2011 Prizes

AAANZ Power Institute Prize for Best Book

John Clark, “Asian Modernities: Chinese and Thai Art Compared 1980-1999”, Power Publications


The committee was impressed with the scope of the research, its breadth and in addition recognizes that it will make a significant contribution to the understanding of contemporary art of our region of the world.

The comparative approach is unique, building our knowledge of two quite different cultures, while revealing similarities and attentive to differences.

“Asian Modernities” therefore makes a significant contribution to knowledge and will become one of the key texts consulted for art of this time in these two countries.

Judges: Jaynie Anderson and Andrew McNamara

AAANZ Best Edited Book or Anthology

Peter McNeil, “The Fashion History Reader: Global Perspectives”, Routledge, London and New York 2010

The Fashion History Reader: Global Perspectives (Routledge), edited by Giorgio Riello and Peter McNeil, is an ambitious and comprehensive tome, basically establishing the possibility of a new field of study. Offering an intelligently selected group of essays, it also manages to stitch Australia into a global history, a singular achievement in itself. Judges: Geoff Batchen and Susan Best

AAANZ Melbourne University Prize for Best Large Catalogue

Paths to Abstraction 1867–1917, edited by Terence Maloon and published by the Art Gallery of New South Wales

The most outstanding publication in the Large Catalogue category is Paths to Abstraction 1867–1917 edited by Terence Maloon and published by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. This catalogue is noteworthy for the rigour of its scholarship, its innovative readings of both canonical and lesser known modernist works, and the range of critical voices included in the text of several distinguished international art historians alongside Terence Maloon, including Jean-Claude Lezbensztejn, Richard Shiff and Annegret Hogberg. The catalogue also stands out for its impeccable illustrations and design. Overall the judges felt it provides an excellent supporting document to the exhibition and that it is destined to have enduring significance in the field.

Among the publications that the judges thought should be highly commended are The First Emperor: China’s Entombed Warriors by Liu Yang and Edmund Capon, published by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The detailed research underpinning this catalogue is exemplary for the way in which it contextualises the objects within their historical and political background, and provides an informed archaeological perspective on how the works were first discovered and how they fit together in a complex site. Another reason to commend this publication is its inclusion of bilingual texts.

Other publications worthy of high commendation are two monographs, John Davis: Presence by David Hurlston and published by the National Gallery of Victoria, and Justin O’Brien by Barry Pearce and Natalie Wilson, published by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Both catalogues provide a definitive statement about a single artist’s oeuvre supported by a carefully documented and analysed history of their work within a broader social and/or artistic context.

Judges: Lesley Harding and Anthony White

AAANZ University of Western Australia Prize for Best Small Catalogue

The prize for best small catalogue is shared by two publications:

Te Mata: The Ethnological Portrait by Roger Blackley and published by the Adam Art Gallery, Wellington

Mirror Mirror: Then and Now curated by Ann Stephen with contributions from Keith Broadfoot and Andrew McNamara and published by the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Te Mata is an extremely well written, thoughtful catalogue which allows new thinking across several disciplines to inform the reading of a significant, if relatively little-known body of work. This text, which draws on careful primary research, illuminates an important part of the social and artistic history of our region. Mirror Mirror is noteworthy, like Te Mata, for situating local art production in a broader global context, as well as for connecting its tight and engaging theme to issues relevant to contemporary thinking about art and aesthetics.

Highly commended in the small catalogue category are Utamaro: Hymn to Beauty by Khanh Trinh and Alfred Stieglitz: The Lake George Years by Judy Annear, both published by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Utamaro, a beautifully designed publication with succinct and informative essays, is a pleasure to read and behold and provides a wealth of documentation with the images, thus serving as a very good scholarly resource. The judges wish to acknowledge the cogency and intelligence with which the images were brought together in the Alfred Steiglitz publication and the high photography and design values involved in their presentation.

Finally, the judges would like to commend the authors and publishers of the two exhibition catalogues Joe Rootsey: Queensland Aboriginal Painter 1918–63 and James Fardoulys: A Queensland Naïve Artist. These publications, from a three-year exhibition series mounted by the Queensland Art Gallery, feature the work of lesser-known artists who are strongly connected to local communities and which are examined through probing research into the artistic, political and social issues connected to their work.

Judges: Lesley Harding and Anthony White

AAANZ Best Scholarly Article in AAANZ Journal

Juliette Peers,  ‘London, Paris, New York, and Collingwood’: Reconsidering Pre-1945 Australian Fashion’

The essay by Juliette Peers, ‘”London, Paris, New York, and Collingwood”: Reconsidering Pre-1945 Australian Fashion,’ is a well-organized and clearly written introduction to her subject, resulting in an excellent introductory text for anyone studying this nascent field.

Judges: Geoff Batchen and Susan Best