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

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Luminita Machedon and Ernie Scoffham
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1998. 407 pp.; 306 b/w ills. Cloth $55.00 (0262133482)
With each passing year, the geographic area of modernism seems to increase. Similar to the expansion of NATO, but lacking the political strife, modernism's boundary gradually moves eastward to include lands that were abandoned to their own sphere of influence following the Second World War. In recent years though, Western art and architectural historians have begun to rediscover what was, in fact, the heartland of modernism: Central Europe. However Central Europe is defined—whether... Full Review
February 9, 2001
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Tom Edensor
Routledge, 1998. 223 pp.; 9 b/w ills. Cloth $25.99 (0415167132)
With recent works such as Lucy Lippard's On the Beaten Track: Tourism, Art and Place (New York: The New Press, 1999), the intersection between the academic discipline of art history and the study of tourism has received increased attention from art historians and art critics. One of the roles of art history within the cultural practice of tourism is, for example, to establish and authenticate a canon of monuments that serves as a resource for tourism as well as to provide the etiquette... Full Review
February 6, 2001
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Stanford Anderson
MIT Press, 2000. 429 pp.; 251 b/w ills. Cloth $59.95 (026201176X)
During his lifetime, Peter Behrens was able to enjoy a great deal of press--thanks to his extensive activity in typography, design, and architecture. In addition to the numerous articles that accompanied his published projects, Behrens became the subject of a monograph by Fritz Hoeber in 1913, while still in the midst of his career. Behrens died in 1940, but remained respected even after World War II, although his achievement was considered to be the work of an early proponent of modernism,... Full Review
February 1, 2001
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Alexander Alberro and Blake Stimson
MIT Press, 1999. 569 pp.; 36 b/w ills. Paper $29.95 (0262511177)
This century's second great period of artistic invention lasted from around 1944 to around 1972—from Abstract Expressionism, that is, to Conceptual art. Artists since then have basically been involved in digesting the implications of that earlier period—a serious task for work that remains unfinished. Art historians have been at it too, at least as far as revisiting the '40s and '50s. Now we're starting to see the '60s and early '70s in historical perspective as well, and part of the... Full Review
February 1, 2001
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Pierre Rosenberg
Princeton University Press in association with National Gallery of Art, 2000. 244 pp.; 265 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 (069100918X)
For a series of six Andrew W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, Pierre Rosenberg chose as his subject the drawings of five French artists—Nicolas Poussin, Jean-Antoine Watteau, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Jacques-Louis David, and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres—who worked over the span of years when France was transformed politically and socially, but understood their contributions within an unbroken cultural lineage. Rosenberg, along with his collaborator,... Full Review
February 1, 2001
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Paul Hills
Yale University Press, 1998. 248 pp.; 239 color ills.; 15 b/w ills. Cloth $55.00 (0300081359)
Paul Hills's book deals with the aesthetics of color and its social history in Venice. These two ostensibly diverse agendas are interwoven through the author's examination of the cognitive skills of the patronal classes (Hills owes a great deal to Michael Baxandall's concept of the "period eye"), and the materials and processes involved in fashioning the visual environment of the city. As the title informs us, Hills deals with color in marble, mosaic, and glass in addition to painting. He... Full Review
January 31, 2001
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Vibeke Vibolt Knudsen, ed.
Copenhagen: Statens Museum for Kunst, 2000. 231 pp.; 90 color ills. Paper (8790096037)
February 11-May 7, 2000, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen.
Almost all post-War scholarship on Francisco Goya (1746-1828) has been concerned, in one way or another, with the artist's relation to the political, social, and cultural upheaval that wracked Spain from the 1780s through the 1820s. Over the past decade, the touchstone for thinking about these issues has been Goya and the Spirit of Enlightenment, organized by Eleanor A. Sayre and Alfonoso E. Pérez Sánchez (Madrid: Museo del Prado, Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, and New York: Metropolitan... Full Review
January 30, 2001
Patricia A. Morton
MIT Press, 2000. 380 pp.; 163 b/w ills. Cloth $40.00 (0262133628)
In a letter to the curator of the 5th Biennale de Lyon, held in the summer of 2000, Partage d'exotismes (Sharing of Exoticisms), artist Hassan Musa declined an invitation to join the exhibition, claiming that, "Personally, as an artist born in Africa, but with no urge to bear the burden of an African artist, I know that the only opportunities open to me to present my work in public outside Africa are of the 'ethnic' type, where people assign to me the role of 'the African other' in... Full Review
January 30, 2001
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Penelope J. E. Davies
Cambridge University Press, 2000. 265 pp.; 117 b/w ills. Cloth $80.00 (0521632366)
Death and the Emperor is an important new book that treats several familiar landmarks of the Eternal City in unfamiliar, stimulating, and insightful ways. The focus of the author's inquiry is the series of tombs and other memorials erected to honor deceased Roman emperors from Augustus to Marcus Aurelius. Because some of these monuments were built to house the remains of entire dynasties, this elite class of buildings has very few members—in fact, only seven (for eighteen emperors).... Full Review
January 29, 2001
Debra Pincus
Cambridge University Press, 1999. 276 pp.; 126 b/w ills. Cloth $80.00 (0521593549)
Amidst the massive tombs of later doges, often reaching the entire height of a church from floor to vaulting, the rather more modest memorials to 13th- and 14th-century leaders of Venice may escape the notice of the general public, and indeed have largely escaped the attention of scholars. Debra Pincus amply demonstrates that they are, on the contrary, of considerable interest and importance. Most obviously, the early ducal tombs set the stage for the "grand, wall-filling tombs of the second... Full Review
January 29, 2001
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