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Sobey Art Award 2008 Set to Open at Royal Ontario Museum
Tim Lee, My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)/ Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black), Neil Young, 1979. 2007 C-print, 2 parts: 88 x 64 inches each. Courtesy Cohan and Leslie, New York; Lisson Gallery, London; Johnen & Schöttle, Cologne. Photo: Jonathan Middleton.


ONTARIO.- Equivalent to the Turner Prize, the Sobey Art Award, presented by Scotiabank is Canada’s pre-eminent prize for young Canadian artists. Five artists vie for this award in this intriguing exhibition featuring the best in young Canadian contemporary art. This dynamic showcase of paintings, multimedia and sculpture will culminate with the presentation of the award on October 1st, 2008.

It is awarded every year to an artist 40 years of age or younger who has shown their work in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated. Each of the four runners up for the Award will receive a prize of $5,000. The winner of the award receives $50,000.

Intriguing, thought-provoking and exciting, the breadth of each short-listed artist’s practice is considered by a panel of curatorial advisors, each representing a major gallery in one of five Canadian regions (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies and the North, and West Coast). The five finalists have also been chosen from these regions. The 2008 finalists are:

Tim Lee, West Coast and Yukon
Daniel Barrow, Prairies and the North
Terence Koh, Ontario
Raphaëlle de Groot, Quebec
Mario Doucette, Atlantic


TIM LEE
Tim Lee lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia. Working with photography, video, text and sculpture, Lee's work both replicates and reimagines seminal moments in art history and popular culture. With sources that range from Johann Sebastian Bach, Steve Martin, Dan Graham, Public Enemy, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Ted Williams, Lee suggestively interpellates himself with the history of his subjects by loosely reconstructing specific works associated with their creators, and in so doing, complicates our knowledge of these histories while mapping out an extended timeline that travels from the historical past to the imagined future. Lee’s work will be featured at the upcoming Biennale of Sydney, Australia; in a 2009 solo exhibition at the Hayward gallery in London UK; and a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, Texas.

Tim Lee is represented by Cohan and Leslie Gallery in New York, NY and the Lisson Gallery in London, UK.

DANIEL BARROW
Winnipeg-based artist Daniel Barrow uses obsolete technologies to present written, pictorial and cinematic narratives centering on the practices of art-making and collecting. Since 1993, he has created and adapted comic book narratives to "manual" forms of animation by projecting, layering and manipulating drawings on overhead projectors. He variously refers to this practice as "graphic performance or manual animation."

Barrow has exhibited widely in Canada and abroad. He has performed at The Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), New Langton Arts (San Francisco), The Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), and the Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago). Barrow is the 2007 winner of the Canada Council's Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton award and the 2008 winner of the Images Festival's Images Prize.

TERENCE KOH
Born in Beijing China, Terence Koh grew up in Canada and calls Mississauga Ontario home. Koh, employs a wide variety of materials in his works-simultaneously: a crystal chandelier, lollipops, vegetables, hair every conceivable origin, perfectly and deliberately destroyed glass, gold, extremely valuable china, the plastic of consumer items and kitsch, a hawser found after midnight, urine, blood, toys and much more.

Terence Koh’s work (sculptures, installations, performances, and artist books) address the beauty and sublime transcendence of emptiness, the intertwining of all realms of life and death, and the constellations or dark matter that create the isolate worlds in which we live.

Koh now works in New York, Berlin, Beijing and occasionally in Mississauga ON, where he was raised, creates with his installations, objects, murals, but also with his performances, suggests spaces in which recollection and fantasy are mixed with art history and sub-cultural extreme cultures (predominantly of the sexual, polymorph perverted type), in which contemporary trivial culture is united with fetish culture and a use of rituals and practices that is historically and geographically taken from all cult cultures to create a cosmos that is both disrespectful and imbued with new mythology.

Koh’s work will be featured in 2008 at Perez Projects in Los Angeles CA, the Saatchi Gallery in London UK, and the Museum Leon in Spain as part of his AsianPunkBoy World Tour.

RAPHAËLLE DE GROOT
Raphaëlle de Groot lives and works in Montreal Quebec. Interventions, installations, performance, videos, and artist books: each of Raphaëlle de Groot’s realizations is a particular response to the work with which she is engaged.

Her work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions in Montreal, including a recent one at Galerie de l’UQAM (Raphaëlle de Groot. En exercice, 2006) and in France, at Le Quartier (Quimper), in 2004. She has participated in many group shows, including Rendre réel/Making Real (Quebec Scene, Ottawa, 2007), Negotiating Us, Here and Now (Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds, UK, 2005), Just my Imagination (ArtLab, John Labatt Visual Arts Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, 2004), and “We come in peace...” Histories of the Americas (Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 2004).

De Groot has often worked in the framework of artist residencies. Between 2002 and 2004, for instance, she stayed in Italy at the Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto (Biella), where she carried out a project with workers in a textile factory. Her artistic practice is also regularly fuelled by multi- and interdisciplinary collaborations. From 1999 to 2001, under the aegis of the Centre d’histoire de Montréal and the Association des aides familiales du Québec, she produced the exhibition Beyond the Call of Duty. Chronicles of Domestic Work in Private Homes 1920-2000. As curator, she instigated and presented the urban event Mémoire vive (Dare-Dare and the Centre d’histoire de Montréal, 2002). Since 2005, she has been working with landscape architect Robert Desjardins and architect Gavin Affleck on a new concept for the development of Square des Frères-Charon, slated for completion in the fall of 2007. Born in Montreal in 1974, Raphaëlle de Groot began showing her work in Canada and in Europe in 1996. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in visual and media arts from UQAM and has studied at Purchase College, State University of New York. She was awarded several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. In 2006, she was awarded the Pierre-Ayot Prix d’excellence by the City of Montreal.

MARIO DOUCETTE
Acadian artist Mario Doucette lives and works in Moncton, New Brunswick. Doucette has shown his work professionally since 1998 in various mediums and genres – including drawing, painting, videos and super8 film. He has exhibited widely in Canada and has participated in several international exhibitions, namely in France, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Doucette is very active in the arts community and is a member of Collectif Taupe. During a recent residence in Brouage, France Doucette completed a series of works which took the form of half drawing and half painting and were a response to research and reflections of the effects of colonization.





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August 26, 2008

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