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The Burlington Contemporary Art Writing Prize

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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.



£1,000 prize


The judges for the 2019 edition of the prize are Andrea Fraser and Sir Nicholas Serota


Andrea Fraser is an artist, writer and researcher best known for her foundational work in the area of institutional critique. She has exhibited internationally, including solo presentations at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2013), the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (2005), the Whitechapel Art Gallery (London, England, 2003), the Venice Biennale (1993) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1989). She is currently Professor in New Genres at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her most recent research project (in book form), 2016 in Museums, investigates the links between museum funding and political donations.

Sir Nicholas Serota is Chair of Arts Council England and a member of the Board of the BBC. He was Director of Tate from 1988 to 2017.  During this period Tate opened Tate St Ives (1993) and Tate Modern (2000 and extension 2016), redefining the Millbank building as Tate Britain (2000). Between 1976 and 1988 he was Director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery. In recent years he has curated or co-curated exhibitions of Donald Judd, Howard Hodgkin, Cy Twombly and Gerhard Richter.


Submission Requirements
Contenders – who must be no older than 35 years of age on 31st March 2019 and have published no more than six exhibition reviews – should submit one unpublished review of a contemporary art exhibition, no more than 1,000 words in length with up to three low-resolution images.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

For guidance, contenders should familiarise themselves with the reviews published on our online platform for contemporary art, Burlington Contemporary, and read the ‘Related articles’ below, which are recent reviews from the print publication.

 If you have any enquiries about the Writing Prize, please contact


Hauptsache Kopf: Jawlensky, Warhol, Cahn

An exhibition studies the meanings attached to human heads in modern art.

Closing soon
Emden, Germany
Kunsthalle Emden
Until 29 May 2019
Josef Fischnaller: Prächtig

Cadogan Contemporary is delighted to present an exhibition of new works by the Austrian artist Josef Fischnaller. Entitled Prächtig – a German word meaning magnificent – the exhibition features artfully constructed photographs inspired by the compositional styles of Old Master and Renaissance painters.

Closing soon
London, UK
Cadogan Contemporary Art Gallery
Until 31 May 2019
Kiki Smith. What I saw on the road

Sculptures and tapestries by Kiki Smith.

Closing soon
Florence, Italy
Palazzo Pitti
Until 2 Jun 2019
Olga Picasso

Previously in Paris and Moscow, a massive exhibition studies the life of Olga Khokhlova, Picasso’s first wife, and her impact on the artist’s visual language; 26th February to 2nd June (then in Madrid).

Closing soon
Málaga, Spain
Museo Picasso Málaga
Until 2 Jun 2019
Antonello da Messina. Dentro la pittura

Nineteen of the thirty-five known autograph works by early Renaissance painter Antonello da Messina are on view here.

Closing soon
Milan, Italy
Palazzo Reale
Until 2 Jun 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.