects of cultural identity, personal history and mortality. They include Work # 808 : Leviticus (Updated), 2010, a large installation of nine digital prints by Toronto-based artist Bruce Eves; digital photographs from the series Pairing, 2015, by London (ON)-based artist Wyn Geleynse; ink jet prints from the series A Fine Line, 2016 ; Deuil 1: Galen, 2006 ; and Peewee, 2007, by Toronto-based artist Spring Hurlbut; digital videos titled Nuts, 2017, and Grief Without Fantasy, 2012, by Toronto-based artist Midi Onodera; an installation of photographs titled Residential School, Camperville, Manitoba, c. 2006-2010, by Vancouver-based artist Sandra Semchuk; and a monumental installation titled Beyond Redemption, 2010, by Adrian Stimson, from the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation in Alberta. In addition, visitors will discover recent works by Regina (SK)-based artist Jack Sures, who won the Saidye-Bronfman Award, a distinction for excellence in fine crafts. Vancouver-based curator and grunt gallery program director Glenn Atleen’s outstanding contribution to the visual arts will also be highlighted through a selection of his catalogues and archival material.
The exhibition, which occupies three galleries in the Contemporary Art wing, also includes video portraits of the winners commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts and directed by Canadian filmmakers, as well as excerpts from the nomination submissions.
Since 2000, the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts have recognized Canadian artists for their remarkable careers in fine or applied arts, film, video, audio, or new media.
The public is invited to meet the artists and hear from the National Gallery of Canada’s Director and CEO, Marc Mayer; the exhibition curator and Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Rhiannon Vogl; and Tara Lapointe, Director, Outreach and Business Development at the Canada Council for the Arts, at the official exhibition opening on Thursday, March 29 at 5:30 pm, in the National Gallery of Canada’ Scotiabank Great Hall. Free admission..
Meet the Expert
On Saturday, April 7, 2018, at 1 pm, Rhiannon Vogl will give a tour of the 2018 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts exhibition. She will start in the Contemporary Art gallery B101 and will talk about this year’s laureates, their practices, and their artwork. In English with a bilingual question period. Included with admission to the Gallery. Please visit Gallery.ca for more information.
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Hours of operation
From 1 May to 30 September, 2018, the Gallery is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, and on Thursdays from 10 am to 8 pm. From October 1, 2018, to April 30, 2019, the Gallery is closed on Mondays, and opened from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm, and on Thursdays, from 10 am to 8 pm. Holiday exceptions apply, and hours are subject to change without notice. Please visit gallery.ca for more information.
Tickets: $15 (adults); $13 (seniors); $7 (age 24 and under and full-time students); $30 (families: two adults and three youth, 17 and under). Admission is free for children under the age of 11 and for Members. Includes admission to the national collection, and to all exhibitions excluding Impressionist Treasures. Free admission on Thursdays from 5 pm to 8 pm. To find out more.
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 center 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. For more information, visit gallery.ca and follow us on Twitter @NatGalleryCan.
About Canada Council for the Arts
The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s national public arts funder. We champion and invest in artistic excellence so that Canadians may enjoy and participate in a rich cultural life. In 2016-17 we allocated $196.8 million dollars towards artistic creation and innovation through our grants, prizes and payments. We also conduct research, convene activities and work with partners to advance the sector and help embed the arts more deeply in communities across the country. We are responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO to contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable future for Canadians. The Canada Council Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts.
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