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Canadian Art

Feature

Grange Prize 2012: Hot Shots

Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Aug 22 2012
Annie MacDonell <em>Untitled</em> from the <em>Picture Collection</em> series 2012 Annie MacDonell Untitled from the Picture Collection series 2012

Annie MacDonell <em>Untitled</em> from the <em>Picture Collection</em> series 2012

The fifth annual Grange Prize, a partnership between Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario and Aeroplan, has announced its four finalists for 2012: UK artists Jason Evans and Jo Longhurst and Canadian artists Emmanuelle Léonard and Annie MacDonell.

The prize, one of Canada’s largest cash-value awards—$65,000 in total with $50,000 going to the winner, $5,000 to the other finalists—celebrates outstanding achievement in contemporary photography both nationally and abroad.

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Annie MacDonell Ellesmereland 2010
Annie MacDonell <em>Ellesmereland</em> 2010
Annie MacDonell Ellesmereland 2010
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Annie MacDonell Untitled Hand Collage 2009
Annie MacDonell <em>Untitled Hand Collage</em> 2009
Annie MacDonell Untitled Hand Collage 2009
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Annie MacDonell No More Sea 2011
Annie MacDonell <em>No More Sea</em> 2011
Annie MacDonell No More Sea 2011
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Annie MacDonell Mount Waddington/Drumheller 2011
Annie MacDonell <em>Mount Waddington/Drumheller</em> 2011
Annie MacDonell Mount Waddington/Drumheller 2011
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Emmanuelle Léonard Citizens, Protest, March 15, 2009, # 5137 2009
Emmanuelle Léonard <em>Citizens, Protest, March 15, 2009, # 5137</em> 2009
Emmanuelle Léonard Citizens, Protest, March 15, 2009, # 5137 2009
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Emmanuelle Léonard Citizens, Protest, March 15, 2009, # 4831 2009
Emmanuelle Léonard <em>Citizens, Protest, March 15, 2009, # 4831</em> 2009
Emmanuelle Léonard Citizens, Protest, March 15, 2009, # 4831 2009
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Emmanuelle Léonard Sean Reuther (Manufacturing) 2004
Emmanuelle Léonard <em>Sean Reuther (Manufacturing)</em> 2004
Emmanuelle Léonard Sean Reuther (Manufacturing) 2004
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Emmanuelle Léonard Reno Strano (Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services) 2004
Emmanuelle Léonard <em>Reno Strano (Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services)</em> 2004
Emmanuelle Léonard Reno Strano (Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services) 2004
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Jason Evans Untitled from the series Pictures for looking at 2007–11 © Jason Evans
Jason Evans <em>Untitled</em> from the series <em>Pictures for looking at</em> 2007–11 © Jason Evans
Jason Evans Untitled from the series Pictures for looking at 2007–11 © Jason Evans
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Jason Evans Untitled from NewYorkLondonParisTokyo 2005–12
Jason Evans <em>Untitled</em> from <em>NewYorkLondonParisTokyo</em> 2005–12
Jason Evans Untitled from NewYorkLondonParisTokyo 2005–12
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Jason Evans Untitled from NewYorkLondonParisTokyo 2005–12
Jason Evans <em>Untitled</em> from <em>NewYorkLondonParisTokyo</em> 2005–12
Jason Evans Untitled from NewYorkLondonParisTokyo 2005–12
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Jason Evans Untitled from NewYorkLondonParisTokyo 2005–12
Jason Evans <em>Untitled</em> from <em>NewYorkLondonParisTokyo</em> 2005–12
Jason Evans Untitled from NewYorkLondonParisTokyo 2005–12
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Jason Evans Untitled from NewYorkLondonParisTokyo 2005–12
Jason Evans <em>Untitled</em> from <em>NewYorkLondonParisTokyo</em> 2005–12
Jason Evans Untitled from NewYorkLondonParisTokyo 2005–12
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Jo Longhurst Space-Force Construction No.1 (United States of America) 2009–12 Detail
Jo Longhurst <em>Space-Force Construction No.1 (United States of America)</em> 2009–12 Detail
Jo Longhurst Space-Force Construction No.1 (United States of America) 2009–12 Detail
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Jo Longhurst I Know What You're Thinking 2003
Jo Longhurst <em>I Know What You're Thinking</em> 2003
Jo Longhurst I Know What You're Thinking 2003
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Jo Longhurst Portrait of a Dog 2008
Jo Longhurst <em>Portrait of a Dog</em> 2008
Jo Longhurst Portrait of a Dog 2008
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Jo Longhurst The Refusal (Part II) 2008
Jo Longhurst <em>The Refusal (Part II)</em> 2008
Jo Longhurst The Refusal (Part II) 2008
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Jo Longhurst At Home 2006
Jo Longhurst <em>At Home</em> 2006
Jo Longhurst At Home 2006

Since its inception in 2008, the Grange Prize has become known for its international partnerships, this year focusing on the UK. Both finalists from that country approach their craft traditionally and innovatively. Jason Evans’ highly stylized work dovetails with online culture, with his popular photoblog The Daily Nice offering one image per day. Jo Longhurst’s practice is rigorous—she is best known for her beautiful portrait series on the physical perfection of greyhounds and gymnasts—but her work also often takes the form of sculptural wall installations.

As for the Canadians, Torontonian Annie MacDonell pushes further into installation, using the juxtaposition of various media to meditate on acts of looking. Montrealer Emmanuelle Léonard takes a sociological and indexical approach to capturing civic edifices and systems.

All four finalists also receive an international residency. Past winners have included Gauri Gill (2011), Kristan Horton (2010), Marco Antonio Cruz (2009) and Sarah Anne Johnson (2008).

Notably, the Grange Prize is one of the only major Canadian art prizes for which the public decides the winner. Have your say, until October 30, at thegrangeprize.com or at related exhibitions at the AGO and at London, UK's, Canada House. The winner of the prize will be announced November 1.

This article was first published online on August 23, 2012.

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