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Anahita Norouzi receives the 2023 MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award

The artist masters the art of revisiting history

QUÉBEC CITY, Dec. 6, 2023 /CNW/ - The group exhibition highlighting the work of the five initial winners of the 2023 MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award ? Maria Ezcurra, Anahita Norouzi, Celia Perrin Sidarous, Eve Tagny, and Sara A.Tremblay ? continues until January 7, 2024, thanks to RBC Royal Bank, their valued partner, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) and its Fondation are proud to announce that Anahita Norouzi has won the grand prize of this unique award in Canada.

In addition to a $10 000 award and participation in the exhibition under way, the artist's work will be the subject of a monography to be published in 2024 and the MNBAQ will acquire her works for its collections.

"For the artist to succeed in distinguishing herself through the strength of her career path is truly admirable. Bravo, Anahita Norouzi!" exclaims Nicolas Audet-Renoux, Regional Vice-President, Quebec, Beauce, Quebec Central and Mauricie, at RBC Royal Bank. "We are proud to contribute to spurring careers and broadening the influence of emerging artists through this exemplary collaboration with the MNBAQ and its Fondation since 2013. This prize is a source of pride for RBC Royal Bank in contributing in a practical manner to Québec's cultural community," Mr. Audet-Renoux added.

A career of outstanding strength

The selection committee comprising Nuria Carton de Grammont, Director and Curator, SBC Galerie d'art contemporain; André Gilbert, Exhibition Curator, MNBAQ; Bernard Lamarche, Curator of Contemporary Art (2000 to the present), MNBAQ; Jean-Luc Murray, Director General and Acting Director of Exhibitions and International Partnerships, MNBAQ; and Guillaume Savard, Director of Collections and Research, MNBAQ, unanimously chose artist Anahita Norouzi.

The committee members emphasized the remarkable development of her practice in recent years. "Her career displays considerable coherence and reflects sustained research, subtly exploring the links between sculpture, photography, installations, and the new media," noted Guillaume Savard, Director of Collections and Research, MNBAQ. "Her works display a powerful aesthetic and robust materiality. Her work focuses on very timely issues, in particular the theme of migration and movement, while proposing a varied, complex definition of identity," Mr. Savard concluded on behalf of the committee.

This year has been outstanding for the artist, with eight exhibitions in Québec City, Montréal, Ottawa, Calgary, and Toronto. Mention should be made of the striking installation that the artist produced for her exhibition at the MNBAQ, which reconstitutes the amazing story of an archaeological item stolen from the site of Persepolis in Iran in 1936. This first-generation immigrant, who is still under-represented in museum collections, opted to settle in Montréal, thereby contributing eloquently to shaping contemporary Québec culture.

Anahita Norouzi, in a nutshell

Anahita Norouzi's practice examines the notions of displacement, memory and identity from a psycho-historical perspective. Intent on illustrating the effects of colonialism on the contemporary world, she unearths forgotten stories, directing her attention particularly to botanical heritage and archaeological excavations. Her approach, based on the reappropriation of her own history, draws parallels between the migration of people, plant species and cultural artefacts, revealing how varying geopolitical interests can transform our perception of reality. A number of her projects trace the migration of plants, including Persian hogweed, which once acclimatized to the West was identified as "noxious." Interweaving past and present, here and elsewhere, individual and collective, her works question the links between culture and politics in an era of globalization.

Anahita Born in Tehran in 1983, Anahita Norouzi is a multidisciplinary artist active in Montréal since 2018. She holds a BA in art and graphic design from Sooreh University in Tehran and an MFA from Concordia University. Her work has been exhibited on numerous occasions in Canada and abroad, notably at London's Royal College of Art and in Buenos Aires at BIENALSUR, the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of the South. More recently, she has shown at Oboro in Montréal, at the New Gallery in Calgary and at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. In 2021 she received a creation prize from the Grantham Foundation for the Arts and the Environment, and in 2022 was awarded an Impressions Residency by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Anahita Norouzi is represented by the Galerie Nicolas Robert of Montréal and Toronto. She was the Québec finalist for the 2023 edition of the prestigious Sobey Art Award.

The five artists propose five singular universes

Visitors have until January 7, 2024, to visit or revisit the 2023 MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award exhibition, which features Half of the Red Sun, a remarkable installation by Anahita Norouzi, but also striking works by Maria Ezcurra, Celia Perrin Sidarous, Eve Tagny, and Sara A.Tremblay.

Entering the universe of these five artists will lead to highly meaningful discoveries and, above all, reveal profound artistic approaches stemming from unsuspected fusions. This multifaceted adventure will not fail to strike the imagination.

The MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award, at a glance

Every two years since 2015, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, in collaboration with the RBC Royal Bank, has presented the MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award, a major event on the current art scene. The award contributes towards the professional development of artists who have been practicing for between ten and twenty years by offering them greater recognition and enhanced visibility.

For the first time this year, the Award is supporting five artists rather than just one. Selected by a jury based on the excellence of their output, these five women from diverse backgrounds explore a wide range of disciplines. Their works, at once poetic and political, reflect deep preoccupations with questions related to migration and displacement, identity and memory, nature and gardens.

The MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award, which is the only contemporary art prize in Canada that combines exhibition, acquisition and publication, confirms the museum's commitment to playing a leadership role in the realm of Québec art by encouraging promising artists and helping to further their career.

The MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award is produced with financial support from the RBC Royal Bank.

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a state corporation funded by the Gouvernement du Québec.

The 2023 MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award
Pierre Lassonde Pavilion
Until January 7, 2024

SOURCE Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

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