Art Journal Award

Established in 2000, the Art Journal Award is presented to the author of the most distinguished contribution—article, conversation, portfolio, artist’s project, review, or any other text or visual project—published in Art Journal during the previous calendar year (2010 for the 2011 award).


2018 Award

Heather Igloliorte, “Curating Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit: Inuit Knowledge in the Qallunaat Art Museum”

The jury that made the award wrote:
The committee was unanimous in recommending Heather Igloliorte’s article in the Summer issue, “Curating Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit: Inuit Knowledge in the Qallunaat Art Museum,” for this award. We found it to be an exceptional essay, in which an indigenous curator reflects—in searching, ethical, and inspiring ways—on how indigenous knowledge might apply to curatorial practice, in both general and concrete terms. It is a rare instance in global art history of direct engagement with alternative philosophies of art. Their basis in the foundational principles underlying Inuit knowledge is explained with a rare, impressive clarity. The continuing relevance of these principles in both modern and contemporary Inuit art is highlighted, as is their critical purchase. Much of the article demonstrates how these principles informed all aspects of her curation of an exhibition of an important collection of Inuit art. A complex challenge, requiring careful reflection and adequate consultation at each step, the author maps the entire process in a manner that should both instruct and energize those preparing to work on similar exhibitions.


2017 Award

Amy A. DaPonte, “Candida Höfer’s Türken in Deutschland as ‘Counter-publicity'”

The jury that made the award wrote:
Amy A. DaPonte’s “Candida Höfer’s Türken in Deutschland as ‘Counter-publicity’” examines an early work created by Höfer 1972–79. After World War II and the loss of more than three million German lives, the government launched a foreign labor recruitment program as a “temporary solution.” Millions of Turkish (and other) immigrants entered Germany to live and rebuild its depleted workforce. As a young photographer Höfer was drawn to guest workers whom she came to know as neighbors in Cologne and Dusseldorf. With their permission and participation, she photograph them in different settings including shops, parks, eating places, and their homes. The images have a frank intimacy and authenticity, yet the series is often overlooked or dismissed by writers, scholars, curators, and gallerists—and generally is seen as irrelevant, by the artist herself, to her current photographs of often unoccupied and exceptional architectural and public spaces.
With an interest in alternative formats and issues of representation, the photos were presented as black-and-white prints, color slide shows (a format that exists ambiguously between the single photograph and film), and small books entitled Diaserien that included selections of slides with texts by sociologists and other experts who Höfer engaged as collaborators. DaPonte cites Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge’s concept of a “counter-publicity” which developed in the late 1970s contesting Habermas’s bourgeois public sphere. DaPonte reveals the prescience of Höfer’s early work as an important claim of reciprocal visibility that resonates with contemporary global conditions of labor and guest workers, immigrants, and refugees.


2016 Award

Abigail Satinsky, “Movement Building for Beginners”

The jury that made the award wrote:
Abigail Satinsky’s “Movement Building for Beginners,” published in the Fall 2015 issue as part of the Forum focused on Common Field, brings together urgent issues about the creation and mobilization of infrastructure for artistic projects in an essay that will surely stand as a reference point for future scholarship. With insight, intimacy, and depth of exposition, Satinsky traces shifts in artist-driven organizations as well as federal and foundation funding paradigms, underscoring the mutual investments between cultural producers and their communities. Focused with precision on the American national landscape, her article not only pursues long standing debates in politics, history, and education in relation to artists’ organizations and social change, it also has profound implications for imagining the future roles of decentralized artist-run spaces and understanding the processes of self-organizational models nationally and globally.


2015 Award

Anna Chave, “Grave Matters: Positioning Carl Andre at Career’s End”

The jury that made the award wrote:
“Anna Chave’s essay “Grave Matters: Positioning Carl Andre at Career’s End,” published in the Winter 2014 issue of Art Journal, carefully and courageously revisits the matter of Carl Andre’s art production and its reception, on the occasion of the artist’s 2014 full-career retrospective at Dia:Beacon. In this exhaustively researched and compellingly argued account—against the ambitions of the institution that sponsored it—Chave deftly negotiates the historical and anecdotal record regarding the death of Andre’s wife, Ana Mendieta, as well as the author’s own now-historical analyses of the gendered power manifest in the project of Minimalist sculpture. Chave does so in order to make eloquent claims about the continued importance of “enunciat(ing) feminist speech” in an age when the authority ascribed juridical oversight of the social body is matched only by the prejudiced distortions of its purview. “Grave Matters” serves as both methodological and analytical inspiration: generations of art historians still-in-the-making will find in it a productive demonstration of deep research, unflinching and honest self-reflection, critical analysis of art-world histories and public traumas, and trenchant political commitment.”


2014 Award

Jeanne Dunning, “Tom Thumb, the New Oedipus”

The jury that made the award noted:
“Jeanne Dunning’s ‘Tom Thumb, the New Oedipus’ creatively and cleverly melds aspects of narrative storytelling, visual research, and textual analysis to cast new light on the enduring value of psychoanalytic models through a close reading of the folk-tale character Tom Thumb. It does so with humor and clarity, and is at once a pleasure to read and a careful prod to the imagination. The pairing of the text with the veritable archive of Tom Thumb imagery supports and illustrates the artist’s thesis, and encourages the reader to creatively speculate about the place and importance of the visual details within these images. In this, the piece provides an excellent model of the best artist projects imaginable for a print publication. The committee wanted especially to herald this effort as genuinely reflective of Art Journal’s commitment to its various constituencies and to its unique position in the field. Dunning’s piece and the editorial vision that included it in the journal suggest important directions regarding what Art Journal can and should do as it works to advance the various states of and ways to research in our field with an eye to unmooring received ideas and advancing knowledge.”


2013 Award

Julia Bryan-Wilson, “Invisible Products”

The jury that made the award wrote:
“Julia Bryan-Wilson’s beautifully written ‘Invisible Products,’ published in the Summer 2012 issue, is a brilliant exemplar of the scholarly art-historical essay. With a depth of research and attentiveness to what the artist (here Ansel Adams) produced and how he produced it, she establishes a firm grounding for larger questions: just what comes into visibility, and what is occluded? Her considerations of a little-known commission by the University of California system fearlessly compares popular production and high art; with considerable acuity Bryan-Wilson connects this material to political and educational debates that are both historically revealing and compellingly timely.”


2012 Award

Triple Canopy, “The Binder and the Server”
(lead author: Colby Chamberlain)

The jury that made the award noted:
“The editors of the collective Triple Canopy achieve a compelling voice that charts new terrain in their essay, ‘The Binder and the Server.’ Their articulate ruminations explore the contemporary terrain of how we think, write, design, publish, post, and print. We, the readers, are let inside the process of a new and emerging entity whose influence is as yet unproven, yet whose self-reflective practice is already having an impact. ‘The Binder and the Server’ provides a culmination within a strong and comprehensive issue of Art Journal devoted to print (and the new online practices and protocols challenging its domains).”


Past Winners

The Art Journal Award was first presented in 2001 to Miwon Kwon for her article “The Wrong Place,” concerning an exhibition at the Ottawa Art Gallery. In addition to art historians, the award has also been given to curators and artists.

Read a list of all winners of the Art Journal Award from 2001 to the present.


Award Nominations

CAA will begin accepting nominations for the 2016 Art Journal Award in March 2015. In the meantime, you may review the instructions for the previous nomination process.