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

Reviews in 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

Lisa Farrington
New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. 480 pp.; 230 ills. Hardcover $69.95 (9780199995394)
Lisa Farrington’s African-American Art: A Visual and Cultural History is invaluable for those teaching surveys of African American art as well as any reader interested in the subject. Staple publications in this area include Sharon Patton’s African-American Art (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998) and Richard J. Powell’s Black Art and Culture in the 20th Century (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1997; reproduced in its second edition as Black Art: A... Full Review
March 29, 2018
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University
Cambridge, MA: Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, 2016.
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, October 27, 2016–January 8, 2017
In last year’s exhibition of Chilean art at the Carpenter Center for Visual Art at Harvard University, absence signaled the latency of bodies that feel pain, that suffer longing, or, in a powerful twist, that even travel from 1970s Santiago to present-day Boston. In the works on view in Embodied Absence: Chilean Art of the 1970s Now, artists used the tactics of conceptual art to respond to the traumas inflicted on citizens after the socialist president Salvador Allende was... Full Review
March 29, 2018
Sebastian Zeidler
Signale: Modern German Letters, Cultures, and Thought. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2016. 320 pp.; 25 color ills.; 41 b/w ills.; 66 ills. Paperback $35.00 (9780801479847)
Can there be a more enigmatic corpus in art writing than that of the German critic Carl Einstein (1885–1940)? In Form as Revolt: Carl Einstein and the Ground of Modern Art, Sebastian Zeidler presents not only a detailed, rigorous analysis of Einstein’s fragmentary, gnomic writings, but a provocative extrapolation of their potentials. Einstein—the book’s acknowledged “hero”—imparted to his criticism an idiosyncratic, urgent density, by turns profound and obscure, informed by a... Full Review
March 28, 2018
Rebecca R. Hart
Exh. cat. Denver: Denver Art Museum, 2017. 116 pp. Hardcover $22.00 ( I9780914738282)
Denver Art Museum, Feb 19–Oct 22, 2017
Many unkind words and nasty looks have been exchanged in recent years over the ethnic and sex-and-gender principles of curatorial selection. Some artists declined to be shown in Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and El Museo del Barrio in... Full Review
March 27, 2018
Rice Gallery
Houston: Rice Gallery, 2017.
Rice University Art Gallery, February 9–May 14, 2017
In 1966 Sol LeWitt wrote, “The most interesting characteristic of the cube is that it is relatively uninteresting” (LeWitt, “The Cube,” Art in America, Summer 1966). Rice University Art Gallery (a space that has now been repurposed), like many contemporary art spaces, was a modest white cube, and LeWitt’s installation Glossy and Flat Black Squares purposely played off of its seemingly “uninteresting” architectural container.  When LeWitt repeated the assertion in 1967,... Full Review
March 27, 2018
Alva Noë
New York: Hill and Wang, 2015. 304 pp. Hardcover $28.00 (9780809089178)
“What Art Unveils” is the title of an essay by cognitive scientist and philosopher Alva Noë printed in the opinion pages of the New York Times on October 5, 2015, the year his book Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature was published. The op-ed states some of the book’s basic arguments: art, for Noë, is a human “making activity,” but a special activity, a “research practice” that “unveils us to ourselves.” Art begins (and design stops) “when we are unable to take the background... Full Review
March 27, 2018
Wanda M. Corn
Exh. cat. New York: Prestel, 2017. 320 pp.; 217 color ills.; 112 b/w ills. Hardcover $60.00 (9783791356013)
Brooklyn Museum, March 3–July 23, 2017; Reynolda House Museum of American Art, August 18–November 19, 2017
I do not usually care much about the clothes that artists wear or what their living rooms look like. But after reading Wanda Corn’s new book about Georgia O’Keeffe, I will certainly pay more attention. Previous O’Keeffe scholars have delved deeply into the artist’s personal and professional relationship with Alfred Stieglitz, speculated on her sexuality as expressed in her flower imagery, and dissected her skull paintings. None, however, have so fully detailed the contents of her closet.... Full Review
March 26, 2018
The Menil Collection
Houston: The Menil Collection, 2017.
Menil Collection, Houston, April 14–August 27, 2017
In 1954, Ellsworth Kelly returned from his years in Paris to live and work in New York. By 1956, he settled on the Coenties Slip, at the very bottom of Manhattan, near his friend from Paris the abstract painter Fred Mitchell. Robert Indiana moved up the street later that year. In 1957, Agnes Martin, Lenore Tawney, and Jack Youngerman arrived there through word of mouth. In the early nineteenth century, the Coenties Slip had been one of many inlets of water just wide and long enough to hold... Full Review
March 26, 2018
Spelman College Museum of Fine Art
Atlanta: Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, 2017.
Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, February 9–May 20, 2017
For her new body of work, almost entirely composed of, or engaging with, durational media, such as video and film, Mickalene Thomas has re-created the same intimate, female domestic spaces of communion and solidarity as she sets up in her studio for her photo shoots. Islands of patterned carpet with ottomans covered by the familiar 1970s textiles invite the viewer to sit and interact with versions of her personal library, comprising books by Toni Morrison, Zadie Smith, Alice Walker, and... Full Review
March 26, 2018
The Pizzuti Collection and Greer Pagano
Exh. cat. 2 volumes. Columbus, OH: The Pizzuti Collection, 2017. 158 pp.; 130 color ills. Paperback $60.00 (9780990486633)
Exhibition Schedule: The Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, March 10–October 28, 2017
The Pizzuti Collection’s Visions from India comprises two exhibitions: Transforming Vision: 21st Century Art from the Pizzuti Collection, the larger in scope and size, showcases significant holdings of very recent Indian art; The Progressive Master: Francis Newton Souza from the Rajadhyaksha Collection, includes thirty works by the sought-after Indian modernist painter. These exhibitions, tucked away in a private nonprofit museum in... Full Review
March 23, 2018