December 19, 2015

International Awards for Art Criticism (IAAC) 2: 2015 winners

Royal College of Art
Ceremony for the announcement of the International Awards for Art Criticism 2 (IAAC). Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art, 2015. © M21.

The organisers of the second International Awards for Arts Criticism (IAAC 2) are pleased to announce the details of the three award-winning exhibition reviews, as follows:

First prize: 6,000 EUR plus a short visit to Shanghai for an essay in English or Chinese
David Balzer, Toronto, Canada, for his review of Douglas Coupland’s exhibition, everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada, January 31–April 26, 2015

Joint second prize of 2,000 EUR for an essay in Chinese
Zhang Wei, Shanghai, China, for his review of the exhibition, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov: The Strange City, at the Power House of Art, Shanghai, China, August 8–December 6, 2015
Joint second prize of 2,000 EUR for an essay in English
Andrew Weiner, for his review of the exhibition, Surround Audience: New Museum Triennial 2015, at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, NewYork, USA, February 25–May 24, 2015

The Awards were adjudicated anonymously at the end of November 2015 by a jury of five internationally recognised critics, curators and art historians, chaired by Henry Meyric Hughes, as follows:

Marek Bartelik, Polish-born art critic, art historian, academic and poet, New York; President of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), Paris
Juan Cruz, artist and Dean of the School of Fine Art, Royal College of Art, London
Dieter von Graffenried, publisher, PARKETT magazine, Zürich / New York
Pi Li, curator and art historian; Sigg Senior Curator, M+, Hong Kong
Yongwoo Lee, President of the International Biennial Association (IBA), Seoul and Director of the Himalayas Museum, Shanghai

About the International Awards for Art Criticism (IAAC)
The globalised International Awards for Art Criticism (IAAC) is now in its second edition. Its aim is to encourage engaged, but disinterested, writing about contemporary art and space for reflexion, away from the most frequently experienced financial and social pressures.

The jury were impressed with the range and variety of the submissions, which showed that good writing and critical engagement are in plentiful supply, even if these are not always given the attention they deserve in the media. The deliberate choice of the exhibition review format, restricted to 1,500 words or 2,000 Chinese characters, aims to encourage writers to move away from the longer, essayistic form, most familiar from the specially commissioned catalogue essay. The Awards seek to bring back substance to the in-depth review that is increasingly displaced by promotional literature of all kinds.

In the jury’s opinion, “David Balzer combines ease of expression with a confident mastery of his subject. His text and range of reference form a perfect counterpart to Douglas Coupland’s work, shows keen critical engagement, and grabs the attention of the reader.”

20 of the shortlisted essays (ten in English and ten in Chinese) will be published in the original languages and in translation in early 2016. This publication, the second in the series “Exhibition Reviews Annual,” will be printed and distributed in China. It will also be available in PDF format on the websites of the 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum and Occasional Papers.

The Awards are hosted by the Board of the not-for-profit International Awards for Art Criticism Ltd. and organised by the Shanghai 21st Minsheng Art Museum (M21) and Anxin Trust Co. Ltd.-Artemis. They are held in partnership with the Royal College of Art, London, one of the world’s most influential postgraduate institutions of art and design, and in association with the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), based in Paris, with its 63 national sections, an international section and nearly 5,000 members worldwide. The principal sponsors are the China Minsheng Banking Cooperation Ltd., the Shanghai Minsheng Art Foundation, the Anxin Trust Co. Ltd., and the Cultural Bureau of the Pudong District Council, China.

Board members of the IAAC: Henry Meyric Hughes (chair), Lewis Biggs, Juan Cruz, and Ling Min, with an organising committee incl. Ai Min, Gao Chao.

Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum
T +86 21 61820539 / [email protected]

School of Fine Art, Royal College of Art
T +44 (0)20 7590 4423 / [email protected]

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