Grauerholz will receive a $50,000 cash prize and a primary exhibition at the Ryerson Image Centre during the 2016 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, and a book of her work will be produced and distributed by German publisher Steidl.
Grauerholz was shortlisted alongside two other renowned Canadian photographers, who each receive $10,000: Toronto’s Rafael Goldchain, whose life and work are depicted in the 2013 documentary film Beautifully Broken: The Life and Times of Rafael Goldchain, and Montreal-based Isabelle Hayeur, whose work has been collected by the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Vancouver Art Gallery and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, among others.
A fixture of Montreal’s art scene since her move to the city in 1976, Grauerholz has been critically noted for 35 mm works that capture women and landscapes in a highly atmospheric approach to photography. She holds an MFA from Concordia University, and co-founded ARTEXTE, centre d’information en art contemporain in 1980. A retrospective of her work, “The Inexhaustible Image,” was shown at the National Gallery of Canada in 2010.
“For decades, Angela Grauerholz has been consistently building a body of work that evokes place, memory and archives, time past and present,” said Edward Burtynsky, a co-founder of the award, in a press release. “Many of her images feel as if they were plucked from a dream.”
The Scotiabank Photography Award, founded by Burtynsky and Jane Nokes, Scotiabank’s director of arts, culture and heritage and the executive director of the SPA, positions itself as “Canada’s largest annual peer-reviewed celebration of excellence in Canadian contemporary photography.” Three voting jury members determined this year’s SPA shortlist: artist Robert Bean, art historian Catherine Bédard and critic Robert Enright.
With the win, Grauerholz joins past recipients of the award including Mark Ruwedel, Stan Douglas, Arnaud Maggs and Lynne Cohen.