The White Review

New quarterly arts journal The White Review has serious intentions and an elegant way of expressing them

New quarterly arts journal The White Review has serious intentions and an elegant way of expressing them…

Launched last month its title is a reference to La Revue Blanche, the Parisian avant-garde journal published 1899-1903, but other than adhering to the spirit of publishing the work of progressive artists, TWR pares down the design leaving breathing space for imagery and finely set text.

Editors Benjamin Eastham and Jacques Testard claim TWR is “a space for a new generation to express itself unconstrained by form, subject or genre”.

It features several elements that celebrate the notion of print itself. There’s a contents card (above), marbled end papers, a fold-out cover print (by Viktor Timofeev) – all things are rare in publishing these days.

But TWR combines an austere design attitude with a very contemporary feel; reflected, too, in the journal’s well-honed online presence.

Designed and art directed by Ray O’Meara, The White Review is beautifully presented. O’Meara’s studio, The Office of Optimism, has produced an array of great print work and typeface design. CR saw his work at his Royal College of Art degree show last year (see here) and for TWR O’Meara has created the bespoke face, Joyous (Blanche).

Alongside new fiction and essays, issue one features interviews with Dame Paula Rego, Andrew Schiffrin and Tom McCarthy, and a reportage section featuring Marcus Leatherhead’s portraits of the Adivasi people in India (two spreads shown, below).

Literary periodicals, on the whole, generally don’t have the production values displayed by TWR. The relatively short-lived Butterfly, and the more succesful Zembla (both the creation of Dan Crowe, who recently launched PORT), injected a real sense of quality design into the genre.

Though both titles were more expressive, occupying magazine-like territory rather than the self-imposed constraints of a periodical (see London Review of Books et al), the latter is cleverly where The White Review has positioned itself. It has the potential to cause a bit of mischief in this somewhat staid arena.

Furthermore, TWR’s printed design translates well on its website (designed by Julian Mills), with textual considerations clearly taken into account: the interviews, for example., adopt the neat transcript Q and A style, as in the recently uploaded discussion with author DBC Pierre.

There’s also plenty of ‘online only’ content that will no doubt keep readers interested prior to the second printed edition.

And to my mind, this is all to be celebrated. TWR affirms the subtle pleasures inherent in printed reading matter, but equally shows how well this thinking can be transferred across to the digital realm.

The White Review is priced at £12 in the UK, with £2 for P&P. You can purchase issue one from TWR website, here. More at

TWR issue two is published in May and features interviews with author William Boyd (creator of the ‘lost’ abstract expressionist painter, Nat Tate), sculptor Richard Wentworth, and critical theorist Michael Hardt. It will also include writing from Joshua Cohen, Diego Trelles Paz and Aidan Cottrell Boyce; with photography from JH Engstrom and art by Noam Turan.

CR in print

Thanks for reading the CR Blog, but if you’re not reading us in print too, you’re missing out on a richer, deeper view of your world. Our April issue features our Top 20 logos of all time. You can buy it today by calling +44(0)207 292 3703. Better yet, subscribe to CR, save yourself almost a third and get Monograph for free plus a host of special deals from the CR Shop. Go on, treat yourself.

  • amazing! we were unaware of this, we will buy it in few minutes! thanks CR!

  • Lana Chukri

    This is an extremely interesting and well structured magazine. I wish I had it in hand to really grasp the idea of it more. Brilliant work.

  • Loving it – so much so that we have published the equivalent in French.

    So, even french art aficianados can become addicted to it.

    We also mentioned the original article by CR.

    Thanks again.


  • Claire de Divonne

    revue formidable, ambitieuse au bon sens du terme, j’espère qu’elle ne succombera pas aux pièges du métier.

  • Sarah

    This is a great magazine and made possible in part from supporters (like the ad agency Creative Orchestra) who supported it via If you want to support the second issue, go to and be part of it.

  • Great post! jotta talked to the editors of The White Review about their unique approach to funding

  • Janis Bergman-Carton

    When I read about the new journal I was stunned and gratified. I am an art historian in the middle of a book that recovers the ” space for a new generation to express itself unconstrained by form, subject or genre” that La Revue Blanche provided. Can’t wait to receive my first issue of what is part of its afterlife.

    Janis Bergman-Carton