AAANZ Prizes

Our annual prizes recognise the best in arts writing and research across Australia and New Zealand. The awards cover a broad array of arts publishing and acknowledge the contribution of both emerging and established scholars and artists. The categories include prizes for books, catalogues, artist books, Indigenous art writing, and an award for recently completed PhD graduates. The prizes are sponsored by a number of universities, art museums, associations and publishing bodies around Australia and New Zealand.

The prizes recognise the following.

  • Originality and rigour of scholarship.
  • Contribution to knowledge in the area and impact on scholarly debate in the field.
  • Significance of the topic to the field and to adjacent disciplines.
  • Significance and originality of arts research.
  • Quality of the design and production values of the publication.
  • Ability to convey complex ideas to wider audiences.

Please note people who wish to nominate publications for a prize must be a member of AAANZ. Staff affiliated with museums that have a AAANZ institutional membership are also eligible to nominate publications.

The AAANZ prizes are awarded each year at our annual conference. The deadline for nominations is June 30th 2017. Please join our mailing list for further announcements regarding the prizes.

Nominations for the 2017 Book and PhD prizes are now open. The nomination form for book prizes can be found here. The from for PhD Prize nominations can be found here (the deadline for PhD prize nominations is October 2nd 2017).

For all enquiries please contact the Business Manager at the AAANZ.

 

Previous prize winners: 201620152014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

2017 Prize Winners

Best Book

Judging the book prize this year was no easy task. Twelve books were in the running and each is an impressive contribution to our field. The diversity and creativity of this work is inspiring and convinces us that scholarship in art history is flourishing despite the ongoing pressure on the humanities. After much deliberation, the Best Book Prize was awarded jointly to Susan Best for Reparative Aesthetics and Ian McLean for Rattling Spears. Jennifer Biddle’s book, Remote Avant-garde was highly commended.

Susan Best, Reparative Aesthetics: Witnessing in Contemporary Art Photography, Bloomsbury Academic, London, 2016.

This book builds on Susan Best’s previous work to demonstrate the ongoing impact of affect studies for the analysis of contemporary art. In this gracefully written work Best uses the examination of shame and guilt to present a counter to the anti-aesthetic approach that has been the common response to political art. Instead Best proposes a reparative aesthetics that she claims has been a particular feature in the work of female artists. She focuses on four women photographers, all from the southern hemisphere: Anne Ferran from Australia, Fiona Pardington from New Zealand, Rosângela Rennó from Brazil and Milagros de la Torre from Peru. All four use photography, the medium most often associated with the tradition of bearing witness to events. In their differing contexts each focuses on histories of shame and trauma. Ferran and Pardington have looked back to the nineteenth century and the colonial histories of Australia and Oceania, while Rennó and Milagros de la Torre engage Latin America’s history of political violence. In her careful framing of this material, informed by philosophy, cultural theory and politics, Best offers us a very nuanced and thoughtful approach to the works of each artist. But she also reveals a more hopeful, healing response presented through art. This is a careful, balanced and thoughtful work by a significant art historian.

&

Ian McLean, Rattling Spears. A History of Indigenous Australian Art, Reaktion Books, London, 2016.

Ian McLean’s book is an impressive account of indigenous Australian art from first contact to the twenty-first century that recasts this history by asserting transculturalism as its guiding term. McLean lays out an indigenous modern history of art to be understood as one within a matrix of multiple modernisms. This entails rethinking what constitutes modern art history. He articulates indigenous Australian art’s relationship to first contact and colonial culture that reformulates the grounds of art historical knowledge so as to encompass indigenous cosmology and transcultural aesthetic invention. Such a formulation stymies reductive distinctions that calibrate differences between urban and remote indigenous art through notions of relative access to modernity. McLean proposes a radically decentred, transcultural indigenous history of modernism at a moment when the question as to what constitutes a meaningful approach to global histories of art is one of the most urgent and contested matters within our discipline. The book articulates a proposition about the local and global significance of indigenous Australian art that McLean has been developing through his sustained work in this field over a number of decades. In this book these ideas are marshalled in a synoptic account that boldly explores the problematic from first contact to the present day. The book is written with elegance and lucidity that ensures it is accessible to a broad audience.

