Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Blog

Meet the photographers on The Grange Prize 2012 shortlist

Today, together with Aeroplan, we are proud to announce the four finalists for The Grange Prize 2012, the only major Canadian art prize whose winner is chosen by public vote. Two artists from Canada and two from the United Kingdom will compete for the $50,000 prize.

Online voting begins today at and will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 30, 2012. The winner will be announced on Nov. 1, and we’re hosting a big public party to mark the occasion (stay tuned for details).

The artists on this year’s shortlist share a fascination with the world of images that surround us every day — from fashion editorial and sports photography to landscape images and crime-scene documentation.

Let’s meet them!

Jason Evans was born in Holyhead, Wales in 1968. His wide-ranging photographic practice includes fashion editorial, art photography, online projects and collaborations with musicians including Caribou, Four Tet and Radiohead. His online project The Daily Nice features one image per day that makes him happy, with no archive. Evans’ series Strictly, featuring portraits of highly styled young men on the suburban streets of the U.K., is part of the collection of the Tate.

Emmanuelle Léonard was born in Montréal in 1971. A graduate from the Université du Québec à Montréal, she has exhibited widely at the Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal, Kunsthaus Dresden and Neuer Berliner Kuntsverein in Germany and Mercer Union in Toronto. Her works tackle the persuasive nature of the photographic image, questioning such tenets as artistic and legal authority, the nature of evidence and perceptions of beauty. In 2005, she was the recipient of the Pierre-Ayot Award, presented by the City of Montréal for excellence in visual arts.

Jo Longhurst was born in Essex, England, and has gained international recognition for her work, having exhibitioned in London, Paris and Berlin, including at Documenta (13), currently on view in Kassel, Germany. A graduate from the Royal College of Art, with a PhD by Practice, Longhurst’s work investigates ideas of physical perfection and self-creation, capturing the striking portraits of elite gymnasts and whippet show dogs in her two primary bodies of work Other Spaces and The Refusal.

Annie MacDonell is a Toronto-based visual artist working in a variety of media. Moving between appropriation, re-animation and deconstruction, her practice includes photography, film, installation, sculpture and sound. She studied photography at Ryerson’s School of Image Arts, followed by an MFA at Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains, in France. Her photos have been shown at the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Power Plant and Le Grand Palais in Paris.

The four finalists were selected by a nominating jury of leading Canadian and British photography experts, led by Sophie Hackett, assistant curator of photography at the AGO, and including Sara Knelman, a London, U.K.-based writer and curator; Charlotte Cotton, a prominent writer and curator; and U.K.-based artist duo Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin.

FREE Public Launch Party, Exhibitions, and Dialogues
Mingle with the artists and jurors at The Grange Prize 2012 public launch party on Sept. 5, 2012, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. This free event marks the opening of The Grange Prize 2012 Exhibition and will feature a set by DJ Jaime Sin, a cash bar and presentations by each of the jurors.

The finalists’ work will also be highlighted in a U.K. exhibition, at Canada House in London’s Trafalgar Square, which will open with a reception on Sept. 27. Voting stations will be on site in both locations to allow visitors to vote in person. Both exhibitions will be on view until Jan. 6, 2013.
Join the conversation at the first installment of The Grange Prize 2012 Dialogues, “Questions of Context: The Artists and Jurors in Conversation,” on Sept. 7, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Like The Grange Prize on Facebook and follow the #GrangePrize hashtag on Twitter for the latest updates and exclusive artist information. And don’t forget to VOTE!

3 Responses to “Meet the photographers on The Grange Prize 2012 shortlist”

  1. […] High Street “Two British photographers will compete against finalists from Toronto and Montreal for this year’s Grange Prize, the $50,000 photography award created by the Art Gallery of Ontario. “ Competition Events Exhibitions — 24 August 2012 Meet the photographers on The Grange Prize 2012 shortlist […]

  2. Liese Binnie says:

    I went to a certain amount of trouble to find all the artists’ works available on the AGO site and found it to be a bit of a maze. I opted fro Emmanuelle, although I’m aware that her enthusiasm influenced me. Jason could learn from her in that department 🙂  Annie’s work is interesting too, however, and I’d like a better look at it displayed on a real wall, or at least a better effort here to focus the camera more on the work that on the artist. As there is such a range of subjects, styles and random shots, it’s a difficult contest to come to a conclusion on. Liese 

  3. Thanks for your comment, Liese. A good overview of the artists’ work can be accessed through this page on the Grange Prize website: And, until Jan. 6, 2013, you can see their work in The Grange Prize 2012 Exhibition at the AGO. Their work will also be on view at Canada House in London, U.K., from September 27, 2012 to January 6, 2013.

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