The annual New Generation Photography Award, presented by Soctiabank and the National Gallery of Canada, recognizes the best of young Canadians working in lens-based art and aims to elevate their careers.
The winners for the 2020 edition are: Noah Friebel (Vancouver), Curtiss Randolph (Toronto), and Katherine Takpannie (Ottawa).
The three winners will receive a cash prize of $10,000 along with the opportunity to be featured in two group exhibitions next year: one in Toronto during the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival in May, and the other at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa in October. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 and 2021 winners will present their works together at the group exhibitions. The 2021 longlist of nominated artists will be announced early next year, and the winners will be announced in April 2021. Award recipients will be mentored by the curatorial team at the National Gallery of Canada, and their work will be included in artist talks, exhibition tours, and educational programming.
The New Generation Photography Award is the only one of its kind, dedicated to Canadian artists 35 years of age and under, and specific to lens-based art.
The winners were selected from a longlist by the following jury: Ann Thomas, Senior Curator, Photographs, National Gallery of Canada, and Chair of the Jury; Luther Konadu, Artist and past New Generation Photography Award winner (2019); Andrea Kunard, Associate Curator, Photographs, National Gallery of Canada; Suzy Lake, Artist and past Scotiabank Photography Award winner (2016); and Alain Paiement, Artist and Professor at Université de Québec à Montréal.
“The New Generation Photography Award provides a marvelous opportunity to review the high quality of work generated by artists across Canada,” said National Gallery of Canada Associate Curator of Photographs and jury member, Andrea Kunard. “The prize celebrates artistic vision and provides encouragement and support in a critical time of an artist’s career. As occurred in the previous two years, the 2020 winners reveal the many approaches artists take to the medium, a testament to photography’s broad expressive capacity. Viewers are presented with documentary modes, conceptual strategies, personal journeys, and matters of social urgency.”
Vancouver based Noah Friebel focuses on the fabricated aspect of the photograph, using elements of sculpture and installation to examine our relationship to images, each other, and the narrowing space in between. Since graduating from Emily Carr University with a BFA in 2018, Friebel has been part of several group shows: notably Green Glass Door at Trapp Projects and The Lind Prize 2018 at Polygon Gallery. He had a solo show at Republic Gallery in April 2020.
Toronto born Curtiss Randolph constructs scenes as either tableau or staged documentary narratives. Having grown up in a theatre family, the elements of stage production crept into his working process at an early stage. Mixing realism, surrealism, and gonzo journalism, Randolph challenges viewers’ preconceived notion of documentary style as a way to question ideas of fact and fiction in the photographic medium. Semi-autobiographical storytelling has taken the lead role in Curtiss’ work. Artist’s such as Moya Garrison, Stan Douglas, Park Chan-wook, and Jim Jarmusch all offer inspiration for Curtiss’ creative process.
Katherine Takpannie is an Ottawa based Inuk artist, writer and graduate of the Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) program. Her photographs set performative and political gestures against both natural and built environments, including intimate portraits of women. Her work is held in the City of Ottawa’s art collection and has appeared in Getting Under Our Skin exhibition at the Art Gallery of Guelph and They Forgot We Were Seeds exhibitionat the Carleton University Art Gallery.