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"Elusive Paradise: The Millennium Prize"
2001-02-09 until 2001-05-13
National Gallery of Canada
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.
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
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.