The Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art Writing

In its second year, the Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art Writing seeks to support young and mid-career art writers who combine scholarship and journalism, a unique voice, and literary excellence.

Gulf Coast is proud to award the 2018 Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art Writing to Maura Callahan, for her essay “A Long, Dull Shadow: Georg Baselitz’s Legacy of Misogyny.”   The essay was originally published on Momus. The two honorable mentions include C. Klockner for “Playing in the Institute: On Tag at the ICA Philadelphia” and Chloe Wyma for “Intimate Structures: Dorothea Rockburne at Dia: Beacon.”

Serving as this year’s guest judge, Wendy Vogel, an independent writer, art critic, and curator commented:

"It was a pleasure to serve as juror for the 2018 Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art Writing. I found it challenging to narrow the selection down to just three pieces when there were so many deserving submissions! I was very impressed not only with the writers’ style and art-historical knowledge, but the kinds of practices that they chose to write about. Many submissions took on ambitious subjects, addressing institutional marginalization of artists based on racial, gendered and sexual difference."

2018 Winner

Maura Callahan, "A Long, Dull Shadow: Georg Baselitz’s Legacy of Misogyny”

From the judge, Wendy Vogel:

"Any critic knows that writing a negative review is a difficult task, often more than a positive one. The winning article stood out for the acuity of its critical insight about Georg Baselitz’s retrospective, Six Decades, at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC.

Rather than simply relying on the artist’s published sexist statements about women artists for evidence, the writer backed up her feminist analysis of Baselitz’s retrospective at the Hirshhorn Museum with detailed formal readings of the artist’s paintings. Finally, the writer makes a powerful case for relating Baselitz’s misogyny to the current policies of the White House—particularly because the Hirshhorn Museum is funded by the government."

Maura Callahan is a writer based in Baltimore, Maryland. After studying painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art, she became a journalist and editor at City Paper, where she published extensively on art, theater, and activism in Baltimore. She later served as deputy editor and arts editor of the Baltimore Beat. Her writing has also appeared in Momus, Hyperallergic, and BmoreArt, and she has been featured in Paper for her work covering abuse within Baltimore’s arts scene.

2018 Honorable Mentions

C. Klockner for “Playing in the Institute: On Tag at the ICA Philadelphia”

"'Playing in the Institute' stood out for its vulnerability and criticality. Grounded in the writer’s personal history with BDSM and roleplay, the review makes a case for understanding queerness as a concept fraught with a history of pathologization. Queer exhibition-making, then, must walk a line between institutional recognizability and assimilation." 

C. Klockner is an artist and writer currently working in Richmond, Virginia. Their work spans sculpture, video, and installation. They founded the artist-run critical platform Post-Office Arts Journal, co-directed Bb project space (Baltimore, MD), and direct the online curatorial project GHOST ( Klockner is currently completing an MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University. Recent exhibitions include 891 n. main, Providence, RI; The Luminary, St. Louis, MO; Interstate Projects (via Springsteen Gallery), Brooklyn, NY; and Towson University Gallery, Towson, MD.

Chloe Wyma for “Intimate Structures: Dorothea Rockburne at Dia: Beacon.”

"'Intimate Structures' is a thoughtful reading of Dorothea Rockburne’s practice, which has long been underrecognized compared to her male colleagues. While paying close attention to the work’s material concerns, the writer weaves in the artist’s own words to flesh out a complex history of Rockburne’s process and influences. Its conclusion deftly points to the gender politics behind the display and canonization of minimalist art."

Chloe Wyma is an art critic and PhD student in Art History at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York. Her reviews and essays on contemporary art have appeared in Artforum, The New York Times Book Review, The Village Voice, The Art Newspaper, New York Magazine, Momus, Guernica, The New Inquiry, Dissent, and The Brooklyn Rail, where she was formerly an Associate Art Editor. 

Thanks to everyone who entered the 2018 Beauchamp Prize. The winning essay will be printed in the upcoming Summer/Fall 2019 issue of Gulf Coast.  Click here to subscribe and reserve your copy!