 

Highly Commended: Jennifer Loureide Biddle, Remote Avant-Garde: Aboriginal Art under Occupation, Duke University Press, Durham, 2016.

This is a highly original and politically important analysis of the visual cultures of the Western Desert in Central Australia.  It celebrates the art practice of these communities but also strongly attacks the current interventions that are being imposed upon them. Biddle has lived with these communities and her analysis is the careful work of an anthropologist who writes with conviction about diverse visual practices. Her book explores experimentation, tradition and the collisions between lifeworlds and meaning-making. She writes with great clarity and perspicacity.

Judges: Mary Roberts and Judith Collard

 

Best Anthology

The Legacies of Bernard Smith: Essays on Australian Art, History and Cultural Politics, edited by Jaynie Anderson, Christopher Marshall and Andrew Yip, Power Publications, Sydney, 2016.

Candidates for the Anthology Prize this year include entrants from 2016. It is in the nature of this category that entries enshrine very different aims, in various formats, appealing to different constituencies within the art world. Ultimately, however, the quality of this years’ entries made their appeal far broader. They included two issues of a new New Zealand art journal, a Flinders university art exhibition catalogue, a national museum contemporary art collection catalogue, a decade’s worth of excerpts to 2014 from a Melbourne contemporary art journal and an anthology of scholarly essays, written from several disciplinary perspectives, on Bernard Smith, Australia’s most influential art historian.

As Australian and New Zealand judges we very much welcomed the potential represented by the two on-line, arts-based, ‘occasional journal’ issues from Wellington edited by Alice Tappenden, Ann Shelton and Jessica Hubbard on Dendromania (obsessive haunting of forests) and Feminisms, respectively. The website design is usable, legible, and attractive, with good quality font and colours, an original layout and is mobile responsive. Speak to Me: Conversations with the Flinders University Art Collections, edited by Nic Brown, is the result of staff members from different disciplines choosing works from the university collections.

Our first commendation goes to the MCA Collection Handbook (Sydney: MCA, 2016), superbly edited by Natasha Bullock, which features fifty-six writers on one hundred and fifty artists who are often accorded several high quality illustrations of their work. It is a desirable trait of a handbook that there be a certain convenient uniformity in the format of the essays, which here succeed in conveying the enduring outlines of an artist’s biography, background and aims, together with encapsulations of the illustrated works. The contribution of male and female indigenous artists is particularly impressive. There are very high production values throughout, and the strong but pliable binding has a beautiful Dale Frank painting for its cover. Though primarily intended for reference, we found that significant virtues of this volume became apparent on reading it through.

We also recommend a read-through of our second commendation, the un Anthology 2004-2014: a decade of art and ideas, edited by Ulanda Blair, Rosemary Forde and Phip Murray. It is a substantial volume of eighty-eight selected essays, reviews and artist pages that first appeared in un Magazine, an art magazine created by Lily Hibberd as a platform for the discussion and criticism of art in Melbourne’s contemporary art spaces. As its name indicates, it was conceived as a deliberately experimental venture, designed to transform the nature of art writing, a brief it went a considerable way to meeting.

As a collection it is a remarkable testament to the skill and talent of the emerging and established writers and artists who contributed to it, as well as to the recent history of independent art practice in Australia over a decade. One of the fascinating aspects of collating this material into an anthology is that pieces written as immediate and direct responses to art installations and exhibitions develop a new and different value as something permanent rather than provisional. After the closure of Gertrude Contemporary in its original location, the importance of the volume as historical record is now greater than ever.

Insightful, original, irreverent, and politically engaged, the quality of the essays in this anthology is high. They are presented in strict chronological order and the predominance of reviews gradually gives way to other, more ambitious and experimental forms of writing about art. The commemorative quality of the enterprise is enhanced by the five new essays at the end of the volume commissioned by the editors to accompany, look back on and evaluate the original articles and the nature of the art world in that decade in Melbourne.

The presentation of the volume is true to its low-tech origins and grunge aesthetic, with big type on cheap paper. Most essays are illustrated with just one black and white illustration, frustrating the readers’ attempts to visualise exhibits.

