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The Prize for Young Dutch Art Criticism is an incentive prize for a new generation of critics and essayists from the Dutch language area, who writes about contemporary visual art. The prize is an initiative of De Appel, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Mondriaan Fund, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, M HKA - Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, Van Abbemuseum, Cobra Museum for Modern Art, Netwerk Aalst and M-Museum Leuven.

Noortje de Leij receives a cash prize of 3,000 euros and a year-long guidance from a personal mentor. In addition, her winning essay will be published in De Groene Amsterdammer. 

From the jury report:

"The main prize in the Essay category is convincingly won by Noortje de Leij, who was named "a discovery” by the jury. In her essay ‘Sigarettenpeuk op doek – de zin en onzin van afval in de kunst’, she combines solid art historical research with original perspectives. The use of waste in art is not viewed from tendentious plastic soup panic, but as a mirror of social and economic developments and even as a political weapon. Somewhat academically - but so well done that you will appreciate it again - De Leij takes the reader by the hand through familiar and less well-known, well-chosen examples. She has a grip on her subject and that is noticeable in every paragraph. This essay sharpens the reader's gaze, both for the works of art discussed and for such art in the future; extremely clever."