2018 prize 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.

2018 Prize

The judges of the 2018 Burlington Contemporary Art Writing Prize are Fiona Banner and Jenni Lomax.


Fiona Banner is an artist who works with sculpture, drawing, installation and writing. She has shown internationally at venues including Tate Britain, London, and MoMA, New York, and at the Venice Biennale. In 1997 she founded The Vanity Press, through which she publishes her own works.

Jenni Lomax is the former Director of Camden Arts Centre, London (1990–2017). During her time there, Lomax championed new and challenging art, while insisting on its accessibility and relevance to a wide audience. As Director, Lomax oversaw the first exhibitions in London of artists such as Marlene Dumas, Kara Walker and Kerry James Marshall.


The deadline for submissions is Monday 26th February 2018

The winner of the £1,000 Prize will be announced in May 2018

For more information please email editorial@burlington.org.uk.


Submission Requirements

Contenders – who must be no older than 35 years of age on 26th February 2018 and have published no more than six exhibition reviews – should submit one unpublished review of a contemporary art exhibition, no more than 1,000 words in length with up to three low-resolution images.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.

Each contender will be offered a digital subscription to the Magazine at a specially reduced price, providing unlimited access to the Magazine’s archive as well as all the latest articles and reviews.


Additional Material

In order to help contenders we have provided three reviews of contemporary art exhibitions to serve as examples. PDFs can be downloaded from the links below.

  1. Marlene Dumas, by James Cahill
  1. Venice Biennale, by Martha Barratt
  1. Electronic Superhighway, by Julian Stallabrass


Past Winners and Judges


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. Of these, the judges wished to give honourable mentions to Lucy Biddle for her review of a solo show by Tessa Lynch at the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, and Conrad Steel, who wrote about John Baldessari’s recent exhibition Miró and Life in General at Marian Goodman Gallery, London. The winner of the prize was John Parton, a Commissioning Editor at Laurence King Publishing.


The 2016 Prize garnered the largest number of entries received to date, with over 130 submitted from dozens of countries across several continents. The overall standard of the entries was described as ‘very impressive’ by the judges, Alex Farquharson, the 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 chose to write 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 published a review of an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, devoted to the sculptor Jean-Luc Mouléne.

Jean-Luc Moulène, by Luke Naessens


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 is the Gallery Manager at Deborah Gage (Works of Art) Ltd. and published a review of the Imperial War Museum’s Lee Miller retrospective in the April 2016 issue of the Magazine.

Lee Miller, by Helena Anderson


Judged by the artist Dexter Dalwood and Daniel F. Herrmann, Eisler Curator & Head of Curatorial Studies at the Whitechapel 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.

Photography and the American Civil War, by Jenna Krumminga


The inaugural Prize was judged by current Director of the National Portrait Gallery, 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 chose to write about an exhibition of work by Lygia Pape at the Serpentine Gallery, London. Isabella has since reviewed several exhibitions for the Magazine, received her doctorate from University College London.  She is currently Assistant Curator of Performance at Tate.

Read Isabella’s review of the Liverpool Biennial here.

Liverpool Biennial, by Isabella Maidment