In sum this is a highly impressive anthology. On the one hand it represents a rare and important record of a particular time in the Melbourne art scene, and in that sense is highly specific to that city’s inner suburban networks. On the other its structure might serve as a model for crafting a new type of artistic history of urban cities around Australia.

Our winner is The Legacies of Bernard Smith: Essays on Australian Art, History and Cultural Politics, edited by Jaynie Anderson, Christopher Marshall and Andrew Yip from Power Publications, with foreword, introduction and twenty one essays and forty two photographs, twenty one in colour. An anthology affords the opportunity of grasping and evaluating Bernard Smith’s many-sided intervention on Pacific and Australian culture.

The great value of the volume is its wide appeal, breaking down the barriers between academe and Smith’s cultural activism on so many fronts. The essays are arranged as follows: 1) European Vision and the South Pacific, regarded as his major contribution; 2) Defining Australian Art; 3) the Art Museum, and 4) Cultural Politics. The arrangement reveals both surprising common purpose and fascinating ambivalence of allegiance in his work as a biographer, autobiographer, literary stylist, cross-cultural methodologist, curator, travelling art educator, buyer, personal collector, local heritage activist, and his tactical liaison with a host of institutions inside and outside Australia.

Certain essays by friends, colleagues and relatives are worth particular mention for their warmth of personal affection and objective psychological insight. Others for their ability to supplement Bernard’s intellectual achievement with recent advances in the disciplines. Foremost among these is Nicholas Thomas’s deceptively simple, generous and convincing demonstration of how Smith’s most powerful insight into the reciprocal influence of European and indigenous knowledges enables new museological appreciation of the active plasticity of Pacific responses to European occupation through the evolution of indigenous networks of cooperation in politics, commerce and religious culture that can be understood as a kind of alternative modernism, freed of the preconception of timeless and unchanging traditionalism. Our other highlights were chapters by Robert Gaston, Rüdigger Joppien, Terry Smith, Jim Berryman, Kate Challis, Catherine de Lorenzo and Ian McLean. All the essays together suggest the rich debates that this book’s diversity of approach is likely to inspire across the spectrum of interest in the past and future art of this region. As Jaynie Anderson explains in her introduction, the cover image on the book by the Noongar artist Chris Pease superimposes an abstract Jasper Johns target upon a nineteenth-century landscape painting of European landfall (Target, 2005). It vividly articulates the moral intensity of the conflicting political and aesthetic claims that Smith’s work continues to make on many of us. Our congratulations to the winning anthologists and the authors and editors of other commended works.

Judges: Richard Read, Lisa Bevan, Cathy Speck

 

Best Small Exhibition Catalogue

Black White & Restive: Cross-Cultural Initiatives in Australian Contemporary ArtNewcastle Art Gallery, curated by Una Rey, Newcastle, 2016.

Several of the small exhibition catalogues certainly demonstrate “the breadth possible within the category”, with multiple essays and a range of images suggestive of larger scale publications. The winner is Black White & Restive, and special mention must go to Natasha Couland et al. for Necessary Distraction: A Painting Show (Auckland: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, 2016).

Black White & Restive: Cross-Cultural Initiatives in Australian Contemporary Art (Newcastle Art Gallery, curator Una Rey) is a catalogue excellent in all respects. It addresses pressing aesthetic and social issues provocatively and intelligently, via a range of fascinating works represented in high quality images and uncluttered layout. Black White & Restive continues the important work of reconsidering still underserved histories, strikes a fine balance between formal and theoretical criticism and cultural-political history, and features outstanding essays written for the catalogue.

Judges: Frazer Ward and Robert Gaston

 

Best Large Exhibition Catalogue

Ann Shelton: Dark Matter, Auckland Art Gallery, curated by Zara Stanhope, Auckland 2016.

There were many spectacular entries in the AAANZ Large Catalogue Prize. There were 13 entries in all from nearly all of the major art institutions in Australia (although we would have liked to have seen an entry from MONA in Tasmania). As a result, both of us have a rich box of catalogues, which we assure you we will be donating to our respective libraries.

