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

Lynne Zelevansky, Elizabeth Sussman, James Rondeau, Donna De Salvo, and Anna Katherine Brodbeck
Exh. cat. New York: Prestel, 2016. 320 pp.; 291 color ills. Hardcover $75.00 (9783791355221)
Carnegie Museum of Art, October 1, 2016–January 2, 2017; Art Institute of Chicago, February 18–May 7, 2017; Whitney Museum of American Art, July 14–October 1, 2017
As installed at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium provided a salient comment on the artist who perhaps best represents the new canon of twentieth-century Latin American art. This canon is grounded in three pillars of Oiticica’s work: abstraction, participation, and conceptualism. I have previously argued that in the Global North this canon was first consolidated by Héctor Olea and Mari Carmen Ramírez’s seminal exhibition Heterotopías /... Full Review
February 5, 2018
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Geoffrey Batchen
Ed. Philomena Mariani. New York: Prestel, 2016. 200 pp.; 180 color ills. Hardcover $60.00 (9783791355047)
There has been a spate of recent exhibitions identifying and reflecting upon a turn in photographic practice: a turn toward the materiality of the photograph and the full embrace of its unique processes of “capture.” These exhibitions, and the catalogue texts that supplement them, often seize on the notion of photography’s essence as indexical. Photography’s material structure and process of image making are said to be determined by their causal relationship to the world. Their indexical... Full Review
February 5, 2018
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Rocío Aranda-Alvarado
Eds. Irene Hofmann and Kathleen E. Ash-Milby. Exh. cat. Santa Fe: SITE Santa Fe, 2016. 160 pp.; 70 color ills. $35.00 (9780985660239)
SITE Santa Fe, July 16, 2016–January 8, 2017
I remember thinking sometime around 2010, when SITE Santa Fe presented The Dissolve, that it seemed odd how much the site—Santa Fe, or geography more broadly—mattered so little in that year, or any other prior year’s, biennial. Rather, The Dissolve was about media (technologies of moving images) and not about place. When Irene Hofmann stepped in as... Full Review
February 2, 2018
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Julie Widholm and Kristine Stiles, eds.
Chicago: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2015. 116 pp. Hardcover $35.00 (9780996211611)
The second and final showing of Kathryn Andrews: Run for President closed at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas in early January 2017. When I visited, I saw wall-sized photomurals of past presidential publicity gambits—often palpably raced ones—framing sculptures with mirror-polished steel surfaces, sagging balloons, and memorabilia from blockbuster movies including Spiderman, The Matrix, and Lethal Weapon. There was also clown-related symbolism, particularly... Full Review
February 2, 2018
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Annett Busch and Anselm Franke, eds.
Exh. cat. Warsaw: Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 2015. 220 pp.; 50 color ills.; 50 b/w ills. Paper $29.00 (9788364177255)
Exhibition schedule: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, September 19–November 24, 2013; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, June 12–August 23, 2015
After Year Zero: Geographies of Collaboration—a book that puts the question of a starting point at its heart—wears a black-on-black cover. The black title is pressed in to the book’s black surface, barely discernible save for its slight gloss. On the back of the book, a large circle ringed in that same glossy black looms over a blackened oval. Riffs on these shapes appear in the book’s interior to separate the sections; they appear as white against black, reconfigured, layered, and... Full Review
February 1, 2018
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Jeffrey Weiss, Daniel Buren, and Whitney Davis
Exh. cat. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2015. 264 pp.; 436 color ills. Cloth $45.00 (9780892075195)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, February 6–May 3, 2015
I first saw On Kawara’s work in person in 1998 at the retrospective exhibition Whole and Parts 1964–1995 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. At the time I was a graduate student in that city, and my memory of the show is marked by the architecture of the museum, with its rectangular spaces and high ceilings, where each of his bodies of work was assigned a separate space, objectivizing them and creating a sense of preciousness. Overall, the symmetric configuration of the... Full Review
February 1, 2018
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Danielle B. Joyner
University Park: Penn State University Press, 2016. 256 pp.; 36 color ills.; 60 b/w ills. Hardcover $89.95 (9780271070889)
In Painting the Hortus Deliciarum: Medieval Women, Wisdom, and Time, Danielle B. Joyner has tackled one of the most challenging topics in Romanesque studies, the illuminated manuscript compilation known as the “Garden of Delights.” Created ca. 1175–85 by Abbess Herrad for the Augustinian convent of Saint Odile at Hohenberg in Alsace, and destroyed in the bombardment of Strasbourg in 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, this highly important Romanesque work survives only in... Full Review
January 31, 2018
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Eric M. Ramírez-Weaver
University Park: Penn State University Press, 2017. 296 pp.; 35 color ills.; 82  b/w ills. Cloth $89.95 (978-0-271-07126-8)
Charlemagne’s biographer, Einhard, as well as one of his key courtiers, Alcuin, flattered the ruler with praise for his interest, indeed expertise, in science generally and astronomy in particular. In 809 CE a group of computistic scholars, apparently under the leadership of Adalhard of Corbie, gathered at Aachen and produced a handbook containing both texts and images that were intended to be helpful in understanding the calendar and, on the basis of that knowledge, of properly arranging... Full Review
January 31, 2018
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Celeste-Marie Bernier
Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2015. 552 pp.; 32 color ills.; 35 b/w ills. Cloth $39.95 (9781439912737)
In Suffering and Sunset: World War I in the Art and Life of Horace Pippin, Celeste-Marie Bernier has written an intellectual and cultural biography of the artist. Her study is a deeply researched, archival-focused examination of the ways in which war, military service, race, identity, and art making were inextricably bound together for Horace Pippin (1888–1946). Suffering and Sunset is also polemical, challenging white-dominated archival and historical structures and official... Full Review
January 30, 2018
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Virginia M. Fields, John M. D. Pohl, and Victoria I. Lyall
Exh. cat. 2014. 256 pp.; 240 ills. Cloth $65.00 (9781857597417)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, April 1, 2012–July 1, 2012.
In recent decades, American and European museums have mounted major exhibitions highlighting individual Mesoamerican cultures, notably the Olmec, the Maya, and the Aztecs. Children of the Plumed Serpent: The Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico has a different focus. Using the culture hero Quetzalcoatl as its pivot, the exhibition and accompanying book investigate cultural and artistic traditions across Mesoamerica, and even beyond, during the period immediately preceding the... Full Review
January 30, 2018
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