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Sobey Art Award, a Canadian Contemporary Art Prize, Goes to Jeremy Shaw


Jeremy Shaw.


Today, Canada’s Sobey Art Award announced that it would give its annual honor—which comes with a purse of $50,000 CAD (about $38,200)—to Jeremy Shaw, an artist who represented the Yukon region on the location-based shortlist that was announced last June. He beat out four other finalists, who will receive $10,000 CAD (about $7,500) each.

“We are humbled by the excellence of his work, as we are with the work of each of the short and long-listed artists in this year’s exhibition,” Rob Sobey, chair of the Sobey Art Foundation, said in a statement. “It is because of their contributions and creativity, the caliber of contemporary Canadian art ranks among the best in the world.”

Though he does indeed hail from Canada, which is the prize’s primary qualification, Shaw has, for almost a decade, been based in Berlin, a city that often inspires his work. Here’s Christopher Bollen, who wrote about Shaw for Interview in 2012:

But perhaps most poignantly, in reference to Berlin, last summer Shaw plastered the city with 8,000 posters—in different foreign languages—advertising the notoriously cultish 1981 Berlin drug film Christiane F. In a sense, he brilliantly undermined youth culture’s need to romanticize its own destruction—as well as the harder, mythical sides of Berlin.

The press release adds that Shaw “works in a variety of media to explore altered states and the cultural and scientific practices that aspire to map transcendental experience.” He’s had solo shows at MoMA PS1 in New York, been included in group exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the GAK Gesellschaft fur aktuelle Kunst in Breman, German, and is represented by König Galerie in Berlin.

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