We would like to begin by commending two catalogues in particular. The first is Space to Dream: Recent Art from South America, curated by Zara Stanhope and edited by Clare McIntosh, from the Auckland Art Gallery. It was wonderful to see a large exhibition of contemporary art from a region often under-represented in Australasian art galleries. The catalogue begins with Joaquín Torres-Garcia’s wonderful upside-down map of South America and doesn’t look back. It features lots of writing – always a good sign – and offers an informative and accessible introduction to the art of South America over the last 40 years.

Our second commendation is Jan Senbergs: Observation-Imagination, curated and edited by Elena Taylor, from the National Gallery of Victoria. This is part of an ongoing series of major late-career retrospectives of Victorian-based artists undertaken by the NGV, with the latest devoted this year to Gareth Sansom. It is an intelligently and stringently selected survey with just enough but not too many works to make the point. There are major essays by Patrick McCaughey and David Hansen, and we both remember the show itself as brilliantly and creatively installed on the walls of the NGV.

And our winner – in a good year for its publisher Auckland Art Gallery and its curator Zara Stanhope, is Ann Shelton: Dark Matter. Sometimes “creatively” laid- out catalogues that understand themselves as not merely accompanying the show but as works of art in their own right lose their reader and end up not saying much about the work. But that is absolutely not the case here. Although the catalogue is studded with in-your-face full-page reproductions whose exact relation to the show is at first a little unclear, the catalogue remains entirely true to Shelton’s aesthetic. There are brilliant essays by Abigail Solomon-Godeau (of course) and New York-based German and Comparative Literature Professor Ulrich Baer. The production values of this hard-backed, cardboard-boxed and authoritatively thick catalogue are out of this world. A worthy winner!

Congratulations to all those who entered. Extraordinary care, attention and resources are poured into art publishing in Australasia and we want to recognise and commend this here.

Judges: Jaynie Anderson and Rex Butler

 

Best Scholarly Article in the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Art

Una Rey, ‘Women’s Business: Cross-cultural collaborations in remote Indigenous Art Centres’ ANZJA, 16.1 (2016), pp. 39-54.

A thoughtful and original contribution to the scholarship of Australian art history, with challenging and difficult matter.. The author gives both theoretical analysis and context to the historic collaborations between Aboriginal and non Aboriginal people especially women (although disappointingly while she mentions Tim Johnson’s collaborations with Papunya she ignores Vivien Johnson’s even more sustained work with the same communities). At the core this essay is a sustained critique of the collaboration between the Martu women, Lynette Wallworth and Anthony. She details the way in which Wallworth asserted the importance of getting to know the women before agreeing to any collaboration and the value of time and trust in any cross-cultural relationship. She specifically addresses the issue of cultural difference when she writes: “While being alert to difference is critical, so is recognising connections and kinship across differences, however these differences may be defined.”

Highly commended:

Jaime Tsai, ‘Equivocal Taxonomies: Fiona Hall and the Logic of Display’ ANZJA 16.1 (2016), pp. 55-70.

An, exemplary explication. This is a reasonable (and well reasoned) exposition of Fiona Hall’s incorporation (and subversion) of apparent museum-like protocols in her work.

Judges: Stephen Turner and Joanna Mendelsohn

 

Best Art Writing by an Indigenous Australian

Steaphan Paton, ‘Generalised, homogenised, colonised,’ in Ngujarn and Nakun: Belonging in the Other, Koori Trust, curated by Steaphan Paton, Melbourne, 2016, pp. 4-17.

The report written by the judges measured the winning entry against the prize criteria.

  • Originality and rigour of scholarship

Paton’s writing is honest and personal. He succeeds in presenting complex ideas with admirable simplicity. For me this has the mark of some of the best qualities of Indigenous writing – recognising the necessary place of the storyteller in the story. His voice is immediate, engaging and grounded in place, without compromising the thrust of his interrogation of ideas drawn from across the world.

  • Contribution to knowledge in the area & impact on scholarly debate in the field

The writer placed the voices of the artists alongside academic voices in this article. ‘Flattening out’ structural privilege in this way enables more direct access to complex ideas relating to identity for the mainstream reader without obscuring the underpinning importance of culture in the discourse.

