Maryse Goudreau is the first recipient of the Prix Lynne-Cohen
The Estate of Lynne Cohen, in collaboration with the MNBAQ and its foundation, is proud to announce that Maryse Goudreau is the recipient of the first Prix Lynne-Cohen.
The new biennial award intended for Québec artists seeks to support the practice of up-and-coming visual arts professionals whose approach encompasses photography. The 2017 recipient will receive a $10 000 unconditional cash grant. The MNBAQ will produce a video brief highlighting her work that will be disseminated on its website and the social networks.
Down the years, during the course of a long career in art, Lynne Cohen received many awards and grants and expressed the desire at the end of her life to give something back. She thought she could not have done the work she did had she not received the support she received, and she wanted to contribute, in however small a way, to other artists continuing their work. She also emphasised that any prize I sponsored should have as few as possible strings attached. This request was gladly accepted by the Musée national, and we decided on a prize for work that included a photography component. Of course Lynne Cohen did not know who would receive the prize, but I am sure she would have been very happy, as am I, that the jury chose Maryse Goudreau. Lynne Cohen wanted and supported artists doing what she took to be serious work – “serious” was a word of high praise for her – and she would have reckoned Maryse Goudreau’s work serious, more than that. Andrew Lugg (Estate of Lynne Cohen)
Members of the first Prix Lynne-Cohen jury
Each member of a jury assembled by Eve-Lyne Beaudry, Curator of Contemporary Art at the MNBAQ, proposed an emerging artist whose career spans a maximum of 10 years. The jury comprised Audrey Genois, Director General of Momenta. Biennale de l’image; Mona Hakim, art historian, critic and commissioner specializing in questions related to photography; Daniel Fiset, art historian and independent curator specializing in contemporary fine art photography and digital practices; Martin Boisseau, multidisciplinary visual artist and lecturer at the Cégep de Sainte-Foy; and Eve-Lyne Beaudry. Maryse Goudreau was unanimously chosen the first recipient from a list of four artists.
The jury members praised the commitment and critical scope of Maryse Goudreau’s relevant, inspiring approach, not only from the standpoint of facets of photography as a document but also as a means of better reinterpreting the world and providing anchors at a time when memory and references are being lost.
History, memory, identity and social commitment are central to the concerns of this young multidisciplinary artist from the Gaspé Peninsula, who completed an MFA in Studio Arts at Concordia University in 2016. Since 2009, her post-documentary approach has relied on processes stemming from photography, archives, video, installations and performance and participatory art.
Her significant projects include Manifestation pour la mémoire des quais (2010-2012), which invites coastal populations to assemble on their town’s wharf (in New Richmond, for example) in order to determine the vestiges of a community marked by the abandonment of sites that define identity. In other series of works, postcards of Gaspé Peninsula landscapes from the last century (ferrotypes drawn from her own collection, purchased as she happened to see them during trips) are placed in the form of masks on portraits of anonymous women, ageless women, influential women who remember the sea and reflect at once human fragility and strength. Études du béluga, Beluga studies, her most recent project, explores another forgotten facet of Québec’s maritime history and relates the Québec government’s attempts to eradicate belugas in the 1920s.
Maryse Goudreau is part of a new generation of artists whose concerns focus on belonging to our environment, our amnesia, and exploitation and rehabilitation. The artists are witnesses to a world marked by time, natural or sociological elements, and local identity issues that are at one and the same time collective and universal.
Lynne Cohen, an artist whose career is as inspiring as it is impressive
Lynne Cohen is certainly one of the most respected contemporary photographers in Canada and her renown extends to the US and Europe. She was born in 1944 in Racine, Wisconsin. Following a year of course work at the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art at University College London, in 1967 she obtained a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Wisconsin, and in 1969 a master’s degree in visual arts from Eastern Michigan University. She settled in Canada in 1973, where she lived until her death in 2014. She first lived and worked in Ottawa for 30 years, where she taught at the University of Ottawa and assiduously pursued her artistic practice. In 2003 she moved to Montréal.
Throughout her rich, diverse career, Lynne Cohen devoted herself to the photography of interior spaces, which she captured as they appeared to her, without intervention or staging. The singularity of her work lies in her choice of spaces generally devoid of human presence and usually out of sight. Classrooms, science laboratories, thermal establishments and military facilities are all complex, difficult-to-access environments that the artist made visible in order to size up their oddness.
Lynne Cohen participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions all over the world. Moreover, major retrospectives offered in-depth analyses of her artistic career, including the exhibition that the National Gallery of Canada organized in 2001, which toured Canada and France, and the recent exhibition organized by the Fundación MAPFRE in Madrid in 2014, also presented at the Sala Vimcorsa in Córdoba and at the Sala Rekalde in Bilbao. Her work is found in nearly 50 public collections, including those of the National Gallery of Canada, the Australian Art Gallery, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. In the course of her prolific career, Lynne Cohen received a number of distinctions, including the Governor General’s Award, the highest distinction granted for excellence in the visual arts and the media arts, and the first Scotiabank Photography Award, which highlighted the artist’s outstanding contribution both to the advancement and the influence of her discipline.