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

Browse Recent Exhibition Reviews

Sarah J. Montross, ed.
Exh. cat. Brunswick, ME and Cambridge, MA: Bowdoin College Museum of Art and MIT Press, 2015. 136 pp. Cloth $29.95 (9780262029025)
Exhibition schedule: Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME, March 5–June 7, 2015
Science fiction and space travel are only one facet of this unusual and ambitious exhibition, which brings together an array of disparate artworks addressing multiple intertwined subjects ranging from the cosmic and geologic to the technological, social, political, and environmental. Curator Sarah Montross proposes four broad themes for organizing the multiplicity of works: the “new man” of the technological future; space travel and its depiction through visual technologies; American... Full Review
November 5, 2015
Thumbnail
Ann Temkin
Exh. cat. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2014. 264 pp. Cloth $45.00 (9780870709463)
Exhibition schedule: Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 4, 2014–January 18, 2015
Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not A Metaphor at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a collaborative project between Robert Gober; Ann Temkin, chief curator of painting and sculpture; and Paulina Pobocha, assistant curator. The exhibition, at its heart, reflects Gober’s curatorial practice. This role is not a new one for the artist. In 2009, Gober organized Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield, with Cynthia Burlingham, at the Hammer Museum of Art; and for the... Full Review
October 29, 2015
Thumbnail
Laura Hoptman
Exh. cat. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2014. 176 pp.; 135 color ills. Cloth $50.00 (9780870709128)
Exhibition schedule: Museum of Modern Art, New York, December 14, 2014–April 5, 2015
The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World is the rather ominous title of a sprawling exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The title alone almost seems to threaten the very existence of any and all future endeavors in painting. Seventeen artists from just three countries (nine women and eight men), all born after 1954, make up the group selected by Laura Hoptman, curator of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, to carry the banner of painting... Full Review
October 22, 2015
Thumbnail
Gaylord Torrence, ed.
New York: Skira Rizzoli, 2014. 320 pp. $65.00 (9780847844586)
Exhibition schedule: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO, September 19, 2014–January 11, 2015; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, March 9–May 10, 2015
On the lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, a series of tipis situated alongside Claes Oldenburg and Coojse van Bruggen’s Shuttlecocks (1994) provides an intriguing glimpse of The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky, an exhibition curated by Gaylord Torrence, senior curator of American Indian Art at the museum. The juxtaposition between the tents and the sculpture draws attention to their design similarities while also suggesting that tipis have become objects of... Full Review
October 15, 2015
Thumbnail
New York: Brooklyn Museum, 2015.
Exhibition schedule: Brooklyn Museum , Brooklyn, December 12, 2014–July 12, 2015
Chitra Ganesh: Eyes of Time is a site-specific mural installation at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Herstory Gallery, organized by Saisha M. Grayson, Assistant Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. A multimedia artist known for articulating feminist and queer narratives that weave religious, mythological, and popular iconographies, Ganesh (b. 1975) was born and raised in a Hindu Indian family in Brooklyn and Queens. Her wide-ranging practice—which includes drawings,... Full Review
October 8, 2015
Thumbnail
Sonnet Stanfill, ed.
Exh. cat. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2014. 287 pp.; 250 color ills. Cloth $60.00 (9781851777761)
Exhibition schedule: Victoria and Albert Museum, London, April 5–July 27, 2014 (under the title The Glamour of Italian Fashion Since 1945); Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, October 26, 2014–January 4, 2015; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR, February 7–May 3, 2015; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, June 5–September 7, 2015
The appearance of lush dresses or a cute pair of kitten heels in a museum might strike the contemporary viewer as incongruous. But why is this? By now we have become accustomed to seeing design objects displayed cheek by jowl with the hidebound mediums of painting and sculpture. The intrepid museum visitor once had to seek out the designed object, which was relegated to discrete period rooms or wholly separate sections devoted to the so-called decorative arts. This separation, however, is no... Full Review
October 8, 2015
Thumbnail
Kenneth Lapatin, ed.
Exh. cat. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014. 224 pp.; 98 color ills.; 21 b/w ills. Cloth (9781606064207)
Exhibition schedule: Getty Villa, Los Angeles, November 19, 2014–August 17, 2015; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, September 19, 2015–January 10, 2016; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, February 14–May 22, 2016; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, June 25–October 2, 2016
The Berthouville Treasure, discovered by a farmer in Normandy, France (ancient Gaul), in 1830, represents one of the largest and best-preserved collections of Roman silver to survive from the ancient world. The objects, most of which date to the second and third centuries CE, were found within the confines of a large sanctuary to the god Mercury, and functioned as votive objects. The treasure, on loan from the Département des Monnaies, médailles et antiques of the Bibliothèque nationale de... Full Review
September 24, 2015
Thumbnail
Carol Solomon, Nadira Laggoune-Aklouche, Rachida Triki, and Farid Zahi
Exh. cat. Haverford: Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, 2014. 63 pp.; 19 ills. Paper $30.00 (9780615407968)
Exhibition schedule: Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford College, October 24–December 14, 2014
Billed as the “first exhibition in the United States devoted exclusively to contemporary art of the Maghreb and the Maghrebi diaspora,” Memory, Place, Desire: Contemporary Art of the Maghreb and Maghrebi Diaspora is the culmination of a year-long series of events and programs that took place during 2014 at Haverford College. Initiated by Visiting Associate Professor Carol Solomon, the program included an undergraduate curatorial praxis seminar (spring 2014), two Mellon-funded artists’... Full Review
September 17, 2015
Thumbnail
Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine, 2015.
Exhibition schedule: Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine, January 10–March 20, 2015
In K8 Hardy and Wynne Greenwood’s video installation New Report: Morning Edition (2005), viewers watch two female newscasters, Henry Irigaray (Hardy) and Henry Stein-Acker-Hill (Greenwood), listlessly deliver news of their everyday lives. Dressed in all black, turtlenecks topped by berets, they sport the costume of revolutionaries: the Black Panthers, Patty Hearst, Che Guevara—Audrey Hepburn, in Funny Face. Otherwise covered up, one has exposed her breast, the other her crotch,... Full Review
August 27, 2015
Thumbnail
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2015.
Exhibition schedule: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, August 30, 2014–January 31, 2015
“My name is Talky Tina . . . and I’m going to kill you.” In 1963, Morton Bartlett, a freelance commercial photographer based in Boston, carefully disassembled and packed up the dolls of children he had painstakingly made over the previous twenty-eight years. He wrapped these painted plaster creations in newspaper along with the assorted outfits and undergarments he had designed and tailored for them, interring everything in wooden crates in a locked cabinet in his home. There they... Full Review
August 20, 2015
Thumbnail