  • Significance of the topic to the field and to adjacent disciplines (if relevant)

This is an important discussion of the complex and personal relationships between identity and art and it to be commended for its success. It places the art, the artists and their cultural presence in conversation with some big ideas and some key voices (such as McLean) across the relevant disciplines.

  • The ability of the publication to convey complex ideas to wider audiences

This is a major strength of the article.

Judges: Michael Fitzgerald and Greg Lehman

 

Best Art Writing by and NZ Māori or Pasifika

This prize was not awarded in 2017 and is carried over for 2018.

 

Best Artist Book

Gail HastingsMissing: Four Sculptuations by Gail Hastings, Pigment Publishing, Sydney, 2014.

This publication pushes the format of Artist book the most, and is engaged with it’s format. As one of the few projects not heavily engaged with research as a format, it is important. It is good that art can step outside of a retrospective mode, and this does that  engaging with media of it’s time but not for the sake of it.

&

Ana Paula Estrada, Memorandumself-published, 2016.

With this book the artist has really explored all the implications of what an artists’ book is, or could be. Starting with the idea of representing the memories of some old people could be seen as too ‘easy’, but the artist rigorously experimented with a wide variety of techniques, which nonetheless remained integrated into a coherent experience for the reader. An example is the tight temporal sequencing of the portrait photographs from page to page, in some instances even approaching the ‘animation’ of a flip-book where we see heads turn and smiles emerge. She also reproduced personal photographs from her subjects, but also reproduces archival photographs from the State Library of Queensland, giving the ‘cold’ artefacts a ‘warmer’ and more personal spin. And creating a relaxed, open ended dialogue between the images. There are inserts to discover, pockets to dig into, and gatefolds to unfurl to discover more ‘intimate’ memories. But these affectations of the artist’s book are never gratuitous or overdone as they sometimes can be, the book is not too precious or fiddly and still feels like a good ‘read’. It is the product of the Siganto Foundation Artists’ Books Fellowship at the the SLQ, and both artist and Library are to be congratulated on this project.

 

Highly Commended:

Artist’s Library

Anne Ferran

At first glance my second choice appears to be quite small and modest. But it is very sophisticated. Like Memorandum it is a collaboration between an artist and a library. In this case Arthur and Yvonne Boyd’s library at Bundanon. It has the artist’s trademark sophistication and interest in the thinnest of material residues that generate the greatest of presences. But what was particularly appreciated was how the outer landscape of Bundanon, the trees and so on, is articulated against the inner leaves of the library which have recorded all the Boyd’s cosmopolitan experiences. This gives a really multilayered sense of place, which is about both local nature and international culture at one and the same time. The artist’s own photos work well and are modulated nicely against Boyd’s archive, the eyes peeping over the lampshade shot for instance. The palimpsest of Arthur’s notations and the librarian’s metadata is also handled with restraint but wit. Congratulations to the Bundanon Trust on this one.

University Construction
David Homewood and Bronté Lambert

Overall, it is disappointing that artist publications seem to fill the role of something tangible for the acquittal of funding and research projects, something to back up practice. But, and as a result of this, David and Bronte’s book is highly commended as it aims to critique this from within the space of the university.

Judges: Martyn Jolly and Christopher LG Hill

 

Best University Art Museums Exhibition Catalogue

The judges have unanimously decided to jointly award the exhibition catalogues Francis Upritchard: Jealous Saboteurs (Melbourne: MUMA, 2016) and Nicholas Mangan: LIMITS TO GROWTH, Strenberg Press, MUMA in conjunction with Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane) and Kunst-Werke Institute for contemporary Art (Berlin) 2016.

These are impressive catalogues that both contribute significantly to their various fields of enquiry. In Mangan’s case, the contemporary state of capitalism on the environment, ecology, communities, and the political ramifications of market forces. In Uprichard’s case, the increasingly isolated/dehumanized or outcast position of the individual within society. Both are highly original in their conceptual development using interdisciplinary fields of artistic, critical, ethical and political enquiry and multiple mediums that refer the past to the present. Both catalogues use outstanding essays that expand our understanding of the parameters of the visual, sensory and intellectual space and succeed in drawing the viewer/reader into the artist’s world through the curatorial framework.

