The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ), in collaboration with its financial partner RBC Foundation, is especially proud to announce the five finalists in the fourth MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award, an outstanding biennial award in Canada. Chun Hua Catherine Dong, Stanley Février, Chloë Lum and Yannick Desranleau, Marigold Santos and Walter Scott have been selected by a jury comprising Georges Azzaria, Director of the École d'art de l'Université Laval; Nathalie Bachand, an independent curator and author; Eunice Bélidor, Director of the FOFA Gallery at Concordia University and a member of the MNBAQ's external acquisition committee; Katrie Chagnon, Associate Professor in the Département d'histoire de l'art de l'UQAM; Audrey Genois, Director General of MOMENTA|Biennale de l'image; and Bernard Lamarche, Head of Collection Development and Curator of Contemporary Art (2000 to the present) at the MNBAQ. The jury met on February 13, 2020, several weeks before confinement measures were adopted to slow the coronavirus' spread.
Since last year, the five finalists have shared a $10 000 award. Each one will thus receive $2 000. "I am delighted to announce the finalists and highlight the work of the five praiseworthy artists. At this stage in the process, their excellent work sets them apart and each one has the potential to win the award," noted Annie Gauthier, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the MNBAQ. "We are all going through a difficult period in which artists are particularly affected by the impact of the temporary closing of exhibition sites and the cancellation or postponement of artistic events. We wish to participate in a movement to sustain essential activities and thus contribute to supporting artists and focusing on the vitality of Québec's visual arts community," she added.
A second jury will convene shortly to determine the overall winner according to the established criteria, i.e. a career spanning more than 10 years, the quality and sustained nature of the artist's output and recognition by the arts community of a genuine artistic contribution, and the MNBAQ team will subsequently announce the winner. For the time being, the future winner's exhibition at the MNBAQ is slated for the fall of 2021, at which time the monograph will be launched. This special award will support the winner's career and, above all, give it considerable momentum.
Since 2013, through RBC Foundation's contribution to the MNBAQ and its Foundation, which led to the establishment of the MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award, the work of three Québec artists, Diane Morin in 2013, Carl Trahan in 2017, and Numa Amun in 2019, has been vividly showcased. Each of the award winners has been offered a personal exhibition at the MNBAQ, a retrospective publication, and the purchase by the MNBAQ collection of $50 000 of the artist's works.