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

Jens M. Daehner and Kenneth Lapatin
, eds.
Exh. cat. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015. 368 pp.; 164 color ills. Paper $45.00 (9781606064405)
Exhibition schedule: Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, March 14–June 21, 2015; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, July 28–November 1, 2015; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, December 13, 2015–March 24, 2016
The exhibition Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World presented significant examples of monumental bronze sculpture from the Hellenistic period (323 BCE–27 CE). Curated by Jens Daehner and Kenneth Lapatin, both of the Getty Villa, Power and Pathos not only examined the historical context of these Hellenistic bronzes, but also addressed the importance of bronze as a medium for depicting the movement and expression that are characteristic of Hellenistic art.... Full Review
January 18, 2017
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Jonathan David Katz and Rock Hushka, eds.
Exh. cat. Seattle: Tacoma Art Museum in association with University of Washington Press, 2015. 288 pp.; 200 color ills. Cloth $45.00 (9780295994949)
Exhibition schedule: Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, October 3, 2015–January 10, 2016; Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw, GA, February 20–May 22, 2016; Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, July 13–September 25, 2016
Retrospectives devoted to individual artists and artist collectives like Gran Fury have addressed HIV/AIDS, as have smaller gallery shows; however, large-scale exhibitions about the epidemic remain rare. Art AIDS America aims to be the most comprehensive exploration of the impact of AIDS on the course of American art. Organized by Tacoma Art Museum and the Bronx Museum of the Arts and co-curated by Rock Hushka, chief curator at Tacoma Art Museum, and Jonathan D. Katz, director of the... Full Review
January 17, 2017
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Ricky Jay
Exh. cat. Los Angeles: Siglio, 2016. 160 pp.; Many color ills. Cloth $39.95 (9781938221125)
“Klein, aber fein” goes the German saying: small, but excellent. That is how I would describe the exhibition organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to showcase drawings by Matthias Buchinger (1674–1740) from the collection of Ricky Jay. The phrase could describe Buchinger’s drawings, which are astonishing examples of micrography, a technique whereby minutely drawn words create an image. The practice has a long history, which the exhibition examined, but by any standard Buchinger was an... Full Review
January 11, 2017
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Clare Robertson
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016. 460 pp.; 80 color ills.; 220 b/w ills. Cloth $75.00 (9780300215298)
The reign of Clement VIII (1592–1605) witnessed a confluence of extraordinary circumstances culminating in the Jubilee of 1600, when hundreds of thousands of pilgrims descended upon Rome. The aftermath of the Council of Trent and the founding of several new religious orders led to a growing understanding that art could be used as a valuable vehicle for disseminating the church’s message, prompting, in part, a flurry of church construction and renovation. Meanwhile, the city experienced an... Full Review
January 10, 2017
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Thijs Weststeijn
Leiden: Brill, 2015. 452 pp.; 178 ills. Cloth $161.00 (9789004283619)
Thijs Weststeijn’s Art and Antiquity in the Netherlands and Britain: The Vernacular Arcadia of Franciscus Junius (1591–1677) is a well-researched, thoughtful, and timely argument for the seminal role played by the various versions of Franciscus Junius’s The Painting of the Ancients in Three Books or, in Latin, De pictura veterum libri tres (1637) within the history of early modern Netherlandish art theory and also in the broader European tradition. As Weststeijn shows,... Full Review
January 10, 2017
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Kathryn M. Rudy
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016. 362 pp.; 80 color ills.; 140 b/w ills. Cloth $85.00 (9780300209891)
Kathryn M. Rudy’s Postcards on Parchment: The Social Lives of Medieval Books is an exuberant study. The title of the volume draws from its opening vignette, in which, sometime toward the end of the fifteenth century, Sister Kerstyne Vetters sent a “postcard” to her (biological) Sister Lijsbet Vetters, housed at a different convent. This postcard—a painted image of St. Barbara on a rectangle of parchment, with an inscription on its back—survives today in a small prayer book now in the... Full Review
January 5, 2017
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Alessandra Russo
Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014. 368 pp.; 35 color ills.; 153 b/w ills. Cloth $60.00 (9780292754133)
Combining long-standing research interests in three distinct areas of sixteenth-century Mexican art—feather mosaics, geographic maps, and graffiti—Alessandra Russo’s latest major publication continues to exude the adventurous spirit of a personal scholarly quest in which she invites the reader to participate. Although exploring graffiti is an original undertaking, the first two topics have been treated in earlier books: one authored on maps, El realismo circular: Tierras, espacios y... Full Review
January 4, 2017
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David Grubbs
Durham: Duke University Press, 2014. 248 pp.; 19 ills. Paper $23.95 (9780822355908)
In 1982, after eating a macrobiotic lunch with John Cage in his West 18th Street loft, I brandished my Sony TC-D5M cassette recorder. “I have one just like it,” he said, “David [Tudor] told me to get it—I’ve never turned it on.” Everyone who knew Cage heard him proclaim at least once, “I don’t use records . . . unless I do something else with them” (as in Credo in US; 1942). I was unaware of any composer who accepted these as words to live by, let alone anyone who resisted the... Full Review
January 4, 2017
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Christine Guth
Honolulu: University Of Hawai'i Press, 2015. 272 pp.; 70 color ills.; 5 b/w ills. Paper $20.00 (9780824839604)
Christine Guth’s Hokusai’s Great Wave: Biography of a Global Icon is a landmark in multidisciplinary scholarly sophistication. It examines the long and storied history of one Japanese artwork as it has circulated around the world being imagined, reimagined, and reimaged, thereby fusing the local and global across time. Methodologically, the book offers the field of art history dynamic intersecting modes of critical inquiry for revisiting questions of global flow and cultural... Full Review
January 3, 2017
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Miriam M. Basilio
New York: Routledge, 2013. 340 pp.; 20 color ills.; 51 b/w ills. Cloth $130.05 (9781409464815)
Miriam M. Basilio’s excellent monograph, Visual Propaganda, Exhibitions, and the Spanish Civil War, provides an in-depth study of images that were in visual circulation both during and immediately after the conflict that tore Spain apart. That Basilio concludes her work with a broad look at how different artists have engaged with historical memory through the interrogation of museums, archives, and testimony shows how the Spanish Civil War continues to influence the collective... Full Review
December 29, 2016
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