Raphaëlle de Groot of Montreal has been named winner of the $50,000 Sobey Art Award, a prize for contemporary art given annually to an artist under age 40.
De Groot accepted her award Friday night in Toronto in a presentation by 2011 Sobey winners, Daniel Young and Christian Giroux, at the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art.
The artist, who does drawing, performance, video, installation and curatorial undertakings, drew praise for creating art "outside of the conventional art world." She engages people from diverse backgrounds in developing her projects.
"This process affords her the opportunity to meet people from different milieus, such as a community of nuns, workers at a textile factory, domestic workers, and students. Through her practice, we are called on to be active witnesses, intrigued by what we see, disturbed by what we discover of ourselves," the jury said in its citation.
De Groot, 38, has a Masters in Fine Art from Université du Québec à Montréal and has presented her work throughout Canada and in Europe.
She will show sculpture at the Festival cultural de Mayo Hospice Cabañas, Guadalajara, Mexico, and in Trois-Rivières, Que., for the Biennale national de sculpture contemporaine. She also is collaborating with the Musée de la civilization (Quebec) and the Musée Colby-Curtis (Stanstead) for a project to be presented next fall and a solo show at Galerie Graff, Montreal.
The other shortlisted artists for this year’s award were:
- Gareth Moore - West Coast and Yukon.
- Jason de Haan - Prairies and the North.
- Derek Sullivan - Ontario.
- Eleanor King – Atlantic.
Each of these artists receives $5,000 in prize money from the Sobey Art Foundation.
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax has organized and administered the Sobey Art Award and its accompanying exhibition since the award was created.
An exhibition of work by all the artists on the short list is on view at Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art until Dec. 30.