Every year, the Prize recognizes four artists working in photography who have exhibited extraordinary potential over the last five years. The artists are chosen via an international nomination process. The AGO invites curators, critics and artists from around the world to nominate two artists each for the long list.
A jury of three, led by an AGO curator, consider the long list to select the shortlist.
Kitty Scott is the Carol and Morton Rapp Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada. Previously she was Director of Visual Arts at The Banff Centre, Canada; Chief Curator at the Serpentine Gallery, UK; and Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada. Scott’s extensive resume includes exhibitions of artists such as Francis Alÿs, Stephen Andrews, Janet Cardiff, Paul Chan, Peter Doig, Janice Kerbel, Ragnar Kjartansson, Ken Lum, Scott McFarland, Silke Otto- Knapp, Frances Stark and Ron Terada. She will co-curate the Liverpool Biennale in 2018, curate Geoffrey Farmer’s exhibition for Canada at the 2017 Venice Biennale and was a core agent for Germany’s dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012. Scott has written extensively on contemporary art for catalogues, books and journals and edited the publication Raising Frankenstein: Curatorial Education and Its Discontents (2010). She regularly lectures at art schools and curatorial programs throughout North America.
Russell Ferguson is a Professor in the Department of Art, University of California, Los Angeles. From 2001 until 2007 he was Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs and Chief Curator, at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, where he remained an adjunct curator until 2015. He has organized many exhibitions: at the Hammer, these include The Undiscovered Country (2004), a survey of various approaches to representation in painting, and Perfect Likeness: Photography and Composition (2015), as well as solo exhibitions by Larry Johnson (2009), Francis Alÿs (2007) and Christian Marclay (2003). At the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, he organized In Memory of My Feelings: Frank O’Hara and American Art in 1999, an exploration of the circle of artists that revolved around the poet, as well as survey exhibitions of the work of Liz Larner and Douglas Gordon, both in 2001. With Kerry Brougher, he organized Open City: Street Photographs Since 1950 (2001) for The Museum of Modern Art, Oxford. Ferguson is the editor of two collections of critical writing: Discourses: Conversations in Postmodern Art and Culture, and Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures, both published by the MIT Press.
Since the late 1980s, Stan Douglas has created films, photographs, installations and multimedia works that utilize both analog and digital technologies to present complex reimagined narratives that pertain to particular locations or past events. Over the past decade, Douglas’ work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions worldwide, including Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg; Wiels Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brussels; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon; Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen and Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, among others. Douglas has been the recipient of notable awards, including the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography (2016); the third annual Scotiabank Photography Award (2013); and the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, New York (2012). Major museum collections that hold works by the artist include the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Gallery, London; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Douglas was born in 1960 in Vancouver, where he continues to live and work.
Sofía Hernandez Chong Cuy
Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy is the curator of contemporary art for the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, a position she has held since 2011. In the past decade, Sofía was Director of the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City and held curatorial positions at Art in General and Americas Society in New York. She has curated exhibitions for Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; MALBA, Buenos Aires; Center for Contemporary Art, Vilnius and MUSAC, León. Sofía was an agent for dOCUMENTA(13) in 2012. She was also the artistic director and chief curator of the 9a Bienal do Mercosul | Porto Alegre (2013). Sofía writes regularly for exhibition catalogs, magazines and the blog she founded, Sideshows.org.
Chris Fitzpatrick (1978, New York) is currently the Director of Kunstverein München in Munich, Germany, and was previously Director of Objectif Exhibitions—a not-for-profit contemporary art centre in Antwerp, Belgium. In 2012, Fitzpatrick curated the San Francisco Pavilion for the 9th Shanghai Biennale in Shanghai, China, and has independently organized exhibitions and projects internationally in antique malls, art institutions, libraries, palazzos, planetariums, and publications. His writing has been published in Spike Art Quarterly, Pazmaker, Nero, Mousse, L'Uomo Vogue, Fillip, The Federal, Cura, The Baltic Notebooks of Anthony Blunt, Art Papers, among various other publications.
