Tim Whiten wins big with the the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts and Gershon Iskowitz Prize
A Torontonian is one of six artists to win a prestigious award for his contributions to Canada’s arts community.
The Canada Council for the Arts revealed the 2023 recipients of the Governor General Awards on Tuesday.
Tim Whiten, 81, is an image maker and creator of cultural objects from Toronto, and one of the six award winners to receive the Artistic Achievement Award this year.
The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts (GGArts) at large, are awarded to artists in recognition of their exceptional careers and remarkable contributions to contemporary visual, media, and fine arts.
Winners are chosen by peer committees who access creative contributions, and each award recipient receives a $25,000 and a bronze medallion.
“Artistic careers are rarely very linear or predictable. Art invites us to remain open to the unexpected, to the mysterious and to discovery,” Simon Brault, director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts, said in a news release.
“This year’s award-winning artists have influenced our views, perceptions and experience of what Canada is and, more importantly, what it can become, with a growing emphasis on sharing artistic creation in all its diversity and boldness,” he continued.
Whiten is an American-born Canadian and a professor emeritus of fine art at York University, where he began teaching in 1968.
For over 50 years, he has sought to navigate the territory of the human condition and its transformative potential, using human and animal remains.
“Rather than produce discrete, passive artworks for aesthetic contemplation, he creates cultural objects that can dynamically engage audiences in processes of self-reflection and self-awareness,” the news release says.
Whiten’s art is held in many collections, such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and San Francisco’s de Young Museum and Legion of Honor.
In 2022, he won the Gershon Iskowitz Prize from the Art Gallery of Ontario and was a finalist for the Government of Ontario’s Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
In total eight artists received a Governor General’s award in visual and media arts.
The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s public arts funder and is partnering with the National Gallery of Canada to celebrate and present an exhibition with the artwork of the 2023 GGArts winners.
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