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The Burlington Contemporary Art Writing Prize

 The 2020 prize is now open for entries

 

 

The Burlington Contemporary Art Writing Prize seeks to discover talented young writers on contemporary art, with the winner receiving £1,000 and the opportunity to publish a review of a contemporary art exhibition in The Burlington Magazine.

Since its founding in 1903, The Burlington Magazine has always considered the art of the present to be as worthy of study as the art of the past. The Burlington Contemporary Art Writing Prize advances our commitment to the study of contemporary art by encouraging aspiring young writers to engage critically with its forms and concepts. The Prize promotes clear, concise and well-structured writing that is able to navigate sophisticated ideas without recourse to over-complex language. 

Deadline Monday 6th April 2020

£1,000 prize

The judges for the 2020 edition of the prize are Franklin Sirmans and Polly Staple. 

Franklin Sirmans (photograph courtesy Pérez Art Museum, Miami) and Polly Staple (Photograph Mark Blower).

Franklin Sirmans is Director of the Pérez Art Museum, Miami. He has held curatorial positions at the Menil Collection, Houston, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and produced shows on artists including Jean-Michael Basquiat, Maurizio Cattelan and Noah Purifoy. He has published widely as as a critic, is a former Editor of Flash Art and was Editor-in-Chief of ArtAsiaPacific.

Polly Staple is Director of Collection, British Art, at Tate. From 2008 to 2019 she was Director of the Chisenhale Gallery, London, where she commissioned a series of groundbreaking exhibitions that helped to launch a new generation of artists into the international art scene, including shows with Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Ed Atkins, Helen Marten and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. She was previously Director of Frieze Projects and Editor at Large of frieze magazine.

Submission Requirements
Contenders – who must be no older than 35 years of age on 6th April 2020 and have published no more than six exhibition reviews – should submit one unpublished review of a contemporary art exhibition, no more than 1,000 words in length with up to three low-resolution images. ‘Contemporary’ is defined as art produced since 2000. The submitted review must be written in English (although the art considered may be international) and emailed as a Word document, clearly stating the name, age, country of residence and occupation of the writer, to editorial@burlington.org.uk

Contenders can read examples of reviews on Burlington Contemporary, and through the ‘Related articles’ below, which are recent reviews of Contemporary art from the print publication.

If you have any enquiries about the Writing Prize, please contact editorial@burlington.org.uk.

2019

The 2019 prize was judged by the artist Andrea Fraser and Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England. The prize was awarded to Kirsty White, who chose to write about an exhibition of work by Lilah Fowler at Assembly Point, London. The judges were particularly impressed by Kirsty’s ability to convey the complexity of the work in clear language, while maintaining an incisive critical position

 

2018 

The 2017 prize was judged by Jenni Lomax, former Director of the Camden Art Centre, London, and the artist Fiona Banner. The judges commended the diverse range of artists covered by the entrants, the variety of viewpoint represented and the general lack of formulaic ‘art speak’. The prize was awarded to Anna Campbell, who chose to write about an exhibition of work by Hetain Petal held at the Manchester Art Gallery, in 2017. 

 

2017

The 2017 prize was judged by Julia Peyton-Jones, former Director of the Serpentine Galleries, London, and Martin Caiger-Smith, Head of the MA programme Curating the Art Museum at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. The judges were very impressed by the range and overall quality of the entries, and particularly by their clear and controlled language and ambition in tackling complex and lesser-known work. The winner of the prize was John Parton, Commissioning Editor at Laurence King Publishing, for his review of Ragnar Kjartansson at the Barbican Art Gallery, London. In the January 2018 issue of the Burlington Magazine he reviewed the Camille Henrot retrospective at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. 

 

2016

The 2016 Prize garnered over 130 entries from dozens of countries. The overall standard of the entries was described as ‘very impressive’ by the judges, Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain, and Lynne Cooke, Curator of Special Projects in Modern Art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. The winner was Luke Naessens, an Exhibitions Assistant at Barbican Art Gallery. Luke wrote about Sculpture 4tet, an exhibition of sculptures by Luciano Fabro, Jean-Luc Moulène, Bruce Nauman and Danh Võ held at Marian Goodman Gallery, London. Luke has published a review in the January 2017 of the Burlington Magazine of an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, devoted to the sculptor Jean-Luc Mouléne.

 

2015

After a year’s hiatus, the 2015 Prize was judged by the Director of the Contemporary Art Society, Caroline Douglas, and art critic and novelist Michael Bracewell. The winner was Helena Anderson, who wrote about an Olga Chernysheva show at Pace Gallery, London. Helena published a review of the Imperial War Museum’s Lee Miller retrospective in the April 2016 issue of the Magazine.

 

2013

Judged by the artist Dexter Dalwood and Daniel F. Herrmann, Curator of Special Projects at the National Gallery, London, the 2013 Prize was awarded to Jenna Krumminga for her review of photographs by Larry Clark at C/O Berlin. Jenna reviewed an exhibition on photography and the American Civil War at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, for the Magazine’s August 2013 issue.

 

2012

The inaugural Prize was judged by the current Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, Nicholas Cullinan, and Anna Lovatt, currently the Marguerite Hoffman Scholar in Residence at the SMU Meadows School of Art, Dallas, and a former lecturer at the University of Nottingham and the University of Manchester. The winner was Isabella Maidment, who wrote about an exhibition of work by Lygia Pape at the Serpentine Gallery, London. Isabella, who has since reviewed several exhibitions for the Magazine, received her doctorate from University College London. She is currently Curator of Contemporary British Art at Tate.