2019 Karsh Award laureate Andrew Wright exhibits at Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa

The City of Ottawa is pleased to announce that artist Andrew Wright is the winner of the 2019 Karsh Award. An exhibition of new work by the laureate opens on January 23, 2020 at Karsh-Masson Gallery in Ottawa.


Andrew Wright
2019 Karsh Award laureate

January 23 to March 15, 2020

Vernissage: Thursday, January 23, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Opening remarks by Mayor Jim Watson will begin at 5:40 pm

Tour with the artist: Sunday, February 9, 2 pm
All welcome. Free admission.

Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa City Hall

Filmtrack 4 A Sound: Suite Kurelek de Fiala (2010-2020) is inspired by a pristine, unopened box set of records from the 1980s that Wright found in 2009. A perfectly preserved artefact of a more idealistic time, Canadian Anthology (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 1987) is carefully unboxed, played and recorded a single time, and then resealed. Within the anthology is George Fiala’s (1922-2017) Kurelek Suite (1982), an orchestral piece in which each of the five movements is composed in response to a particular painting by William Kurelek (1927-1977). Taking Fiala’s homage one step further, Wright makes a filmic chronicle of the unboxing event, which is then screened as three contiguous fields on the gallery walls. The result is a visual journey across vast arctic landscapes of snow and ice – or so it would appear.

–Excerpt from the essay by Adrian Göllner

FILMTRACK 4 A SOUND: SUITE KURELEK DE FIALA coincides with another exhibition by 2019 Karsh Award laureate Andrew Wright. APEX: Interloper will be on display at Corridor 45|75, Ottawa’s newest underground art space, from January 16 to March 29, 2020.

Artist Andrew Wright creates works in many media and has been preoccupied with using photography in traditional and decidedly non-traditional ways for over 25 years.

Wright has exhibited widely in Canada and abroad with shows in places such as the U.S., the U.K., the E.U., Korea and China. He has exhibited at such venues as the London Gallery West; the Polygon Gallery, Vancouver; the Art Museum at the University of Toronto; the Art Gallery of Ontario; the University of California, Berkeley; Oakville Galleries; and the Today Art Museum, Beijing.

His works can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the X’i’an Art Museum in China, the City of Ottawa, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, the University of Toronto, the Ottawa Art Gallery, Canada’s High Commission in London at Canada House and private collections around the world.

A six-time nominee for the Sobey Art Award, Wright was a semi-finalist in 2007. In 2011, Wright won the inaugural Gattuso Prize at Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto. His work has been curated by Joan Fontcuberta and he has shown alongside artists such as Michael Snow, Iain Baxter&, Ed Burtynsky, Rebecca Belmore and Kelly Mark.

Andrew Wright is an Associate Professor of Visual Art and the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa.


Andrew Wright, After Friedrich, 2012, digital chromogenic print, various sizes, courtesy of the artist

The Karsh Award
The Karsh Award honours the artistic legacy of celebrated Ottawa photographers Yousuf and Malak Karsh. Established in 2003, this award is presented every four years to a local mid-career or established artist for their outstanding body of work and their significant contribution to the artistic discipline in a photo/lens-based medium.

The peer assessment committee selected Andrew Wright from an impressive list of nominated artists. The jury was comprised of the curator of Photographs at the National Gallery of Canada, Lori Pauli, past Karsh Award laureate Michael Schreier, and Franco-Ontarian photographer Geneviève Thauvette.

“For 25 years, Wright has been making significant contributions, as an artist and art educator, to art communities in Ottawa, Canada and abroad. His inquisitive approach to art-making has resulted in an impressive and eclectic body of work that often combines playfulness with more serious meditations on perception and the technological underpinnings of both historical and contemporary image-making processes.” –Jury statement


Karsh-Masson Gallery
Ottawa City Hall
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1

613-580-2424 (14167)
TTY 613-580-2401

Free admission
Open daily 9 am to 8 pm, including holidays
Karsh-Masson Gallery is fully accessible