 

Francis Upritchard: Jealous Saboteurs, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2016.

Francis Uprichard: Jealous Saboteurs demonstrates that the artist’s intention to work with fiction writers discursively indulges her conceptual platform as well as addressing the spectator and reader, thereby expanding her audience — the collaboration between J.M Coetzee and the Berlinde De Bruyckere for the 2013 Venice Biennale exhibition, We are all flesh is an excellent example of this. Uprichard concept of wanderers and outcasts suggest social disengagement and isolation yet she also invites critiques on primitive aesthetics, postmodern slippages, nihilistic utopianism and neo-colonialism that visually and explore the isolated individual within rebounding histories that haunt the present. The frailty, passivity and eerie absurdity of her sculptures capture a surreal alienation and poetic malaise that operate as brilliant metaphors for the diminishing authenticity of social identity and the global epidemic of persona non gratis. This catalogue is beguiling, amply illustrated in solid large blocks of full page images, with several interspersing essays that leave a powerful, lingering effect. It should be regarded as a benchmark for contemporary ideas on post capitalism, contemporary distopian fiction and transgressive figuration in the anthropcene age.

The interweaving of fictions, scholarly essays, and high quality images reinforce the world building aspect of Uprichard’s work, creating an engrossing and allusive space of enquiry. The critical essays by Megan Dunn, Robert Leonard and Tessa Laird provide distinct, but complimentary, readings of Uprichard’s work, moving from the personal, through the political, and into the institutional. Dunn’s personal and poetic unpacking of Uprichard and her work privileges the very intimate and idiosyncratic nature of her career. Leonard’s thoughtful examination of the slippery concept of ‘Otherness’ in Uprichard’s work not only emphasises the political in the personal, but also locates her work within the context of antipodean art and culture. Finally, Laird’s essay on the institutional context of Uprichard’s work locates the work within broader discourses of collection and display, suggesting the critical as well as poetic function of the work. The extensive images, of individual works and installation views, provide insight into the scope of Uprichard’s work.

&

Nicholas Mangan: LIMITS TO GROWTH, Monash University Museum of Art in conjunction with Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane) and Kunst-Werke Institute for contemporary Art and the Sternberg Press (Berlin), Melbourne, 2016.

Nicholas Mangan: Limits to Growth is an outstanding and rigorous catalogue for its complex weaving together of political, economic and ecological narratives using multiple mediums. Beginning with an interview between the artist and the curatorial team Lattitude, it refreshingly puts the creative voice and the artist’s conceptual platform up front. Pinto’s ‘Alien Economies’ is a brilliant, erudite essay that nails the aesthetic dichotomy of Mangan’s provoking exhibition — namely the polarization of two natures, one the endangered pristine wilderness and the other the man-made wasteland of capitalism. The dialectic passion and disclosure of historical events is convincingly visualized and articulated in this catalogue’s aesthetic and intellectual engagement with highly original photographic documentation, sensitively and appealingly presented.

This is an innovative catalogue, which acts as an extension of the exhibition and an additional archive, adding depth and detail to the historical, political, economic and social context of Mangan’s complex practice. The interviews between Mangan and Latitudes which provide the main structure of the catalogue, privilege the voice of the artist and unpack the conceptual frameworks alongside the historical context and process of production. Granting each work in the exhibition an interview allows for a detailed focus and complexity rarely seen in exhibition catalogues, and is an ideal match to Mangan’s research based practice. The two scholarly essays, by Helen Hughes and Ana Teixeira Pinto, compliment the focus on individual works by drawing out critical themes across the exhibition. Hughes locates Mangan’s work in relationship to modernist film, and provides a compelling argument for his work as both extension and critique of avant gardism in its scope. In her incisive essay Pinto expands on the critical analysis of late capitalism in Mangan’s work, drawing out the very human and personal context of the economic and ecological. Rather than merely reproducing images of the exhibition works, the use of archival material throughout the catalogue also provides another layer to this publication, which like the work yields fresh insights with each reading.

