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

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David Harvey
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. 293 pp.; 27 b/w ills. Paper $24.95 (0520225783)
"Until we insurgent architects know the courage of our minds and are prepared to take an equally speculative plunge into some unknown," David Harvey writes in conclusion to his stunning new work, Spaces of Hope, "we too will continue to be the objects of historical geography (like worker bees) rather than active subjects, consciously pushing human possibilities to their limits" (255). Spaces of Hope serves as a fitting capstone to the Marxist geographer's oeuvre of the past two... Full Review
February 15, 2002
Lisa Zeitz
Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2000. 256 pp.; 131 b/w ills. Cloth (3932526372)
Diane H. Bodart
Rome: Bulzoni Editore, 1998. 400 pp.; 49 b/w ills. Paper (8883192559)
As their titles indicate, these two books--both of which originated as academic dissertations at the Universities of Munich and Rome respectively--cover much the same ground. Both provide detailed discussions of Titian's association with Federico Gonzaga, marquis (later, first duke) of Mantua, from their first meeting in 1523 until Federico's premature death in 1540. Both include appendices with transcriptions of more than 300 documents (and in the case of Lisa Zeitz, translations into... Full Review
February 13, 2002
Neil Cummings and Marysia Lewandowska
Basel: August Projects, Cornerhouse Publishing in association with Birkhäuser, 2000. 222 pp. Paper (3764363169)
Few books in recent memory have articulated so lucidly the nexus of deep interconnections among practices making up the core of the modern culture industry as The Value of Things by London-based artists Neil Cummings and Marysia Lewandowska. This remarkable book project dramatically charts the powerful forces through which the values of things are negotiated and exchanged by intertwining the histories of two exemplary modern institutions--the British Museum and London's Selfridge's... Full Review
February 12, 2002
Charles Dempsey
Fiesole: Edizioni Cadmo in association with Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, 2000. 114 pp.; 12 color ills. Cloth (8879232053)
Twenty-five years ago, Charles Dempsey's Annibale Carracci and the Beginnings of Baroque Style--a small, brilliant, idiosyncratic book--was born as an attempt to review Donald Posner's large, definitive, and indispensable monograph and catalogue raisonné, Annibale Carracci: A Study in the Reform of Painting around 1590, which had been published in 1971 (London: Phaidon). The present volume is a second edition of Dempsey's book from 1977, to which the author has added a brief... Full Review
February 6, 2002
Gertje R. Utley
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999. 288 pp.; 40 color ills.; 175 b/w ills. Cloth $55.00 (0300082517)
Go to the "Electronic Reading Room" at to find that Picasso appears in FBI files from the 1940s onward, which are now available courtesy of the Freedom of Information Act. In 1990, Herbert Mitgang ("When Picasso Spooked the FBI," The New York Times, 11 November) revealed some of these Cold War additions to the politics of representation. With Picasso, these politics are conventionally characterized by a variety of documents,... Full Review
February 4, 2002
Linda Henderson
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997. 374 pp.; few color ills. Cloth (0691055513)
The title of this book, Duchamp in Context, is an apt summation of Linda Dalrymple Henderson's project: to recover Duchamp's artistic evolution toward and the full range of scientific and technological sources for The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) (1915-23), his most important work. To say she succeeds is an understatement. This study is so rich in new information it is a veritable encyclopedia. Here is the long-awaited toolbox for pruning back the... Full Review
January 29, 2002
Maria Vassilaki, ed.
Exh. cat. Athens: Benaki Museum, 1999. 531 pp.; 226 color ills. (8881187388)
Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece, October 20, 2000-January 20, 2001
This exhibition and its catalogue represent a swimming against the millennial tide, as the director of the Benaki Museum in his Foreward presents the exhibition in relation to the festivities that celebrated the turning of that new year's clock. The exhibition is an unusual contribution to the new-epoch declarations of the last two years, and its unusual qualities lie not least in its aim to engage only the phenomenon of Marian devotion in Byzantine culture. Recent exhibitions on the Virgin... Full Review
January 24, 2002
Jürg Meyer zur Capellen
Landshut: Arcos Verlag, 2000. 328 pp.; 32 color ills.; 193 b/w ills. Cloth (3935339003)
Jürg Meyer zur Capellen's Raphael is the first of three volumes slated for publication by the Raphael Project in Münster and Würzburg. The purpose of this volume, as well as the other projected ones, is to provide an up-to-date catalogue raisonné of Raphael's paintings that incorporates the publications and the technical information learned about the painter's oeuvre since the appearance of Luitpold Dussler's critical catalogue raisonné of 1966 (revised 1971). According to the author,... Full Review
January 23, 2002
Tony Green
Amobrilos: Paravail, 2000. 432 pp. Cloth (0953791203)
Tony Green's book is the first publication in two decades to focus on Poussin's two important series of paintings depicting the Seven Sacraments, and it is the only scholarly work to concentrate on them exclusively. Green examines each of the fourteen paintings, considering questions of style and iconography, as well as the theological and physical contexts in which they were made and viewed. The Sacraments, firmly associated in art-historical scholarship with Poussin's classical style... Full Review
January 18, 2002
Daniel M. Abramson
Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2000. 207 pp.; 76 color ills.; 100 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (1568992445)
The skyscraper has generated a seemingly endless flow of scholarly work, a flow that shows no indication of ebbing. Monographs have detailed single buildings or the oeuvre of prominent skyscraper architects; other texts have brought focus to the technologies, the finances, or the artistic depictions of these tall structures. A museum in New York devoted to the skyscraper has even been created, offering actual and virtual exhibitions and material about the tall building, from its origins to... Full Review
January 16, 2002