Sobey Art Award 2019 – West Coast and Yukon
Anne Low uses sculpture, installation, textiles and printmaking to investigate how forms can detach themselves from their historical context and speak to contemporary subjects such as the domestic and the decorative. Through the production of mysterious contemporary forms, her work examines broader narratives surrounding the impulse to individuate object and self, and how the desire to decorate is expressed in the surfaces of domestic interiors and objects. Recent solo exhibitions include Chair for a woman (Vancouver), Paperstainer (Toronto), and A wall as a table with candlestick legs (Stockholm). Recent group exhibitions include Soon Enough – Art in Action (Stockholm) and Clive Hodgson & Anne Low (London, U.K.). Her collaboration with Evan Calder Williams — The Fine Line of Deviation — has been exhibited at Forum Expanded (Berlin), Mercer Union (Toronto), and ISSUE Project Room (New York City).
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This year’s longlist for the West & Yukon has a depth and range reflecting the richness of artistic propositions in this region, encompassing ideas, themes and concerns that resonate within the wider social, political and economic discourse. The intensity of discussion generated by these five artists within the jury attests to the quality of their practices. While each is deserving in so many different ways, Anne Low, as the region’s shortlisted artist, compels us to consider the very act of looking and meaning derived through the presentation of a complex contemporary reading of historical forms, the gendering of spaces, narrative, and display.
Andrew Dadson is a multidisciplinary artist who employs a variety of mediums including film, photography, installation, and painting to investigate urban territories, the landscape, and a constantly changing environment. Utilizing abstract mark-making as a cultural signifier, Dadson presents a language for speaking of land constantly in a state of transition through human interaction. Questioning the human relationship to nature, Dadson’s work displays how the histories of the painted surface can resonate with the ever-present power of the natural world. Dadson lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia.
New York-based Rochelle Goldberg’s sculpture and installation extrapolates beyond assumed boundaries between living entities and objects. Summoning historical, ecological, religious and poetic subjects, her work has included ceramics, shells, celery roots, carpets, fish skeletons, plastics, metals, human hair, burnt matches, electrical switches, crocodile and snake skins, fibre-optic light strands, and many other materials.
Goldberg is the recipient of the Battaglia Foundry Sculpture Prize #03 with a solo exhibition. Previous solo exhibitions include presentations at The Power Station (Dallas), Casa Masaccio Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea (Italy), Miguel Abreu (New York), and GAMeC (Italy). Group exhibitions include shows at A plus A Gallery (Venice), Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard (Paris), the Whitney Museum (New York), and Dortmunder Kunstverein (Germany). She has also been artist-in-residence at The Chinati Foundation (Texas), Atelier Calder (France), and Thun Ceramic Residency (Italy).
Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill is a Cree and Métis artist based on the unceded territories of the Skwxwu7mesh, xʷməθkwəy̓əm and Səl̓ilwətaɬ peoples. Her sculptural practice explores the history of found materials, enquiring into concepts of land, property and economy.
She is a member of BUSH gallery, an artist collective seeking to decentralize Eurocentric models of making and theorizing art, prioritizing land-based teachings and Indigenous epistemologies instead. In addition, she sits on the boards of SFU Galleries and Other Sights for Artist’s Projects. Her writing has been published in many places, including The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation.
Born in Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish territory, Carmen Papalia uses organizing strategies and improvisation to address his access to public space, art institutions, and visual culture. His socially engaged practice is an effort to unlearn visual primacy and resist support options that promote ableist concepts of normalcy. Papalia’s walks, workshops, and interventions model new standards and practices in the area of accessibility. He approaches the museum as a colonial enterprise that has benefitted from a tradition of cultural violence, and a platform that contains valuable cultural resources, which is marginalizing by design.