Judges: Sheridan Palmer and Caroline Wallace

 

Best PhD Prize

Jennifer Blunden, The language with displayed art(efacts), University of Technology Sydney, 2016

An impressive presentation, which effectively communicated Jennifer’s complex topic through her expressive verbal delivery and gestures. Her conversational tone and clear powerpoint images were easy to follow, and she punctuated her overview with key questions: ‘So, what did I discover and why does it matter?’ which elicited a laugh from the audience. The most polished presentation in terms of the assurance of the delivery and explanation of her thesis. She completed her talk within the set time frame

We awarded the prize to Jennifer Blunden, but commend all candidates on the high quality of their presentations – and research projects.

Judges: Richard Read, Alison Inglis and Wendy Garden.

 

Prizes:

Best Book

($500 supported by Power Institute, Foundation for Art and Visual Culture, The University of Sydney)

The AAANZ Best Book Prize is the only art historical book prize awarded annually in Australasia. It is designed to honour significant and original art historical scholarship from all periods of art history, while also acting as a benchmark for excellence in academic publishing.

Best Anthology

($500 supported by Power Institute, Foundation for Art and Visual Culture, The University of Sydney)

The AAANZ Best Anthology Prize is awarded annually to the best collected edition of relevant to writing on art, art theory and historical research. These publications are often conference proceedings or editorial initiatives organised around a theme.

Best Large Exhibition Catalogue

($500 supported by The University of Melbourne)

The AAANZ Best Large Exhibition Catalogue Prize honours originality and intellectual rigour, as well as excellence in the quality of the catalogue design, layout and reproduction of high-quality images. This prize is awarded annually and exhibition catalogues  (from monographic surveys to broad thematic publications) issued by major Australian and New Zealand art museums, and those published by art institutions across the South Pacific are eligible.

Best Small Exhibition Catalogue

($500 supported by The University of Western Australia)

The AAANZ Best Small Exhibition Catalogue Prize is awarded annually to catalogue publications that usually feature only one essay and a smaller scale of art institutional catalogue publication. Small exhibition catalogues demonstrating the breadth possible within the category are particularly encouraged.

Best Scholarly Article in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art

($500 supported by Power Institute, Foundation for Art and Visual Culture, The University of Sydney)

The Best Scholarly Article in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art Prize is awarded for the best article published in the AAANZ journal in its biannual editions for the preceding year.

Best Art Writing by an Indigenous Australian

($1000 supported by Art Monthly Australia)

With limited publishing opportunities or resources currently available for Indigenous Australian writers, the Best Art Writing by an Indigenous Australian Prize recognises recent achievement, but also provides scope for ongoing personal development. This Prize offers the winning writer two valuable future pathways for publication within the pages of Art Monthly Australia: first, for an edited excerpt of their winning text, whether it a book, article or essay; and second, for a specially commissioned essay text, also to be published in Art Monthly Australia within a year of the prize’s announcement.

Best Art Writing by a New Zealand Māori or Pasifika

($500 supported by Christchurch Art Gallery)

This prize will be awarded to the best art writing, whether in the form of a book, article or essay, by a New Zealand Māori or Pasifika. The Best Art Writing by a  New Zealand Māori or Pasifika is sponsored by the Christchurch Art Gallery in New Zealand.

Best Artist Book

($500 supported by MADA, Monash University)

The AAANZ’s Best Artist Book Prize defines an artist book as a discrete artwork in the form of a book  (generally exhibition catalogues do not qualify as artist books). The prize invites submissions of artist books from the 5 years preceding the annual awarding of the prize, books published between 2010 – 2014 are eligible. Artists may only submit their book once for consideration.

Best University Art Museums Exhibition Catalogue

($1000 supported by the University Art Museums Association)

The AAANZ Best University Art Museums Exhibition Catalogue Prize invites submissions from art museums on campus throughout the Australasian and South Pacific region. The award recognises an exhibition catalogue that demonstrates originality and intellectual rigour, as well as excellence in the quality of the catalogue design, layout and reproduction of high-quality images.

PhD Prize

($1000 supported by Taylor and Francis)

The AAANZ Best PhD Graduate Prize was initiated in 2013 and is awarded annually. Eligible candidates should have been awarded their PhD in the previous three years. Candidates may only enter once.