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Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art

The Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art, established in 2003, celebrates the career of an author of note and includes art criticism, art history, art biography, and/or art theory. The award is presented to an author who, among other distinctions, has demonstrated particular commitment to his or her work throughout a long career and has had an impact, nationally and internationally, on the field.

2016 Winner

Rosalind E. Krauss
A revolutionary in critical method and one of the most theoretically engaged of American art historians, Rosalind E. Krauss has, for almost half a century, catalyzed the fields of modern and contemporary art history and of criticism. Mirroring and extending the art that it analyzes, her work insists that criticism be no more static than its objects. Sometimes polarizing, always energizing, Krauss’s writing is as rigorous and artful as the art to which she has devoted her attention. The 2016 CAA Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art is given in recognition of the enduring evidence she has provided that criticism matters. 
As an editor of Artforum, co-founder and editor of October and the author of many influential books, including Terminal Iron Works: The Sculpture of David Smith (1971), Passages in Modern Sculpture (1977), The Originality of the Avant-Garde and other Modernist Myths (1986), The Optical Unconscious (1993) and, with Yve-Alain Bois, Formless, A User’s Guide (1997), Krauss has consistently located the transformative energies and ideas in twentieth century art, mapping its changes with rare acuity. She has issued and performed the challenge—to critics, artists and historians—to engage in a “perpetual inventory” of the field of contemporary art and the ideas with which we seek to understand it. No area of contemporary visual art is unmarked by her writing, and her work constitutes a legacy of unavoidable positions we must negotiate, shaped by them—whether we agree or disagree—in our writings, our histories and our studio practices.

Jury: Michael Brenson, Independent Scholar, chair; Ellen T. Birrell, California Institute of the Arts and X-TRA; and Rebecca Zorach, University of Chicago.

Past Winners

Although the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art was established fairly recently, the award juries have honored the writing careers of notable luminaries in the field, including Hans Belting, Oleg Grabar, Georges Didi-Huberman, and, most recently, John Berger.

Read a list of all winners of the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art from 2003 to the present.

Award Nominations

CAA has begun accepting nominations for the 2017 awards. Please review the guidelines to familiarize yourself with the nomination process and to download, complete, and submit the requested materials. Deadline: July 31, 2016, for the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award, the Alfred H. Barr Jr. Awards, and the Frank Jewett Mather Award; August 31, 2016, for all others.

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