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

Recently Published Reviews

Mara Ambrožič and Simon Njami, eds.
Exh. cat. Berlin, Frankfurt, and Washington, DC: Kerber in association with Museum für Moderne Kunst and National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, 2015. 376 pp.; 212 color ills. Cloth $85.00 (9783866789319)
Exhibition schedule: Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, March 21–July 27, 2014; Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, October 16, 2004–January 25, 2015; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, April 8–November 1, 2015
Simon Njami remains a consistent voice in defining and elucidating twenty-first-century art created by African artists. The exhibitions he curates provide insights espoused by art practitioners of African descent with new interpretive criteria. Njami furthers this aim in his latest collaboration with Mara Ambrožič: The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists. This mammoth project is composed of three exhibitions, each dedicated to a realm of... Full Review
October 21, 2016
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Erin E. Benay and Lisa M. Rafanelli
Visual Culture in Early Modernity. Burlington: Ashgate, 2015. 304 pp.; 6 color ills.; 58 b/w ills. Cloth $107.96 (9781472444738)
At first, the Noli me tangere and Doubting Thomas episodes may appear to be a rather curious pairing as the subject of a book. These two religious narratives are often represented separately and usually have been discussed as distinct topics throughout much of the history of Western art. They are not typically thought of as forming a unit. However, as co-authors Erin E. Benay and Lisa M. Rafanelli reveal, these two events are related. Central to both stories is the resurrected body of... Full Review
October 20, 2016
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Darsie Alexander and Bartholomew Ryan, eds.
Exh. cat. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2015. 352 pp.; 230 color ills.; 115 b/w ills. Cloth $85.00 (9781935963080)
Exhibition schedule: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, April 11–August 29, 2015; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, October 11, 2015–January 17, 2016; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, February 18, 2016–May 15, 2016
Organized by the Walker Art Center, International Pop is an ambitious show that aims to rethink the canonical narratives of one of the most recognizable artistic styles of the twentieth century. Structured around five national and five thematic galleries, it attempts to overturn the idea of Pop as a primarily American and British movement by redefining it as a fluid sensibility with an international reach and relevance. While the exhibition catalogue includes an impressively detailed... Full Review
October 20, 2016
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Jaś Elsner and Michel Meyer, eds.
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. 524 pp.; 129 b/w ills. Cloth $115.00 (9781107000711)
Art and Rhetoric in Roman Culture, edited by Jaś Elsner and Michel Meyer, makes a case for a prescriptive approach to the understanding of Roman visual culture. This prescription is outlined in Meyer’s preface and Elsner’s introduction. Both propose the model of Aristotle’s tripartite division of rhetoric into speaker (ethos), audience (pathos), and speech (logos) as the framework for the analysis of visual material. The preface defines the distinctive qualities of... Full Review
October 14, 2016
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Centre Pompidou, Paris, February 26–March 6, 2016
What might dance achieve in a museum is the guiding question of choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s exhibition Work/Travail/Arbeid at the Centre Pompidou. Embedded within that broad question are several, more specific, strands: How might dance change perceptions of time and space? What defines dance as a medium? What remains after the exhibition? Such issues are endemic to a long-standing, sophisticated conversation about the possibilities of contemporary dance in museums (see,... Full Review
October 13, 2016
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Peter Fux, ed.
Exh. cat. Zurich: Scheidegger and Spiess, 2013. 408 pp.; 334 color ills.; 46 b/w ills. Cloth $80.00 (9783858817310)
Exhibition schedule: Museum Rietberg, Zurich, November 23, 2012–March 10, 2013
The volume Chavín: Peru’s Enigmatic Temple in the Andes is a thoroughly researched scholarly complement to the blockbuster exhibition of the same name, held at the Museum Rietberg, Zürich, between November 23, 2012, and March 10, 2013. Edited by Peter Fux, the catalogue presents the work of a group of scholars who seek to reanalyze, reevaluate, and reconstruct the role of Chavín de Huántar in Andean scholarship. Rather than merely summarizing previous research, the articles present new... Full Review
October 13, 2016
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Charlotte Cotton, ed.
Exh. cat. London: MACK, 2014. 192 pp.; 300 color ills. Paper $50.00 (9781910164136 )
Exhibition schedule: DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague, October 24, 2014–March 2, 2015; Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, May 14, 2015–September 6, 2015; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, October 15, 2015–January 15, 2016; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, February 12–June 5, 2016
In its opening wall text, the exhibition This Place claims to grapple with “the complexity of Israel and the West Bank, as place and metaphor,” and includes a dozen internationally acclaimed photographers in an effort to accomplish this feat. Nevertheless, in my view, a sense of apprehension regarding the loose mobilization of “place and metaphor” pervades. Certainly, multiple voices seem appropriate for engaging the discursive potential of this immensely fractured and intensely... Full Review
October 12, 2016
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The Getty Foundation
Los Angeles: Getty Foundation
The Getty Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI) Art Institute of Chicago Monet Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago https://publications.artic.edu/monet/reader/paintingsanddrawings/section/135470 Art Institute of Chicago Renoir Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago <a... Full Review
October 6, 2016
Stacey Sell and Hugo Chapman, eds.
Exh. cat. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, in association with Princeton University Press, 2015. 320 pp.; 212 color ills. Cloth $49.95 (9780691166124)
Exhibition schedule: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, May 3–July 26, 2015; British Museum, September 10–December 6, 2015
Six chapters of this conveniently quarto-sized catalogue examine the history of metalpoint’s use by artists in Italy, the Low Countries, Germany and Switzerland, nineteenth-century Britain, and more recently by U.S. artists as well as Otto Dix, Avigdor Arikha, and Shirazeh Houshiary, whose Shroud (2000; unillustrated) is mistakenly placed in Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery rather than the Tate (237). For those of us who have asserted glibly that metalpoint went out with tempera... Full Review
October 6, 2016
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Gabriela Rangel and Jorge F. Rivas Pérez, eds.
Exh. cat. New York: Americas Society, 2015. 280 pp.; 124 color ills.; 97 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (1879128799)
Exhibition schedule: Americas Society, New York, February 11–May 16, 2015; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, October 11, 2015–January 17, 2016
The exhibition Moderno: Design for Living in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela, 1940–1978 is a significant contribution to the study of modernisms and their relationship to processes of modernization. It focuses on domestic design in countries undergoing rapid change due to investments in infrastructure and economic growth, driven by the developmentalist policies of their governments. The home features as an important laboratory for design, where modernist ideologies with broad social... Full Review
October 5, 2016
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