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

Penelope Curtis and Chris Stephens, eds.
Exh. cat. London: Tate Publishing, 2015. 203 pp.; 131 color ills.; 72 b/w ills. Cloth $55.00 (9781849763318)
Exhibition schedule: Tate Britain, June 24–October 25, 2015
When speaking of modern landscape painters, John Ruskin argued that these artists see nature with “totally different eyes” and consequently offer spectators impressions rather than imitations of the natural world (John Ruskin, Modern Painters, New York: Wiley and Halsted, 1858, 75). A century after Ruskin published his influential text, the English sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth similarly stated: “When a sculptor is the spectator . . . the artist tries to find a synthesis of his human... Full Review
May 12, 2016
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Julie Rodrigues Widholm and Madeleine Grynsztejn, eds.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. 240 pp.; 105 color ills. Cloth $50.00 (9780226244587)
Exhibition schedule: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, February 21–May 24, 2015; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, June 26–October 14, 2015; Pérez Art Museum, Miami, April 20–July 17, 2016
Puncturing the vertiginous pace of New York life is the poetic silence of the Doris Salcedo retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The Colombian sculptor’s works address violence and are renowned worldwide as sites of collective mourning and reflection. The technical virtuosity of her installations make a retrospective nothing less than a herculean task, bravely undertaken in this case by the organizing institution, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), and co-curated by... Full Review
May 12, 2016
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Adrian W. B. Randolph
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014. 328 pp.; 50 color ills.; 70 b/w ills. Cloth $75.00 (9780300204780)
Adrian W. B. Randolph’s Touching Objects: Intimate Experiences of Italian Fifteenth-Century Art is an impressive scholarly work, moving effortlessly from discussions of mid-twentieth-century German art historians to contemporary methodological issues around feminism and aesthetics. Randolph’s fluency in language and culture is matched by his conceptual and intellectual confidence. The result is a demonstration of where art history has traveled and what now might be asked and known... Full Review
May 12, 2016
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Exh. cat. Berlin: Kerber, 2015. 152 pp.; 92 color ills. Paper $47.50 (9783735600523 )
Exhibition schedule: K20, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, September 6, 2014–January 4, 2015; MoMA PS1, New York, January 31–August 31, 2015; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar, March 17, 2015–August 16, 2015
In his first major exhibition in the United States, Egyptian artist Wael Shawky (b. 1971) presented three elaborate films featuring fantastical marionettes performing Amin Maalouf’s The Crusades through Arab Eyes (1983), a book originally written in French but here translated into classical Arabic. Following the exhibition layout at MoMA PS1, viewers first encountered the production materials—sketches, sets, and the marvelous puppets—before entering the darkened screening rooms. The... Full Review
May 5, 2016
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Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers and Alexander Bortolot, eds.
Exh. cat. Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2014. 240 pp.; 500 color ills. Paper $39.95 (9780989371810)
Exhibition schedule: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, April 9–August 17, 2014; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, September 20, 2014–February 8, 2015; Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, March 7–May 10, 2015
Amid their dense vegetation, the forests of West Africa’s Upper Guinea Coast yield a bounty of contradictory impressions. They host both captivating natural beauty and obscure supernatural terrors. They appear intrinsically wild, yet are carefully cultivated by neighboring communities. Their muddy feeder roads and indistinct bush paths render them seemingly remote and impenetrable, but they have served as conduits for countless movements in the name of exchange and conflict. This complex... Full Review
May 5, 2016
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Gretchen A. Hirschauer and Dennis Geronimus, eds.
Exh. cat. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2015. 248 pp.; 200 color ills. Paper $40.00 (9781848221734)
Exhibition schedule: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, February 1–May 3, 2015; Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, June 25–September 27, 2015
Of all the characters passed down from Giorgio Vasari’s Vite, it is Piero di Cosimo perhaps more than any other who came to embody the belief widely held in the Renaissance that art imitates life. What is known of his biography is remarkably sparse, apart from the stories Vasari gleaned as a young apprentice in the workshop of Andrea del Sarto, once a pupil of the eccentric master. Born in 1462, Piero was actually the son of Lorenzo d’Antonio, not a goldsmith (as Vasari would have it)... Full Review
May 5, 2016
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Eugenie Tsai, ed.
Exh. cat. New York: Brooklyn Museum, 2015. 192 pp.; 122 color ills. Cloth $49.95 (9783791354309)
Exhibition schedule: Brooklyn Museum, New York, February 20–May 24, 2015
Kehinde Wiley’s lavish paintings demand a lushly illustrated and deeply contemplated exhibition catalogue, which is what Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic provides. It frames the artist’s oeuvre, beginning with his residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2001, and spans his recent developments and the increasingly global scope of his art. The volume joins a considerable body of illustrated book-length attention to the artist, and avoids the more conventional exhibition catalogue format... Full Review
April 28, 2016
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Connie Butler
Exh. cat. Los Angeles: Hammer Museum in association with Prestel, 2015. 208 pp.; 36 color ills.; 52 b/w ills. Cloth $49.95 (9783791354293)
Exhibition schedule: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, June 21–September 20, 2015
Mark Bradford’s solo exhibition, Scorched Earth, curated by Connie Butler at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, included twelve paintings, a mural, and a sound installation. Scorched Earth was tough and admirably far-reaching. Exquisitely detailed, the paintings evoked pain and violence. They looked inward and back, and they were surprisingly aqueous. Three haunting, untitled, twelve-foot-by-twelve-foot, black-and-white, unstretched canvases in a low-lit section of a gallery at... Full Review
April 28, 2016
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Leah Dickerman and Elsa Smithgall
Exh. cat. New York and Washington, DC: Museum of Modern Art and Phillips Collection, 2015. 192 pp. Cloth $50.00 (9780870709647)
Exhibition schedule: One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North, Museum of Modern Art, New York, April 3–September 7, 2015; People on the Move: Beauty and Struggle in Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, September 10, 2016–January 17, 2017
Jacob Lawrence figures prominently in the small cohort of African American modernists to achieve renown in their lifetimes. In his case, that recognition came early, bound up with the reception of The Migration of the Negro, his narrative painting cycle of 1941 that is now known as the Migration Series. Over a couple of years, he earned a fellowship to develop it, researched and painted its sixty tempera panels, and published twenty-six in Fortune Magazine. In 1942, he... Full Review
April 28, 2016
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Eddie Chambers
Re-Views: Field Editors’ Reflections, caa.reviews. College Art Association
Re-Views: Field Editors’ Reflections caa.reviews Today marks a historic moment for caa.reviews, because with our fourth installment of “Re-Views: Field Editors’ Reflections” the journal is acknowledging its commitment to reviewing scholarly books about African, African American, and African Diaspora art. No one is more responsible for this focus than field editor Eddie Chambers, who since July 2014 has tirelessly shepherded more than twenty reviews from commission to... Full Review
April 21, 2016