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Browse Recent Exhibition Reviews

Jane Block and Ellen W. Lee, eds.
Exh. cat. New Haven and Indianapolis: Yale University Press in association with Indianapolis Museum of Art, 2014. 256 pp.; 105 color ills.; 3 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 (9780300190847)

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Exhibition schedule: ING Cultural Centre, Brussels, February 19‒May 18, 2014 (under the title TO THE POINT—The Neo-Impressionist Portrait, 1886‒1904); Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, June 15‒September 17, 2014
February 26, 2015

“While George Seurat was the founder of the Neo-Impressionist movement, he was not the first to create portraits in the style”: so announces an initial wall text for Face to Face: The Neo-Impressionist Portrait, 1886–1904 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, curated by Ellen W. Lee and Jane Block. These words accompany a line of four portraits (one by Vincent van Gogh, two by Albert Dubois-Pillets, and one by Achille Laugé), which in turn reveal...

Chris Melissinos and Patrick O'Rourke
Exh. cat. New York: Welcome Books, 2012. 216 pp.; 100 ills. Cloth $40.00 (9781599621104)
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Exhibition schedule: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, March 16–September 30, 2012; Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, October 24, 2012–January 13, 2013; EMP Museum, Seattle, February 16–May 13, 2013; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, June 16–September 29, 2013; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, October 25, 2013–January 19, 2014; Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, February 15–May 18, 2014; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, June 19–September 28, 2014; Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, October 25, 2014–January 18, 2015; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, February 13–May 10, 2015; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, June 6–September 13, 2015; Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, Florida International University, Miami, October 9–January 25, 2016
February 19, 2015

The Art of Video Games exhibition raises an intriguing question: How should a curator go about making the argument that a medium long associated with mass culture deserves to be taken seriously as an art form? Considering the possible approaches to such a situation, we can look to precedents—cinema provides an obvious analogue. Cinema’s initial tentative steps into the space of the museum during the first half of the twentieth century were governed by a...

Carol S. Eliel
Exh. cat. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2014. 136 pp.; 108 color ills.; 13 b/w ills. Cloth $45.00 (9783791353548)

Exhibition schedule: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, June 8–September 14, 2014; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, October 8–December 21, 2014

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February 19, 2015

It is fitting that the first major retrospective of John Altoon’s work takes place in his hometown, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), since the show’s assembly necessitated considerable sleuthing by curator Carol S. Eliel, often with the aid of Altoon’s Los Angeles-based contemporaries. John Altoon, a compact show featuring eighteen works on canvas and fifty on paper or board, fills five galleries of LACMA’s Broad Contemporary Art Museum and offers the...

Matthew S. Witkovsky, ed.
Exh. cat. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2014. 224 pp.; 200 ills. Paper $50.00 (9780300203929)

Exhibition schedule: Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, June 7–September 14, 2014; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, November 11, 2014–March 22, 2015; Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid, September 15–November 29, 2015

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February 12, 2015

For many, the high point of this retrospective of Josef Koudelka’s work will be the series of images of the Soviet invasion of Prague in August of 1968. The photographer had just returned to the city from a trip photographing Roma communities when the seven-day invasion began. Weaving in and among the crowds of protestors, his camera loaded with yards of East German movie film, he managed to capture the fragile power of such instances...

Anne M. Lyden
Exh. cat. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2014. 228 pp.; 120 color ills.; 43 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (9781606061558)

Exhibition schedule: J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, February 4–June 8, 2014

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February 12, 2015

The exhibition A Royal Passion: Queen Victoria and Photography, along with curator Anne M. Lyden’s fine catalogue of the same name, bring together the remarkable photography collections of the Royal Collection, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the National Media Museum in Bradford, England, as well as one notable photograph from a private collection. The exhibition and in particular the catalogue’s essays are insightful and thought-provoking, raising a number of fascinating issues about art, class,...

Matthew H. Robb and Jill D’Alessandro
Exh. cat. San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 2014. 96 pp. Paper $19.95

Exhibition schedule: de Young Museum, San Francisco, California, May 3, 2014–January 4, 2015

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February 12, 2015

Lines on the Horizon: Native American Art from the Weisel Family Collection elegantly showcases a recent donation gifted to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. It brings Native art into the spotlight alongside the institution’s diverse holdings from its permanent collection, and celebrates the beauty of objects often unknown to both the general art museumgoer and established art connoisseur. The exhibition features a large selection of ceramic works and textiles by Native artists from...

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February 5, 2015

Just beyond the main galleries of the Art of the Americas Building at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is a small room featuring eight large painting by Sam Doyle (1906–1985). The paintings are created from everyday materials, making them distinct from the oil paintings, art deco objects, and mid-century modern furniture in the neighboring galleries. Using house paint on found wood and metal to create figurative and text-based paintings, Doyle portrayed famous...

William Breazeale and Victoria Sancho Lobis
Exh. cat. San Diego: University of San Diego, 2013. 47 pp.; 23 color ills.; 2 b/w ills. Paper (9780976085461)

Exhibition schedule: Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, October 20, 2013–January 26, 2014; Robert and Karen Hoehn Family Galleries, University of San Diego, San Diego, February 21–May 25, 2014

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February 5, 2015

Toward the end of their introduction to the catalogue that accompanied Passion and Virtuosity: Hendrik Goltzius and the Art of Engraving, curators William Breazeale and Victoria Sancho Lobis quote what is certainly the single most incisive sentence in the whole of the Goltzius literature, first framed in Karel van Mander’s 1604 Het Schilder-Boek: “All these things . . . prove that Goltzius is a rare Proteus or Vertumnus in art, because he can transform himself...

Carol S. Eliel
Exh. cat. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art in association with Prestel, 2014. 64 pp.; 65 color ills. Cloth $39.95 (9783791353852)

Exhibition schedule: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, March 30–June 29, 2014; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, September 26, 2014–January 4, 2015

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January 22, 2015

Helen Pashgian’s environmental installation Untitled (2012–13), recently displayed in the Art of the Americas Building at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), consists of a row of twelve, eight-foot-high double columns at roughly ten-foot intervals. Fabricated from thin sheets of molded colorless acrylic with a uniform matte finish, the columns glow peacefully in the dark, black-walled gallery. Upon entering, the visitor needs a moment of adjustment, both for the eyes and the mind....

Exhibition schedule: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, January 25–May 18, 2014

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January 15, 2015

“Parisiennes . . . form an aristocracy among the women of the world,” states the writer and fashion enthusiast Octave Uzanne in the introduction to his 1894 book, La Femme à Paris, nos contemporaines ([The Women of Paris: Our Contemporaries] Paris: Ancienne maison Quantin, 1894, 5; my translation). In this volume, Uzanne assembled a feminine taxonomy describing the city’s residents, ranging from “great ladies” to the working classes. A conservative aesthete who entreated the modern...