Sobey Art Award 2011 Ontario Long List
25 June – 3 September 2011

Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens & at Centennial Square

Oakville Galleries is pleased to present Sobey Art Award: 2011 Ontario Long List, a group exhibition that takes the pulse of contemporary art-making in the province. 

The Sobey Art Award is Canada’s preeminent award for artists under the age of 40 with an annual prize of $50,000. For this year’s award, Oakville Galleries’ Curator of Contemporary Art, Marnie Fleming, had the privilege of selecting the semifinalists for the Ontario region. This exhibition has been assembled to provide a glimpse into the practice of the nominated artists—Aleesa Cohene, Gareth Long, Derek Sullivan, Josh Thorpe, and Daniel Young & Christian Giroux—while also celebrating their achievement. The winner of this year’s award will be announced during a gala event at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on October 13, 2011. 

Aleesa Cohene borrows freely from the shorthand emotional cues common to contemporary cinema. Working with a library of hundreds of films from the 1970s and 1980s, she extracts images, sounds, music, and dialogue from their original contexts and then re-assembles them to construct compelling affective trajectories.

Gareth Long uses acts of translation and collaboration as a means to explore the workings of knowledge production. Operating in diverse media, his works seek to revise accepted readings of modernism within literary, artistic and design traditions. He occasionally collaborates with fellow nominee Derek Sullivan in projects that unsettle notions of authorship.

Derek Sullivan’s works explore how generic elements of design, pattern and surface become freighted with ideologies or associations while also maintaining the capacity to generate new meanings. Through poster drawings, bookworks and sculptures, his works reinterpret literary, pop cultural and twentieth-century art historical idioms to suggest new modes of engagement.

Josh Thorpe’s lyrical pieces are created with simple materials that take their cues from conditions inherent to the location in which he’s working. He fluidly mediates the conceptual, material and cultural dimensions of a given site to construct peripheral, unexpected or abstract moments for discovery and extended reflection.

Daniel Young & Christian Giroux, this year’s Ontario finalists for the 2011 Sobey Art Award, collaborate on both sculpture and film to explore mid-century modernity, the production of space and the built environment. Their sculptural works combine consumer goods, modernist forms of abstraction and industrial prototyping methods to engage with key ideas in contemporary architecture.