Concise, 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 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 sidebar, or by entering terms in the search bar above.

Recently Published Reviews

Kymberly N. Pinder
Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield: University of Illinois Press, 2016. 224 pp.; 60 color ills.; 8 b/w ills. Paper $29.95 (9780252081439)
In her book Painting the Gospel: Black Public Art and Religion in Chicago, Kymberly N. Pinder uses religious imagery affiliated with black churches in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side as a case study to explore the ways that African American artists and pastors have collaborated to insist upon self-representation of and for their congregations. This short book manages to be very narrow and specific in its discussion of a handful of churches in one of Chicago’s... Full Review
February 15, 2018
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Stefanie Seeberg
Berlin: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2015. 336 pp.; 123 color ills.; 141 b/w ills. Hardcover € 69.00 (9783731900382)
Recently, I chaperoned some undergraduates visiting the Cleveland Museum of Art. As I was admiring the Jonah Marbles, a student rushed up in excitement, eager to tell me about an extraordinary work of embroidery. I followed her and immediately recognized it as a piece of white work from Altenberg an der Lahn. Thanks to Stefanie Seeberg’s excellent discussion of this and similar works in her Textile Bildwerke im Kirchenraum: Leinenstickereien im Kontext mittelalterlicher... Full Review
February 14, 2018
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The Museum of the City of New York, January 14–May 21, 2017
The lights went out in New York City for two days in the summer of 1977, a summer marred also by more murders by the Son of Sam killer and a continuing fiscal crisis. In that time of crisis, privately funded arts groups stepped forward to enrich the city’s public-school programs with art classes taught by working artists. Forty years later, The City and the Young Imagination at the Museum of the City of New York looked back over the work of children in classes sponsored by one such... Full Review
February 14, 2018
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Susan Boynton and Diane J. Reilly, eds.
Turnhout: Brepols, 2015. 451 pp.; 54 color ills.; 201 b/w ills. Hardcover $130.00 (9782503554372)
The editors of Resounding Images: Medieval Intersections of Art, Music, and Sound begin the volume with a brief review of some of the recent literature addressing medieval conjunctions of sound and image. The anthology that follows comprises sixteen case studies, each exploring specific intersections of the acoustic with the visual and the spatial.Several themes run through these essays. Many of the authors consider architecture in relation to the production and reception of... Full Review
February 14, 2018
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Amy Brandt, ed.
Exh. cat. Norfolk, VA and New York: Chrysler Museum of Art, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, and Lyon Artbooks, 2015. 176 pp.; 35 color ills.; 98 b/w ills. Hardcover $55.00 (9780692338674)
Grey Art Gallery, NYU, April 21–July 11, 2015; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA, August 18–December 13, 2015; Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA, January 21–May 22, 2016; Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, September 17–December 11, 2016
Party Like It’s 1989What would the late provocateur and self-proclaimed “SlutForArt” Tseng Kwong Chi have made of the annual Met Gala paparazzi fest, particularly the opening of the blockbuster 2015 exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass? The much-blogged-about fundraiser—tickets cost $30,000 each and brought in $12.5 million that year—featured a star-studded roster of global celebrities, including Rihanna, Fan Bingbing, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian West,... Full Review
February 14, 2018
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Jonathan P. Binstock and Malick Gaines
Exh. cat. Los Angeles: Hammer Museum, 2014. 119 pp. Cloth $92.00 (9780991635696)
UCLA Hammer Museum, June 2–September 2, 2012; Grand Gallery at Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY, February 19–May 7, 2017; Rochester Contemporary Art Center, February 3–March 19, 2017
The exhibition Meleko Mokgosi: Pax Kaffraria consisted of a series of mural-size paintings that interwove historical narratives of postcolonial southern African countries with cinematic contemporary scenes from the daily lives of the individuals who uphold, live within, resist, define, and embody the nation-states. Mokgosi, born in Francistown, Botswana, and living in New York City, presented the project in eight nonlinear chapters, each one composed of three to eight canvases, with... Full Review
February 13, 2018
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Rebecca Pinner
Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2015. 292 pp.; 4 color ills.; 9 b/w ills. Hardcover $95.00 (9781783270354)
Rebecca Pinner examines the cult of the Anglo-Saxon king Edmund (d. 869) in the High and late Middle Ages. Exploring both textual proliferation—as she points out, more than thirty versions of his legend were created (2)—and visual representation, Pinner attempts to uncover how a king for whom only the sketchiest biographical details are recoverable became the subject of a “vast, elaborate cult” (5) by the end of the Middle Ages. She argues that the haziness of Edmund’s biography was the... Full Review
February 13, 2018
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Bernhard Schnackenburg
Petersberg, Germany: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2016. 488 pp.; 529 ills. Hardcover € 148.00 (9783731903338)
Jan Lievens: Friend and Rival of the Young Rembrandt considers the early career of one of the Dutch Republic’s most beguiling artists, a painter-printmaker who worked for courts in The Hague, London, and Berlin but also practiced his craft for eight years in Antwerp and participated in Amsterdam’s grandest decorative program in the seventeenth century, the new Town Hall. Part gentleman painter à la Peter Paul Rubens, part hustler on a competitive market for art, Jan Lievens... Full Review
February 13, 2018
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Sarah Van Beurden
Athens, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2015. 392 pp.; 12 color ills.; 64 b/w ills. Paperback $34.95 (9780821421918)
We art historians have gained some familiarity with the independence-era history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from Raoul Peck’s acclaimed film Lumumba (2000) and from several published studies on the life and death of Patrice Lumumba, its first prime minister. A key publication is A Congo Chronicle: Patrice Lumumba in Urban Art, a catalogue for the exhibition of the same title presented at the... Full Review
February 13, 2018
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Perrin Stein
Exh. cat. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016. 329 pp.; 250 color ills. Cloth $65.00 (9781588396013)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, October 6, 2016–January 8, 2017
The French eighteenth century, an era often derided and dismissed as frivolous and libertine, has been experiencing a revival by scholars in the last three decades, with the prolific artist Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806) occupying a singular position in the period’s rehabilitation. Fragonard has been the subject of at least four major monographic shows in the last three years—including the recent Fragonard: The Fantasy Figures (2017) at the National Gallery of Art and... Full Review
February 12, 2018
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