Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

National Gallery Recognizes Excellence in Contemporary Art with an International Prize Exhibition

Ottawa, Canada - December 20, 2000


 « Paradis insaisissables. Le Prix du millénaire. Le Musée des beaux-arts du Canada célèbre l'excellence en art contemporain par une exposition-concours internationale » 
To mark the turn of the millennium, the National Gallery of Canada will celebrate excellence in contemporary art by presenting the work of ten international artists in the exhibition Elusive Paradise: The Millennium Prize. One of the artists will be honoured with The Millennium Prize, the first international cash prize in the visual arts in Canada. Elusive Paradise: The Millennium Prize will be on view at the Gallery from 9 February to 13 May 2001. A media preview will take place on Wednesday 7 February 2001 from 10 am to 4 pm.

The participating artists were chosen by Diana Nemiroff, Curator of Modern Art, National Gallery of Canada after extensive research involving consultations with colleagues in Canada and abroad, visits to artists' studios and to many large international exhibitions. Ten artists were chosen, based on their exceptional body of work. They are: Geneviève Cadieux, Janet Cardiff, Liz Magor, Jana Sterbak and Jeff Wall from Canada, along with Tacita Dean (United Kingdom), Shahzia Sikander (Pakistan), Valeska Soares (Brazil), Yoshihiro Suda (Japan), and Diana Thater (United States).

The Millennium Prize, supported by the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, is $50,000 Canadian and joins the ranks of major international prizes such as the Turner Prize given by the Tate Gallery in London, England, and the Hugo Boss Prize awarded by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. "The National Gallery of Canada Foundation is able to assist the Gallery with this unique exhibition through its annual giving program," stated Marie Claire Morin, President of the NGC Foundation. "This is a wonderful opportunity for us to support and celebrate the work of contemporary artists here in Canada and around the world. The Foundation is grateful to its Circle members for their commitment to the arts and for their generous contributions."

Each participating artist will be represented by new or recent works which address the subject of nature today, the "elusive paradise" referred to in the title of the exhibition. A variety of issues will be explored, such as: how technology has transformed nature as we know it today, how we may seek a refuge in nature to escape the modern world, how globalization proceeds to erase the differences between cultures, and how our sense of place shapes our identity.

An international committee comprising Lynn Gumpert, Director of the Grey Art Gallery in New York, Brazil's Ivo Mesquita, Director, Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo, Didier Ottinger, Curator of Modern Art at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Montreal's Chantal Pontbriand, Editor of Parachute magazine, and presided by Pierre Théberge, Director of the National Gallery of Canada, will select the prize winner, to be announced at 6 pm on Wednesday 7 March 2001.

Elusive Paradise: The Millennium Prize will be held in the Special Exhibition Galleries as well as selected public spaces in the National Gallery of Canada, and will be complemented by an extensive educational program of Meet the Artist talks, workshops, and lectures. A fully-illustrated catalogue in separate French and English versions, with essays by Diana Nemiroff and guest author Johanne Sloan, will be published.

General Information
National Gallery of Canada
tel. (613) 990-1985

380 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, On 
Joanne Charette
Director, Public Affairs
tel.  (613) 990-5050
fax (613) 990-9824