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

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Austin: Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, 2015.
Exhibition schedule: Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, December 12, 2015–April 3, 2016
It is rare for an exhibition to be devoted to a single medieval manuscript. Such a display is impractical, if not impossible, given the fact that in most cases only one opening of a manuscript can be viewed at a time. Thus the display and exhibition of nearly every bifolio of one of the most sumptuously illuminated medieval manuscripts in a single exhibition—The Crusader Bible: A Gothic Masterpiece at the Blanton Museum of Art—represents an extraordinary opportunity to see a... Full Review
September 1, 2016
Vicenza, Italy: Palladio Museum, 2015.
Exhibition schedule: September 23, 2015–March 28, 2016
Despite the richness of the country’s architectural heritage, museums devoted exclusively to architecture are rare in Italy; equally infrequent are exhibitions dedicated to understanding the building processes and principal protagonists responsible for shaping Italy’s historic landscape. The Palladio Museum in Vicenza is a notable exception. Since its establishment in 2012, the museum has proven itself to be an institution of international importance, promoting the study of Andrea... Full Review
August 18, 2016
Catherine Craft, ed.
Exh. cat. Dallas: Nasher Sculpture Center, 2015. 208 pp.; 96 color ills.; 56 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 (9780991233830)
Exhibition schedule: Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, January 31–May 10, 2015; Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, September 1, 2015–January 10, 2016; Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH, February 12, 2016–May 8, 2016
Melvin Edwards’s work picks up where the traditional medium of sculpture—until the 1960s, associated with the production of anthropomorphic figures in the round—left off. The beginning of his career coincides almost exactly with Minimalism’s expansive redefinition of sculpture to include any three-dimensional object classifiable as art. While Donald Judd and Robert Morris were exhibiting their first stripped-down, spatially commanding objects in 1963–64, Edwards was learning to weld. Thirty... Full Review
August 11, 2016
Exh. cat. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2016. 264 pp. $70.00 (9781776560547)
Exhibition schedule: City Gallery Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, August 22–November 2, 2015; Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland, New Zealand, March 5–June 19, 2016; Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, Christchurch, New Zealand, July 9–November 6, 2016
A survey of thirty years’ work by one of New Zealand’s most prolific photographers required agonies of curatorial selection. Fiona Pardington and curator Aaron Lister collaborated for over two years, choosing works not only from institutional and private collections but also from boxes unearthed from under beds. Inevitably, curation becomes an exercise in synecdoche; each selection is a tip-of-the-iceberg gesture standing in for some facet of an extensive oeuvre. The combination of... Full Review
August 4, 2016
Judy Annear
Exh. cat. Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2015. 304 pp.; 400 ills. Paper $75.00 (9781741741162)
Exhibition schedule: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, March 21–June 8, 2015; Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, July 4–October 11, 2015
The Photograph and Australia brings together over five hundred photographs from major Australian collections of historical and contemporary works. These images have never been seen together before, coming as they do from libraries, museums, and art galleries, each with a different concept of the photograph and its use. This diversity is a particularly poignant aspect of an exhibition that overwhelms us with the common evidentiary power of photography. At the same time, The... Full Review
August 4, 2016
Philipp Kaiser, ed.
Exh. cat. New York: Prestel, 2015. 152 pp.; 116 color ills. Cloth $39.95 (9783791354866)
Exhibition schedule: Brandywine River Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, PA, August 8–November 15, 2015
Visitors to the Brandywine River Museum of Art’s Things Beyond Resemblance: James Welling Photographs who are new to Welling’s work might be surprised to discover, on the basis of the visible evidence gathered, that this artist first came to public note associated with (if not quite trading in) an appropriative photographic language at pains to estrange itself from both photography’s claims to inspired worldly reference and the fruit of art-historical influence. Here that... Full Review
July 28, 2016
Peter Fuhring, Louis Marchesano, Rémi Mathis, and Vanessa Selbach, eds.
Exh. cat. Los Angeles and Paris: Getty Publications in association with Bibliothèque nationale de France , 2015. 344 pp.; 51 color ills.; 138 b/w ills. Cloth $80.00 (9781606064504)
Exhibition schedule: Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, June 16–September 6, 2015; Bibliothèque nationale de France, November 2, 2015–January 31 2016 (under the title Images du Grand Siècle: l’estampe française sous Louis XIV, 1660–1715)
This review will examine the exhibition of French prints at the Getty Research Institute from June to September 2015, and its companion volume, A Kingdom of Images: French Prints in the Age of Louis XIV. There is some divergence between the contents of the exhibition and the book, which is not strictly speaking a catalogue: the grouping of subjects in the exhibition differs somewhat from the arrangement in the volume, while some images in the exhibition are not featured in the book,... Full Review
July 28, 2016
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 2015.
Exhibition schedule: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, August 14–December 6, 2015
It is safe to assume that museumgoers in San Francisco, home to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), are as up on new technology as any public, and that the Bay Area’s traditionally progressive inhabitants are invested in balancing commercial profit and social justice. Yet as the exhibition Earth Machines quickly reveals, the local Silicon Valley high-tech industry propels a cycle of innovation and consumption that threatens to outstrip our ability to understand and manage its... Full Review
July 14, 2016
Billy Apple
Exh. cat. Auckland, NZ: Auckland Art Gallery, 2015.
Exhibition schedule: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland, NZ, March 14–June 21, 2015
Featuring work from 1960 through the present, Billy Apple®: The Artist Has to Live Like Everybody Else was one of the most significant survey exhibitions ever accorded a living New Zealand artist. Staged in the country’s largest public art museum, it gave institutional and public recognition to an extraordinarily complex and comprehensive individual practice, and demonstrated the importance of a Pop-Conceptualism nexus to the recent history of New Zealand art. The title of the... Full Review
July 14, 2016
Mary Morton and George Shackelford, eds.
Exh. cat. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. 284 pp.; 150 color ills. Cloth $60.00 (9780226263557)
Exhibition schedule: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, June 28–October 4, 2015; Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, November 8, 2015–February 14, 2016
Co-organized by the National Gallery of Art and the Kimbell Art Museum, Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye presents fifty canvases produced during the period when the artist was most directly engaged with the Impressionist group, between 1875 and the early 1880s. These were the years, according to curators Mary Morton and George Shackelford, when Gustave Caillebotte was at his best—when he was still living in Paris and closely connected with artists like Auguste Renoir and Edgar... Full Review
July 14, 2016