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

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Jennifer Jolly
Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowment in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018. 352 pp.; 11 color ills.; 92 b/w ills. Paper $29.95 (9781477314203)
In the collective memory of Mexicans, President Lázaro Cárdenas, who governed the country between 1934 and 1940, is considered an exemplar of nationalism: he is mythically associated with the steadfast defense of national assets such as oil, and with the struggles of peasants and indigenous people. As Verónica Vázquez Mantecón points out in a 2009 article, this mythology reveals Mexicans’ persistent desire for social justice. Having been an active participant in the Mexican Revolution of... Full Review
July 10, 2019
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Steven L. Tuck
Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015. 408 pp.; 375 color ills. Paperback $64.95 (9781444330267)
There are numerous textbooks on Roman art, but certain features ensure that A History of Roman Art stands out. This book is organized chronologically from the Etruscans to the reign of Constantine, and all the chapters (except for chapter 1) begin with a timeline showing major events and a brief historical overview, which helps students to understand the eras’ background. Throughout the book, Steven L. Tuck demonstrates how Roman art developed and discusses its... Full Review
July 3, 2019
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Sebastian Egenhofer
Trans. James Gussen. Zurich: Diaphanes, 2018. 208 pp.; 48 b/w ills. Paper $30.00 (9783037348857)
The translation of Sebastian Egenhofer’s Towards an Aesthetics of Production makes a work of great synthetic ambition available in English. It is at once a theory of modernism, an intervention into metaphysics, and an account of aesthetics under capital. In fact, the subject of Egenhofer’s book is synthesis itself: the means by which the semblance of a coherent world is produced from “pre-synthetic Becoming” (81) and art’s capacity for unconcealment. The book’s art historical... Full Review
July 2, 2019
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Elizabeth Angelicoussis
2 vols. Munich: Hirmer, 2017. 728 pp.; 548 ills. Cloth $80.00 (9783777428178)
Elizabeth Angelicoussis’s new book is a work of extraordinary worth and of great interest for the field of ancient sculpture and the history of collections. Its focus is one of the most important eighteenth-century British collections, initiated in 1771 by William Petty-Fitzmaurice, the first Marquess of Lansdowne (1737–1805), and inspired by Gavin Hamilton (1723–1798), whose position as a brilliant art dealer and antiquities connoisseur is well-known. Angelicoussis’s detailed and... Full Review
July 1, 2019
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Campbell Price
New York: Thames & Hudson, 2018. 288 pp.; 250 color ills. Paper $17.95 (9780500294086)
Pocket Museum: Ancient Egypt by Campbell Price is the fourth book of Thames & Hudson’s series Pocket Museum, preceded by volumes devoted respectively to ancient Rome, ancient Greece, and the Vikings. The book brings together nearly two hundred ancient Egyptian artifacts, spanning more than five thousand years (ca. 5300 BCE–395 CE), scattered in museum collections all over the world. The volume attempts to outline and reconstruct the history, system of beliefs, and social... Full Review
June 27, 2019
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Peter Fane-Saunders
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 510 pp.; 8 color ills.; 74 b/w ills. Hardcover $142.00 (9781107079861)
Peter Fane-Saunders’s book is an indispensable guide to the reception of Pliny’s Naturalis historia within the architectural theory and practice of Renaissance Italy. As a systematic exploration of antiquarian literature and treatises as well as drawn and built architecture, this volume aims to compensate for a chronic lack of attention to Pliny’s treatise (77–79 CE) by architectural historians, largely due to the dominant position occupied by another ancient authority, Vitruvius’s... Full Review
June 26, 2019
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Moya Carey
London: V&A Publishing, 2017. 272 pp.; 250 color ills. Cloth $74.99 (9781851779338)
In this meticulously researched and thoughtfully organized book, Moya Carey tells the story of the collection of art objects from Iran held at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London. Established in 1857 and known as the South Kensington Museum until 1899, the V&A has a particular institutional character—its founding mission was to improve the quality of industrial production by engaging worldwide visual cultures—that turns this museum into an ideal case study for... Full Review
June 21, 2019
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Wil Haygood, Carole Genshaft, Nannette V. Maciejunes, Anastasia Kinigopoulo, and Drew Sawyer
Exh. cat. New York and Columbus, OH: Rizzoli Electa in association with Columbus Museum of Art, 2018. 248 pp. Cloth $55.00 (9780847863129)
Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio, October 19, 2018–January 20, 2019
Published on the occasion of an exhibition of the same name, the catalogue I Too Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100 offers its general and scholarly readership a biographically rich and visually remarkable book. The Columbus Museum of Art approached the established biographer of African American life and culture Wil Haygood with the opportunity to consider the lives of Harlem Renaissance visual artists, politicians, and authors through the organization of the show and his... Full Review
June 17, 2019
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Roald Nasgaard and Gwendolyn Owens
Fredericton, New Brunswick and Kleinburg, Ontario: Goose Lane Editions and McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 2017. 204 pp.; 82 color ills.; 13 b/w ills. Hardcover $50.00 (9780864929655)
The aim of Higher States, as explained in the preface, is “to be a richly illustrated resource on the first half of [Lawren] Harris’s abstract painting career within a transnational context,” and the essays by Roald Nasgaard and Gwendolyn Owens describe “the social, intellectual, and aesthetic milieu in which Harris immersed himself, in both Canada and the United States, from the mid to late 1920s up to and about the end of World War II.” In “Harris’s Modernity: The Engineering... Full Review
June 14, 2019
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B. Alexandra Szerlip
Brooklyn: Melville House Books, 2017. 368 pp. Cloth $27.99 (9781612195629)
Nicolas P. Maffei
Cultural Histories of Design. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018. 256 pp.; 150 b/w ills. Paperback £ 21.99 (9781474284615)
In the 1950s Norman Bel Geddes drafted his autobiography, I Designed My Life. His story covered the entirety of his vast career in one million words. Miracle in the Evening, the edited version published in 1960 two years following his death, focused solely on Bel Geddes’s theater work, simplifying his legacy to only one area of design. But in fact, there was hardly an area of design that Bel Geddes did not influence. As his point of view oscillated between futurist and... Full Review
June 10, 2019
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