Critical reviews of books, exhibitions, and projects in all areas and periods of art history and visual studies

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Michael Rush
London: Thames and Hudson, 2003. 208 pp.; 383 color ills. Cloth $45.00 (0500237980)
Defined straightforwardly, video art is that visual art created using video cameras. As Michael Rush points out in his superbly well-illustrated survey history, the medium’s creation can be dated very precisely: the video era was inaugurated when in 1965 Sony Corporation marketed a financially available hand-held camera and portable tape recorder. As he then goes on to note, this novel technology was soon put to use by a great number of artists. Video Art is organized around... Full Review
February 27, 2004
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Anne Wilkes Tucker, Dana Friis-Hansen, Kaneko Ryuichi, and Takeba Joe
Exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Press in association with Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2003. 432 pp.; 356 color ills.; 50 b/w ills. Cloth $75.00 (0300099258)
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, Tex., March 2–April 27, 2003; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, May 25–July 27, 2003
See Joel Smith’s review of this book A photograph … is never simultaneous with the present. [It] is something which is absolutely gone and which we can do nothing about; it has the same meaning as death. It is the past holding onto the present. A photograph is a wordless memory, an abandoned structure built on layer upon layer of time stretching from the past to the present. (268) —Miyamoto Ryūji, 1992 The History... Full Review
February 13, 2004
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H. Rodney Nevitt
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 320 pp.; 88 b/w ills. Cloth $110.00 (0521643295)
Art and the Culture of Love in Seventeenth-Century Holland is rich in ideas and, at least to this reader, sometimes provocative in method. This beautifully produced book raises the important matter of ambivalence in seventeenth-century Dutch works of art, using the theme of love in genre paintings, prints, and book illustrations to show how this ambivalence takes shape. Nevitt’s main explanation is that works of art “accommodate the complexity of the culture that produced them”... Full Review
February 13, 2004
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Gary Shapiro
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. 458 pp.; 34 b/w ills. Paper $30.00 (0226750477)
There is much to recommend about Gary Shapiro’s latest book to readers of these reviews. It is well written, liberally illustrated, and thoroughly researched, and it clarifies insights that have not yet come to the attention of most authors. In short, this book is original and compelling, warranting the attention of those seeking a philosophical basis for their art-critical perspectives. Archaeologies of Vision: Foucault and Nietzsche on Seeing and Saying is, above all, a... Full Review
February 6, 2004
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David Carrier
Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2002. 144 pp. Cloth $95.00 (0275975207)
In graduate school, a fellow student once told me, “Rosalind Krauss exists for you to react against.” In his recent book, David Carrier assumes a similar stance, portraying Krauss as a critic who is brilliant, provocative, and constantly refining her ideas in order to challenge accepted beliefs. Carrier works from the premise that Krauss’s rise in the post-Greenberg era parallels the rise of American philosophical art criticism, and that the story of both offers insight into... Full Review
February 2, 2004
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Vidya Dehejia
Exh. cat. New York: American Federation of Arts in association with University of Washington Press, 2003. 255 pp.; 49 color ills.; 40 b/w ills. Cloth $49.95 (0295982845)
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 10, 2002–March 9, 2003; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Tex., April 4–June 15, 2003; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, July 6–September 14, 2003
This book, published to accompany the touring exhibition of ninth- to thirteenth-century south Indian bronzes that opened at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., follows the trend of recontextualizing works of Indian sculpture that began with the Asia Society exhibition, Gods, Guardians, and Lovers: Temple Sculptures from Northern India, A.D. 700–1200 (1993). These bronze figures of deities and saints are examined against the backdrop of the religious and literary... Full Review
January 30, 2004
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Sibel Bozdoğan
Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2001. 380 pp.; 240 ills. Cloth $30.00 (0295981520)
See Bernd Nicolai’s review of this book “All nationalist architecture is bad, but all good architecture is national.” Bruno Taut, 1938. The formation of the Turkish Republic in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk may be seen as one of the most radical and revolutionary moments in twentieth-century world history. With it came the end of the six-hundred-year-old Ottoman imperium, the... Full Review
January 29, 2004
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Gabriele Paleotti
Ed. Stefano della Torre; trans. Gian Franco Freguglia. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Cad & Wellness, 2002. 328 pp. Paper €25.00 (8820973588)
Gabriele Paleotti (1522–1597) of Bologna was among the most important ecclesiastical reformers and writers on sacred art in post-Tridentine Italy. After receiving a degree in canon law from the Studio di Bologna in 1546, he was appointed an uditore di Rota in Rome in 1556. He subsequently served as the Rota’s counselor to the papal legates during the final session of the Council of Trent (1561–63). Pope Pius IV appointed Paleotti to the Congregation of the Council to study the... Full Review
January 27, 2004
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Catherine E. Karkov and Fred Orton, eds.
Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2002. 240 pp.; 4 color ills.; 34 b/w ills. Cloth $45.00 (0937058793)
The concept of difference unites the essays in Theorizing Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture. Though comprised of six papers from a day-long seminar at the 1998 International Congress at Leeds, this collection arrives in two parts: essays by Jane Hawkes and Catherine E. Karkov look at relatively little-known examples of Anglo-Saxon eighth and ninth-century sculpture, and contributions by Fred Orton, Richard N. Bailey, Ian Wood, and Éamonn Ò Carragáin engage in an often-argumentative... Full Review
January 20, 2004
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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
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