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

Hans Belting
Trans. Scott Kleager. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998. 128 pp.; 27 b/w ills. Paper $20.00 (0300076169)
The brevity and informal nature of these essays, first published in German in 1992, should not obscure their density, just as the length and extremely formal nature of Belting's Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image Before the Era of Art should not obscure the clarity of its essential argument. That dichotomy—dense, "formless" evocation versus brief, "rational" argument—will be familiar to Belting, since it is one of the manifestations of the "troublesome" relationship between... Full Review
April 22, 1999
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Jonathan M. Bloom
New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art in association with Ediciones El Viso and Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Kingdom of Morocco, 1998. 124 pp.; 80 color ills.; 28 b/w ills. Cloth (0300086377)
This splendidly illustrated book provides a meticulous documentation of the restoration of one of the finest works of medieval Islamic woodwork surviving today. Restoration began as a result of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 1992 exhibition "Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic Spain" in which the minbar (pulpit) of the Kutubiyya Mosque in Marrakesh was featured in the catalogue but, due to its fragile condition, could not suffer transport for display in New York and Granada. In 1996–97 the <a... Full Review
April 22, 1999
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O. A. Krivtsun
Moscow: Aspect Press Publishers, 1998. 430 pp. Cloth
This book focuses on the fundamental philosophical issues of art and the actual problems of modern art history. It unfurls a polyphonic tapestry of the development of art from antiquity to the twentieth century in relation to various stages in the development of European culture. However, the chief purpose of O. A. Krivtsun's work appears to be not so much the reproduction of historical and artistic factual details as raising, and finding answers for, questions of the art process theory. The... Full Review
April 21, 1999
Paul Tucker
Exh. cat. Yale University Press, 1997. 310 pp.; 130 color ills.; 25 b/w ills. $50.00 (0300077491)
Exhibition Schedule: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, September 23, 1998–January 3, 1999; Royal Academy of Arts in London, opened January 21, 1999.
This morning I drank my green tea from my lavender Monet-signature mug. This same autographic logo is reproduced as the first word of the title of Monet in the 20th Century, the catalogue of a major exhibition seen in the fall at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and appearing this spring at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. I wasn't able to join the international throng of visitors who saw the show in Boston and London, but I am nonetheless grateful to the guest curator, Paul Hayes... Full Review
April 21, 1999
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Andrew Butterfield
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998. 272 pp.; 200 color ills.; 60 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 (0300071949)
As the author notes in his introduction, The Sculptures of Andrea del Verrocchio is preceded by nine major monographs on the artist. Without question, Butterfield's reconsideration of the sculptural production of Verrocchio adds considerably to what remains a surprisingly uncertain chronology—despite the earlier monographs and countless other articles on individual works (including the essays published in 1992, Verrocchio and Late Quattrocento Italian Sculpture, ed. Steven Bule... Full Review
April 21, 1999
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Michael Podro
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998. 208 pp.; 44 color ills.; 88 b/w ills. Cloth $30.00 (0300069146)
Erwin Panofsky is said to have been particularly pleased with the fact that he possessed one near-sighted and one-far sighted eye. Using his optical inheritance as a model for how one should write the history of art—paying attention to detail and description, while never neglecting the panoramic view—he provided successive generations of art historians with a powerful challenge to disciplinary blindspots. Michael Podro, one of Panofsky's most insightful readers (as witnessed in his much... Full Review
April 21, 1999
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Francis Ames-Lewis
Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 1997. 270 pp.; 12 color ills.; 146 b/w ills. Cloth $99.95 (1859283764)
This book offers undergraduates and lay enthusiasts who have not had the good fortune of attending one of Professor Ames-Lewis's courses at Birbeck College in London an opportunity to see and understand key monuments of Italian Gothic sculpture through his sensitive and insightful eyes. It offers many insights for more sophisticated readers, as well. Patiently introducing readers to the historical circumstances in which Tuscan sculptors worked, Ames-Lewis cites intriguing examples of how... Full Review
April 21, 1999
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Sheila Blair
New York: New York University Press, 1998. 416 pp. Cloth $59.95 (0814713289)
Epigraphy has long been a subject of tremendous fascination and prodigious investigation within Islamic studies, and has inspired a number of ambitious scholarly undertakings, such as the Materiaux pour un Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum (11 vols., 1894–1985), the Repertoire chronologique d'epigraphie arabe (21 vols., 1931–91) and the Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum (30 vols., 1955–90). As their titles suggest, the genesis of these multivolume, multidecade compendia was... Full Review
March 19, 1999
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Elizabeth Cropper
Los Angeles: Getty Trust Publications, 1997. 132 pp.; 21 color ills.; 32 b/w ills. Paper $19.95 (0892363665)
The picture painted in Florence sometime in the second quarter of the 16th century by Jacopo Carucci da Pontormo, and known for most of the 20th century as The Halberdier, burst out of the comfortable obscurity of the Frick Collection in New York, where it had been on indefinite loan when Christie's sold it at auction in the winter of 1989 to the J. Paul Getty Museum for more than $35 million. Since very few... Full Review
March 19, 1999
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Sarah Blake McHam, ed.
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. 287 pp.; 139 color ills. Paper $24.95 (0521473667)
Looking at Italian Renaissance Sculpture brings together under one cover a series of essays written over a thirty-year period. The earliest articles, first published in 1970 and 1971 respectively, are H. W. Janson's "The Revival of Antiquity in Early Renaissance Sculpture" and Irving Lavin's "On the Renaissance Portrait Bust." Also reprinted here are Christiane Klapisch-Zuber's "Holy Dolls: Play and Piety in Florence in the Quattrocento," (first published in French in 1983) and Claudia... Full Review
March 18, 1999
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