Julien Fronsacq is a curator at Palais de Tokyo, Paris and an art critic. He has been a curator at Palais de Tokyo since 2007 and has curated solo exhibitions of Jonathan Monk, Roman Signer, Charlotte Posenenske, David Maljkovic, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Ragnar Kjartansson, and projects with, amongst others, John M. Armleder’s All of the Above and Thomas Hirschhorn’s Eternal Flame. He also curated the thematic show titled Imagination Adrift (2012) at Palais de Tokyo. He holds a Master of History of Art and Museology from École du Louvre and a Master of History of Art from Sorbonne University. He has been an assistant teacher at the École du Louvre (1999-2001) and a teacher at ECAL/École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (2001-2015). He was co-director of the independent art space Glassbox in Paris (1999-2003) and director of Forde in Geneva (2004-2006)
Roxana Marcoci is Senior Curator of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). She holds a PhD in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. At MoMA she curated or co-curated major exhibitions of the work of Zoe Leonard (2015), Christopher Williams (2014), Taryn Simon (2012), Sanja Iveković (2011), Olafur Eliasson (2008), and Thomas Demand (2005), as well as thematic surveys including Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980 (2015), The Shaping of New Visions: Photography, Film, Photobook (2012), Staging Action: Performance in Photography since 1960 (2011), Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography (2011), and The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today (2010). These exhibitions are accompanied by award-winning publications. Other exhibitions Marcoci curated focused on emerging artists within MoMA’s Projects and New Photography series, including Ocean of Images (2015). Marcoci is visiting professor in the graduate program at Yale University. She is co-editor of Photography at MoMA: 1960 to Now (2015), a comprehensive new history of the expanded field of contemporary photography.
Joanna Mytkowska is a curator and art critic. She studied at Warsaw University (1988-1994). Since 2007 she has been director of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Formerly she worked as a curator at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and was a co-founder of the Foksal Gallery Foundation, where she worked from 2001-2007. In 2005 she curated the Polish Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale, presenting Artur Żmijewski's Repetition. She has also curated the exhibitions Alina Szapocznikow, Sculptures Undone 1955-1972 (Centre Art Contemporain Wiels, Brussels; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2012-2013), Les promesses du passe (Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2010), Awkward Objects (Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 2009), Les Inquiets: Cinq artistes sous la pression de la guerre (Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2008), Le Nuage Magellan (Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2007) and Oskar Hansen: A Dream of Warsaw (Foksal Foundation Gallery, Warsaw, 2005). She has edited the publications Henryk Stażewski: Economy of Thought and Perception (2006) and Edward Krasiński (1997).
Sharmini Pereira is an independent international curator. She is also the founder and director of two internationally recognised Sri Lankan-based organisations: Rakng Leaves, an award-winning curatorial organisation, which commissions and publishes book projects with international artists, and the Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecure and Design. Founded in 2013, the archive is dedicated to collecting materials in English, Tamil and Sinhala related to the development of art, architecture and design in Sri Lanka. In 2014 she curated Garden of Ideas: Contemporary Art from Pakistan, the opening exhibition of the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. In 2011 she was the international guest curator of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize and in 2006 she co-curated the first Singapore Biennale. Her writing has appeared in South East of Now, Mousse Magazine, Guggenheim Online, Art Asia Pacific, Groundviews and Imprint, amongst others. She is a judge for the forthcoming 2017 Geoffrey Bawa Award for Architecture and currently lives and works in Sri Lanka and New York.
Philippe Pirotte lives and works in Frankfurt and Montréal. He is Dean of the Stäedelschule and Director of Portikus since 2014. He is the curator of the 2016 edition of the Montréal Biennale and was one of the co-founders of the contemporary art center objectif_exhibitions in Antwerp, Belgium. From 2005 to 2011, he was Director of the Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland, where he organized solo exhibitions by artists such as Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Owen Land, Oscar Tuazon, Jutta Koether, Santu Mofokeng, Allan Kaprow and Xu Zhen. From 2004 to 2013, Pirotte held the position of Senior Advisor at the Rijksakademie for Visual Arts in Amsterdam. In 2012, he became Adjunct Senior Curator at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive where he curated the retrospective of acclaimed artist Yang Fudong. He also served as Advising Program Director for the Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing and is an advisor for the Kadist Art Foundation (Paris/San Francisco). Pirotte has written numerous essays about contemporary art and artists, and contributed to a.o. Nka – Journal of Contemporary African Art, Afterall Journal, Kaleidoscope, Mousse Magazine, and Parkett Magazine.
