Home » News: Sobey Art Prize 2009 Shortlist Announced

News: Sobey Art Prize 2009 Shortlist Announced

Well, it’s down to five.

Who will win the $70,000 Sobey Art Prize this year?

After last years win by Vancouver superstar Tim Lee (stolen, we think, from Winnipeg’s excellent Daniel Barrow) and won the year before by Montrealer Michel de Broin (who we interviewed HERE and whose pedal powered Buick we covered HERE), this year it’s down to this group:

WEST COAST AND YUKON: Luanne Martineau, whose fuzzy felted pieces we really like for their craft element and references to Minimal art and painters like Philip Guston.


Luanne Martineau, Dangler, 2008. Image: akimbo.ca

PRAIRIES AND THE NORTH: Marcel Dzama, he of the much-copied naive drawings that were so much in vogue several years ago. From Winnipeg, where he lived, Dzama seemingly influenced all of Brooklyn. Now he lives in New York and shows with David Zwirner Gallery, where he’s been making sort of awkward dioramas.


A Marcel Dzama drawing. Image: ffffound.com

ONTARIO: Shary Boyle. Her perfectly crafted, spookily Gothic porcelain figurines are, in a word, exquisite.


One of Shary Boyle’s figurines. Image: mocoloco.com

QUEBEC: David Altmejd, whom you know, surely, from his giant monster/shattered mirror installation at the Canada pavilion at the last Venice Biennale. He’s in New York, too showing with Andrea Rosen gallery.


A work by David Altmejd. Image: bevelandboss.blogspot.com

ATLANTIC: Graeme Patterson (Click the link to see a funny little video of the artist, dancing). He’s the underdog, maybe in this group. Patterson makes quirky, ambitious installations, one of which we wrote about in THIS article for the Globe, at the Toronto International Art Fair a few years ago.


Graeme Patterson, The Deer, 2006. Image: ciac.ca

For more info on the Sobey Art Prize, please click HERE.

10 Responses to “News: Sobey Art Prize 2009 Shortlist Announced”

  1. Mel says:

    I know it probably won’t happen but I keep fantasizing a neck-in-neck battle between Altmejd and Dzama, both of whom have won countless awards and would probably be better off giving it to Boyle…

  2. Andrea says:

    My money is on Shary Boyle, too. She’s gotten a lot of attention in Canada over the last few years, and with the Power Plant show etc – her time is now.

  3. Jennyhead says:

    It’s nice to see more women on the Sobey’s short and long list this year. I think the emphasis on sculpture is also interesting; though unsurprising given our current economic situation and the desire for something material rather than immaterial.

  4. Steve "economic downturn" Jobs says:

    immaterial??? which artists in the past sobey award had an immaterial ethos?

  5. Steve "economic downturn" Jobs says:

    this award is sad. a bit embarrassing even that not one but two nominees are borderline derivative of another.
    if critically important, I suppose Luanne Martineau should get it, but even that is resembling 70’s feminism.

  6. j says:

    I would say four out of the five have a definite surrealist slant. I think Martineau is at least more original within that group.

  7. Although I like Luanne’s work a lot,( see her wonderful book self published, 2007, FREAKOUT), I will side with Andrea and hope its Shary Boyle, if not Luanne, Dzamas’
    a fine artist, and certainly had his time in the lights, as has David A., Patterson’s work from the big installation show was great but are we not well past that? Over all I am a little disappointed there are not more fresh faces here, when we know they are out there.

  8. lily says:

    I love the idea of the Sobey but wish it rewarded artists for successfully representing Canada internationally as opposed to provincially choosing who deserves it based on who hasn’t received enough accolades. Maybe if it did that the Sobey would be more known outside of Canada allowing future unknown winners more exposure. But Canada has a long history of rewarding people like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell way later in their careers so why would it change now?

  9. David says:

    Martineau is doing challenging, original and bracing work, in an oft-marginalized medium.

  10. stu says:

    sorry – none of these examples deserves that amount of money. whatever happened to aesthetics?

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