Fancy yourself as an art critic?

LJMU and Shanghai University are pleased to announce the launch of the John Moores Critics Award in the UK, which recognises emerging new talent in critical writing about contemporary art.

The Awards in Shanghai and Liverpool will provide an international platform for budding critics in both countries to connect with their audiences and arts communities.

The UK John Moores Critics Award runs parallel to the John Moores Painting Prize as part of this year’s Liverpool Biennial at the Walker Art Gallery (National Museums Liverpool). Judging has already started on the Award in China as the panel is set the task of whittling down the entries of critical writing, focusing on the John Moores Painting Prize China held earlier this year in Shanghai.

In the UK, entrants will have to focus their critical eye on this year’s John Moores Painting Prize shortlist.

The UK Award closes on 28 October and winners will be announced publicly at the Walker Art Gallery (Liverpool) on Friday 16 November 2012.
Professor Juan Cruz, artist and Director of the LJMU School of Art and Design commented: “Critical writing about art, and art itself – like all forms of independent thinking – are constantly under threat from the pressure to conform exerted by social, political and consumer forces, whether in China or the UK. This new award is an important way to bring those pressures to mind and to resist
them, as well as to share experience between two significant art schools in the two countries.”

Professor Wang Dawei, Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Shanghai University said: “Our responsibility as scholarly and socially engaged organisations is to develop critical thinking about art and the importance of international cultural exchanges. This is particularly important as Liverpool and Shanghai are twinned cities and have a breadth of shared history and contemporary alliances.”

Two winners, one from the UK and one from China, will be selected by an esteemed panel of judges.

  • Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton, UK President of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA)
  • David Batchelor, artist and writer
  • Sam Thorne, Associate Editor, Frieze Magazine.

Each will receive £2,000, plus the opportunity to complete a three week exchange visit to either the UK or Shanghai, as guests of either LJMU or Shanghai University. The winner from this year’s Award in China will be visiting Liverpool during the Biennial.

Four further awards of £1,000 will be presented to two highly commended entrants to the competition in each country.

Winning entries will also be published on a new dual language John Moores Critics Award website and published in a bilingual publication, alongside the winners of the John Moores Painting Prize. This will be jointly edited by LJMU’s School of Art and Design and the University of Shanghai.

How to enter

Critics of all ages and abilities are welcome to enter. Although the Painting Prize exhibition is open till 6 January, the Critics Award is open until Sunday 28 October. Entries received after this date will not be considered so please bear this in mind if you would like to enter.

Once you have visited the show at the Walker Art Gallery, consider what you have seen and think about how it has inspired you or otherwise. We encourage you to read the details in the official Painting Prize catalogue and online, then write your response piece, aiming for between 750-1000 words or equivalent in Chinese characters. Each piece will be judged anonymously and the winners’ names will only be revealed to the judging panel once a unanimous decision is arrived at.

This article was sponsored by Liverpool’s painting and decorating specialists Merseyside Painting who operate there painting services across the whole of the city, there contact details are as follows

Merseyside Painting
37 Moorcroft Rd
L18 9UQ
0151 329 0038

All works should be electronic rather than paper-based, and emailed to: before the closing date.