Editorial

The Burlington Contemporary Art Writing Prize

Last month we launched the 2018 Burlington Contemporary Art Writing Prize, our annual award of £1,000 to a writer under thirty-five for a review of a recent exhibition of contemporary art. We are delighted that Fiona Banner, an artist who has made writing a central part of her practice, and Jenni Lomax, former Director of the Camden Arts Centre, London, have agreed to be judges.

 

 

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Fragonard’s fantasy figures. Washington

Jean Honoré Fragonard’s fantasy portraits or ‘fantasy figures’, as the exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, Washington (to 3rd December), calls them, have long presented a series of problems. He made at least twenty, depending on how one reads the evidence, and the best are among the artist’s greatest works. Their uniform size, free, spirited brushwork and similarity of subject – men and women dressed in fanciful costumes (usually described as Spanish, but more likely seventeenth-century Flemish), shown at half length, their bodies and heads turned in dynamic contrapposto – suggest a series, or at least a concentrated artistic project. 

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