Critical reviews of books, exhibitions, and projects in all areas and periods of art history and visual studies

Reviews in caa.reviews are published continuously by the College Art Association (CAA) and Taylor & Francis, with the most recently published reviews listed below. Browse reviews based on geographic region, period or cultural sphere, or specialty (from 1998 to the present) using Review Categories in the right-hand column, or by entering terms in the search bar above.

Recently Published Reviews

Koichi Shinohara
New York: Columbia University Press, 2014. 352 pp.; 10 b/w ills. $55.00 (9780231166140)
What is the role of an image in a ritual setting? This unflagging question in the study of religious art and visual culture has been raised again by Koichi Shinohara, a historian of East Asian Buddhism who has already produced a number of inspiring works treating the issue. Images in Asian Religions: Text and Contexts (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2004; co-edited with Phyllis Granoff) is one such work, in which he utilized a close reading of apologetic writings by... Full Review
February 4, 2016
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Mark Rosenthal, ed.
Exh. cat. Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts, 2015. 248 pp.; 125 color ills.; 48 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (9780300211603)
Exhibition schedule: Detroit Institute of Arts, March 15–July 12, 2015
The story told through this exhibition begins and ends in the Garden Court of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) where in 1932 the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera executed a monumental set of wall paintings to celebrate the city’s industrial spirit against the backdrop of the devastating Great Depression. Just months before the arrival of the muralist and his wife, Frida Kahlo, the city had considered closing the museum and selling its artworks, but this commission was part of a larger set of... Full Review
February 4, 2016
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David Blayney Brown, Amy Concannon, and Sam Smiles, eds.
Exh. cat. Los Angeles and London: J. Paul Getty Museum in association with Tate Publishing, 2014. 256 pp.; 130 color ills. Cloth $49.95 (9781606064276)
Exhibition schedule: Tate Britain, London, September 10, 2014–January 25, 2015 (under the title Late Turner: Painting Set Free); J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, February 24–May 24, 2015; de Young, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, June 20–September 20, 2015; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, October 31, 2015–January 31, 2016
J. M. W. Turner: Painting Set Free is the first exhibition to focus on the artist’s works produced from 1835 to 1851, from the time he was sixty years old until his death at seventy-six—the period when Turner was consciously shaping his legacy and producing the mature oils and watercolors that have so heavily influenced modern art concerned with light and color. Sam Smiles, Tate Research Fellow and associate professor of Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Exeter, took... Full Review
February 4, 2016
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Chika Okeke-Agulu
Durham: Duke University Press, 2015. 376 pp.; 129 color ills. Paper $29.95 (9780822357469)
Chika Okeke-Agulu’s thoroughly researched and beautifully illustrated Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth Century Nigeria significantly advances an understanding of modern African art. He considers a key time period in Nigerian art history, from the late 1950s eve of independence (Nigeria gained its independence in 1960) to roughly 1968 at the beginning of the Nigerian Civil War (1967–70). The term “postcolonial modernism,” Okeke-Agulu rightly insists, means... Full Review
January 28, 2016
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Adrienne L. Childs and Susan H. Libby, eds.
Burlington: Ashgate, 2014. 262 pp.; 9 color ills.; 49 b/w ills. Cloth $114.95 (9781409422006)
In 1960, Dominique and John de Menil instituted a project to study images of persons of African descent in Western art. As Adrienne Childs and Susan Libby note in the introduction to their edited volume, Blacks and Blackness in European Art of the Long Nineteenth Century, that project, which began as a photographic archive, was initiated in response to segregation and racial discrimination in the United States. The Menil’s undertaking eventually culminated in a series of five books,... Full Review
January 28, 2016
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