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

Jane Green and Leah Levy, eds.
Intro. Marla Prather. Berkeley: University of California Press in association with Whitney Museum of American Art, 2003. 226 pp.; 13 color ills.; 78 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (0520233557)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 2, 2003–February 29, 2004
Jay DeFeo and The Rose is the long-awaited monograph dedicated solely to this artist and her best-known painting. Its eleven essays from a prestigious roster of authors work together to situate DeFeo’s achievements within American postwar art, and its thirteen color plates and seventy-eight black-and-white photographs sustain these texts and enhance the reader’s experience. Challenging art-historical essays by her biographer Richard Cándida-Smith and art critic Carter Ratcliff... Full Review
January 15, 2004
Barbara A. Barletta
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 232 pp.; 87 b/w ills. Cloth $70.00 (0521792452)
In his Ten Books on Architecture, Vitruvius provides the earliest surviving account of the origins of what we have called, since the Renaissance, the orders of Greek architecture. Vitruvius, however, wrote during the early years of the Roman Empire—some six hundred years after the orders first developed—and his first-hand experience of early Greek architecture must have been limited at best. The numerous Greek treatises on architecture that he had at his disposal and to which... Full Review
January 13, 2004
Klaske Muizelaar and Derek Phillips
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003. 256 pp.; 30 color ills.; 65 b/w ills. Cloth $45.00 (0300098170)
Klaske Muizelaar and Derek Phillips’s Picturing Men and Women in the Dutch Golden Age: Paintings and People in Historical Perspective is a curious book: while largely synoptic, written by two nonspecialists who rely heavily on previously published research, it also constitutes an ambitious attempt to reconstruct the reception of seventeenth-century Dutch paintings among contemporary viewers. Issues of audience response have received increasing scholarly... Full Review
January 12, 2004
Paul Joannides
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. 352 pp.; 146 color ills.; 128 b/w ills. Cloth $85.00 (0300087217)
Charles Hope
Exh. cat. National Gallery of Art in association with Yale University Press, 2003. 192 pp.; 146 color ills.; 17 b/w ills. Cloth $39.95 (1857099044)
The National Gallery, London, February 19–May 18, 2003
Paul Joannides’ elegantly written and superbly illustrated book constitutes a significant addition to the study of Renaissance art history. With substantial attention given to the vast body of earlier opinion—both recent and remote—he embraces the challenge of early cinquecento Venetian painting, an arena of far-reaching innovation but one that is exceptionally vexed with unresolved questions of authorship and date. The subject is therein vulnerable to speculation and subjectivity concerning... Full Review
January 9, 2004
Heather Dawkins
Cambridge University Press, 2000. 232 pp.; 0 color ills.; 60 b/w ills. Cloth $70.00 (0521807557)
During the last three decades, the topic of the female nude and its spectatorship has frequently been discussed. In fact, this issue has played a major role in far-reaching reevaluations by feminist and social art history as well as by studies in other fields. Although scholars have addressed the nude and spectatorship in relation to art of the nineteenth century and to the institutional barriers that limited women art students’ access to studying from nude models, most of these... Full Review
January 7, 2004
Christine Y. Kim, Vijay Prashad, and Latasha N. Nevada Diggs
Exh. cat. Studio Museum in Harlem, 2003. 120 pp.; many color ills. $25.00 (0942949269)
The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, October 15, 2003–January 4, 2004. New York: Studio Museum in Harlem, 2003. 120 pp.; many color ills. $25.00 (paper) (0942949269)
While a handful of exhibitions have looked at the relationship between African Americans, Asians, and Asian Americans in visual art, such as Ancestors, a joint effort by Kenkeleba House and the Asian American Arts Centre in 1995, Black Belt is the largest exploration to date. As the title implies, it is structured around the premise of a cross-cultural fascination with Asian martial arts epitomized by the messianic icon Bruce Lee. Yet despite the backing of a thriving... Full Review
December 29, 2003
Maryvelma Smith O’Neil
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 428 pp.; 15 color ills.; 108 b/w ills. Cloth $130.00 (0521570387)
Maryvelma Smith O’Neil’s Giovanni Baglione: Artistic Reputation in Baroque Rome is the first monograph in English on this important but relatively unstudied artist. In five interpretive chapters accompanying a handlist of works, the author aims to raise the standing of Giovanni Baglione (1566–1643) in modern art history through a consideration of his artistic development—as painter and as draftsman—within a social and institutional context. In addition to this already... Full Review
December 18, 2003
Ingo Herklotz
Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 1998. 439 pp.; 226 ills. Cloth €138.00 (3777477508)
Most of what remains of Cassiano Dal Pozzo’s collection of drawings—a collection that he referred to as the Museo Cartaceo (or “Paper Museum”)—survives as loose sheets and bound volumes in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle, and the British Museum in London. The surviving works include drawings of mineral samples, plants and animals from Mexico, and more familiar fauna and flora. In addition, there are more than 2,300 representations of ancient monuments and objects. Perhaps in response... Full Review
December 15, 2003
Huigen Leeflang
Exh. cat. Waanders, 2002. 352 pp.; 190 color ills.; 160 b/w ills. $52.50 (9040087946)
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, March 6–May 25, 2004; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, June 26–September 7, 2003; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio, October 17, 2003–January 4, 2004
Published to accompany the first monographic exhibition of Hendrick Goltzius’s dazzling prints, drawings, penwercken, and paintings, this catalogue consists of a useful biographical sketch followed by brief essays and entries describing successive phases of the artist’s career. The book aims, in the words of the directors of the three host institutions, “to present a comprehensive and balanced picture of Hendrick Goltzius as a draughtsman, printmaker, and painter” (5). Given this... Full Review
December 12, 2003
Patricia Berger
Honolulu: University Of Hawai'i Press, 2002. 266 pp.; 66 b/w ills.; 66 ills. Cloth $42.00 (0824825632)
Patricia Ann Berger’s Empire of Emptiness: Buddhist Art and Political Authority in Qing China is not just the first monograph on court art of this period in Western language, but also a much-needed contribution to the study of Manchu court culture in general, an area enjoying something of renaissance in the last decade. Like recent publications by cultural historians, Berger’s work could be read as contrasting the “cynical” view on Manchu rulers, a view that dismisses the... Full Review
December 11, 2003