Lee Plested is a Vancouver-based curator. He is currently the Director of Griffin Art Projects, North Vancouver, a gallery which is dedicated to making exhibitions from private collections. He has organized numerous group and solo projects with artists including Mario García Torres, Matthew Higgs and Ian Wallace, Janice Guy and Anna Halprin. Plested is currently working on Specific Elements, an exhibition of minimal and post-minimal art at the Western Gallery, Western Washington University, Bellingham.
Cay Sophie Rabinowitz
Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, born in Norfolk, Virginia, is Founding Director and Publisher of OSMOS, an independent editorial and curatorial project located in the East Village, New York City. Rabinowitz has been on the fine art faculty of Columbia University and Parsons, was formerly Senior Editor of Parkett and Artistic Director of Art Basel. She has published numerous monographs and critical essays in exhibition catalogues, anthologies and periodicals. In 2011 Rabinowitz launched OSMOS Magazine to be an art magazine “about the use and abuse of photography,” wherein established artists and histories are featured alongside the next generation.
Reid Shier is the Director/Curator of Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver, where he has led the planning for a new, purpose-built facility scheduled to open in 2017. Previously, Shier was Chief Curator of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto (2004-06); Curator of the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2002-04) and Director/Curator of the artist-run Or Gallery, Vancouver (1996-2001). Shier has curated over eighty exhibitions, including shows with Annette Kelm, Anne Collier and On Kawara, among others. His critical writing was most recently featured in Phaidon Press’ anthology Art Cities of the Future: 21st- Century Avant Gardes (2014), where he contributed a chapter on Vancouver art.
Polly Staple has been Director of Chisenhale Gallery, London since 2008. She was formerly Director of Frieze Projects and Curator at Cubitt Gallery, London. Since 2000 Staple has commissioned solo projects and exhibitions by artists such as Pawel Althamer, Jeremy Deller, Roman Ondák, Mark Leckey, Hito Steyerl, Seth Price and Cathy Wilkes and, more recently, Duncan Campbell, Lynette Yiadom Boakye, Ed Atkins, Helen Marten, Mariana Castillo Deball and Camille Henrot. Thematic exhibitions include Dispersion (2008) for London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts and Still Life (2011) for Ireland’s Lismore Castle Arts. One of London's most innovative not-for-profits and located in the heart of the East End, Chisenhale Gallery has a 30-year history of producing major new commissions with emerging and under-represented artists. In 2016 Chisenhale is presenting Park McArthur’s first solo institutional exhibition and projects with Maria Eichhorn, Yuri Pattison, and Peter Waechtler.
Ann Thomas is Senior Curator, Canadian Photography Institute, National Gallery of Canada. She has organized numerous exhibitions and is the author of several catalogues and publications such as Lisette Model (1990), which received the Wittenborn Award. She is the curator, contributing author and editor of Beauty of Another Order: Photography in Science (1996), recipient of the Kraszna Kraus award; No Man’s Land: Lynne Cohen Photographs (2001); Modernist Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada (2007); American Photographs 1900-1950 (2011); The Great War: The Persuasive Power of Photography (2014) and co-curated The Intimate World of Josef Sudek (2016). In addition to publishing widely, she has lectured internationally and been on numerous photography award juries.
Hamza Walker was born in 1966 in New York City, and currently lives in Chicago, where he is the Director of Education and Associate Curator for the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. Walker was the recipient of the 1999 Norton Curatorial Grant and the 2004 Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement and the 2010 Ordway Prize. He has also contributed reviews and art criticism to New Art Examiner, Art Muscle, Dialogue, Parkett, and Artforum. Prior to his work at the Renaissance Society, Walker was the Public Art Coordinator for the City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs.