, the leading magazine of contemporary art and culture, announced Jessica Lott as the winner of this years frieze Writers Prize. Lott has been commissioned to write her first review for frieze magazine, to be published in the November issue, and will also receive a prize of £2,000.
The judges for 2009 were critic and art historian James Elkins, novelist and critic Ali Smith, and co-editor of frieze magazine Jennifer Higgie. Smith described Lott's entry as 'clear, authoritative, inviting and encapsulating' and Elkins thought it 'overall, an excellent brief account' that also has 'genuine insights'. Higgie felt Lott's piece was 'elegant, thoughtful and opinionated in the right way.'
This year, frieze was thrilled to receive more than 300 entries from around the world. Among the entrants, Christine Brueckner McVay, Ian Cowmeadow, Frederico Duarte, Annette Leddy, Taro Nettleton, Tessa Rappaport, Gabriel Sánchez Sorondo, and Emily Warner were highly commended.
The reviews that made it to the shortlist displayed a love of language, a rigorous intelligence and a real curiosity about their chosen subject. Smith remarked: 'when critical writing makes you not just wish you'd seen the exhibition it takes for its subject, but also makes you feel like you were present, you did see it, that's when you know it's good. I've travelled with the good writers here. Elkins observed that the reviews that were knocked out of the running lacked 'judgement and good description.' He added, 'I prefer the critics who know the literature, and have considered their positions.
The Frieze Writers prize was established to promote the discipline of art criticism at an international level. Outlining the importance of the prize Higgie stated, More people than ever are interested in looking at and thinking about contemporary art which means that more than ever intelligent criticism and interpretation are needed in order to help people navigate their way through this complex field. Compared to the amount of prizes and residencies offered to emerging artists, there are hardly any international prizes that encourage new writing about art. Lotts review of Sophie Calles exhibition, Take Care of Yourself at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York can be read at www.frieze.com
frieze Writers Prize was established in 2006 and is presented annually. The aim of the prize is to promote and encourage new critics from across the world, and many of the previous winners and commended entrants have gone on to contribute frequently to frieze magazine.