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The Burlington Contemporary Art Writing Prize


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The Burlington Magazine is delighted to announce that the winner of the Burlington Contemporary Art Writing Prize 2019 is Kirsty White

Kirsty chose to write about an exhibition of work by Lilah Fowler at Assembly Point, London. In addition to receiving the Prize of £1,000, she will be invited to write a review of a contemporary art exhibition for the Magazine in the coming months.

The judges were the artist and Chair of the Department of Art at University of California Los Angeles Andrea Fraser and the Chair of Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota. They were particularly impressed by Kirsty’s ability to convey the complexity of the work in clear language, while maintaining an incisive critical position:

‘The winning text raised critical questions about the art as well as the critique that art can engage in. The author set her review in the context of an ambitious analysis of the tension between nature and technology in the contemporary world and our increasing inability to relate to the natural landscape as we translate experience through digital means.’

The judges also commented on the fact that many of the reviewers had chosen to write about shows in smaller, independent galleries rather than at big public institutions and commercial galleries, suggesting an interest in writing about emerging rather than established art.

The Burlington Magazine would like to thank everyone who participated in and supported the Prize. We look forward to the 2020 edition, for which applications will open in November.

If you have any questions about the prize, please contact


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. 


Parallels between the work of Picasso and Calder and explored through their treatment of negative space.

Closing soon
Paris, France
Musée national Picasso-Paris
Until 25 Aug 2019
Picasso and the Exodus: A history of Spanish art in resistance

An exhibition devoted to Picasso’s exile during the years of the Spanish Civil War includes the stage curtain The Corpse of the Minotaur in Harlequin Costume (1936); 15th March to 25th August.

Closing soon
Toulouse, France
Les Abattoirs
Until 25 Aug 2019
The German Revolution: Expressionist Prints

Prints from the collection by Dix, Nolde, Beckmann and others; 1st March to 25th August.

Closing soon
Glasgow, UK
Until 25 Aug 2019
Treasury! Masterpieces from the Hermitage
The first of two exhibitions marking the Amsterdam museum’s tenth anniversary includes major works drawn from numerous areas of the collections of the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.
Closing soon
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Until 25 Aug 2019
Laura McCafferty, Drapes

Laura McCafferty has developed an interdisciplinary approach to her work, combining drawing, textiles and performance to ‘subtly mess with what’s expected’. An obsessive magpie, she gathers images from popular culture and art history as source material for drawings which begin to construct possible – but unresolved – narratives.

Closing soon
Nottingham, UK
Angear Visitor Centre, Nottingham Lakeside Arts
Until 25 Aug 2019
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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. 



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. 



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.



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.



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.



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.