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Gwenaël Bélanger: Breaking the Prize Barrier

Galerie Graff & Expression, Montreal Region Nov 19 to Dec 19 2009
Gwenaël Bélanger  <I>Faux Movement</I>  2008  Detail Gwenaël Bélanger Faux Movement 2008 Detail

Gwenaël Bélanger <I>Faux Movement</I> 2008 Detail

Last week, Montreal artist Gwenaël Bélanger was named winner of the Prix Pierre-Ayot, joining past winners like Michel de Broin, Raphaëlle de Groot and Nicolas Baier in being recognized as an emerging Montreal art talent—a status already suggested by Bélanger’s inclusion in the well-regarded Quebec Triennial, but further solidified by this award win. The prize is actually quite timely for Bélanger, as he has two shows currently up in the region that allow new audiences a chance to become familiar with his work. “Casser l’image” at Expression in St-Hyacinthe, curated by artist Yann Pocreau, is designed to bring together the some of the artist’s representative works from the past decade, which often involve the photographing or filming of falling (and sometimes, breaking) objects. As an accompaniment, “Casser l’image: d’autres fragments” at Bélanger’s dealer Galerie Graff showcases four photographs that transpired from the shooting of one of the artist’s best-known works. Coincidentally, Graff also represents the works of Pierre Ayot, the prominent Montreal artist who passed away in 1995 and the talent for whom the prize was named. The Prix Pierre-Ayot annually awards $3,000 in cash and $2,500 towards a solo exhibition to a Montreal artist under 35, and it was founded jointly in 1996 by the Association des galeries d’art contemporain and the municipal government. (963 rue Rachel E, Montreal QC & 495 ave St-Simon, St-Hyacinthe QC)

This article was first published online on December 3, 2009.

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