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

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Hyunsoo Woo, ed.
Exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014. 352 pp. Paper $45.00 (9780300204124)
Exhibition schedule; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, March 2–May 26, 2014; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, June 29–September 28, 2014; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, October 30, 2014–January 11, 2015
In the spring of 2014, the Philadelphia Museum of Art hosted Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392–1910. There was great anticipation for this major exhibition of Korean art as it followed two others the previous year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Silla: Korea’s Golden Kingdom, 2013–14) and at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (In Grand Style: Celebrations in Korean Art During the Joseon Dynasty, 2013–14). Treasures from Korea... Full Review
January 8, 2015
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Sabine Breitwieser, Laura Hoptman, Michael Darling, Jeffrey Grove, and Lisa Lee
Exh. cat. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2013. 334 pp.; 320 ills. Cloth $75.00 (9780870708862)
Exhibition schedule: Museum of Modern Art, New York, November 23, 2013–March 10, 2014; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, April 12–August 3, 2014; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, September 14, 2014–January 4, 2015
Isa Genzken: Retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) is a visually cacophonous experience. Located on the second-floor galleries, the show takes up most of the surface space (save for a small room of Alexander Calder’s geometrically shaped mobiles just steps from the elevator). The exhibition greets viewers with massive, brightly painted blue walls that separate to reveal two opposing doorways cut by an interior hallway: the right side is a black wall with white... Full Review
January 2, 2015
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Sabine Breitwieser, Laura Hoptman, Michael Darling, Jeffrey Grove, and Lisa Lee
Exh. cat. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2013. 334 pp.; 320 ills. Cloth $75.00 (9780870708862)
Exhibition schedule: Museum of Modern Art, New York, November 23, 2013–March 10, 2014; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, April 12–August 3, 2014; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, September 14, 2014–January 4, 2015
Curated by Sabine Breitwieser, Michael Darling, Jeffrey Grove, and Laura Hoptman, Isa Genzken: Retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art is the first comprehensive exhibition in the United States to showcase the work of this formally innovative and ethically provocative German artist. The show spans a broad range of Genzken’s material practices—among them steel and concrete sculpture, easel (spray) painting, x-ray, assemblage, and video—and representational concerns, from... Full Review
January 2, 2015
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Olaf Peters, ed.
Exh. cat. New York: Prestel, 2014. 320 pp.; 140 color ills.; 180 b/w ills. Cloth $60.00 (9783791353678)
Exhibition schedule: Neue Galerie, New York, March 13–September 1, 2014
Nazi officials confiscated more than twenty-one thousand works of art from German public collections during the infamous “degenerate art” action of 1937–39. Nearly six hundred of these stolen works appeared in the hastily organized propaganda exhibition, Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art), which opened in Munich on July 19, 1937. The exhibition drew an estimated two million visitors to the cramped and shabby galleries of the Munich Archaeological Institute, and it traveled, in modified... Full Review
December 17, 2014
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Hilliard T. Goldfarb, ed.
Exh. cat. Paris: Editions Hazan, 2013. 240 pp.; 200 color ills. Cloth $65.00 (9780300197921)
Exhibition schedule: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, October 12, 2013–January 19, 2014; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR, February 15–May 11, 2014 (under the title Venice: The Golden Age of Art and Music)
Splendore a Venezia: Art and Music from the Renaissance to Baroque in Venice at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts included 120 works of art, music manuscripts, and musical instruments as a means to explore the connections between music and art in the Serenissima between 1488 and the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797. Curator Hilliard T. Goldfarb states the premise of the exhibition in the catalogue: “the remarkable interface of these forms of artistic expression that rose to such... Full Review
December 17, 2014
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Timothy Anglin Burgard, Steven A. Nash, and Emma Acker
Exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Press in association with Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 2013. 256 pp.; 200 color ills.; 15 b/w ills. Cloth $60.00 (9780300190786)
Exhibition schedule: de Young Museum, San Francisco, June 22–September 29, 2013; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, October 26, 2013–February16, 2014
Exhibition schedule: College of Marin Fine Arts Gallery, Kentfield, CA, September 30–November 14, 2013; Natalie and James Thompson Gallery, San Jose State University, San Jose, April 15–May 17, 2014; Katzen Arts Center, American University, Washington, DC, November 8–December 14, 2014; Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma, June 6–August 23, 2015; Montana Museum of Art and Culture, University of Montana, Missoula, September 24–December 12, 2015
Born in Portland, Oregon, in 1922, Richard Diebenkorn grew up in San Francisco, and went on to attend Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. After serving in the Marines between 1943 and 1945, Diebenkorn returned to the Bay Area and enrolled for a semester on the GI Bill at the San Francisco Art Institute (then the California School of Fine Arts) where he would become an instructor from 1947 to 1950, while living in Sausalito. After a few years elsewhere, by 1953... Full Review
December 17, 2014
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Debra Diamond, ed.
Exh. cat. Washington, DC: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 2014. 360 pp.; 250 ills. Cloth $55.00 (9781588344595)
Exhibition schedule: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC, October 19, 2013–January 26, 2014; Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, February 22–May 25, 2014; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, June 22–September 7, 2014
Yoga, and the variety of practices that can be subsumed under that heading, is identifiable in sculptures, paintings, photographs, and films representing virtually every region of the Indian subcontinent over the course of more than three millennia—from third-century depictions of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain ascetics, to the transgressive rituals of medieval yoginis, to the recognizable asanas practiced today in yoga studios worldwide. Deities engaged in yogic practice and... Full Review
December 11, 2014
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Marilyn Kushner, Kimberly Orcutt, and Casey Nelson Blake, eds.
Exh. cat. London and New York: D Giles Limited in association with New-York Historical Society, 2013. 512 pp.; 160 color ills.; 160 b/w ills. Cloth $79.95 (9781907804045)
Exhibition schedule: New-York Historical Society, October 11, 2013–February 23, 2014
For far too many scholars the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art, which has since come to be known as the Armory Show, was not simply a watershed event in the story of international modernism; it was rather a pioneering event in American modernism. The exhibition is generally regarded as the moment when contemporary American artists first emerged from under whatever rock they were hiding and made their presence known to a public at large, bolstered and legitimized by a large... Full Review
December 11, 2014
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Exh. cat. Houston: Contemporary Art Museum Houston, 2013. 144 pp.; 50 color ills.; 40 b/w ills. Cloth $39.95 (9781933619385)
Exhibition schedule: Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, November 17, 2012–February 16, 2013; Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York, September 10–December 7, 2013; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, November 14, 2013–March 9, 2014; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, July 24, 2014–January 4, 2015
Curated by Valerie Cassel Oliver, senior curator, Contemporary Art Museum Houston (CAMH), Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art was presented in New York over two venues: Grey Art Gallery and Studio Museum in Harlem. Timed to coincide with Performa 13 (the biennial performance art festival held in New York in November), this pioneering exhibition was activated by a number of performance commissions and bridged two legendary neighborhoods long associated with artists:... Full Review
December 3, 2014
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Stephen Little
Exh. cat. Los Angeles and New York: Los Angeles County Museum of Art in association with Delmonico, 2014. 176 pp.; 118 color ills.; 7 b/w ills. $50.00 (9783791353531)
Exhibition schedule: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, May 11–June 1; June 7–July 6, 2014
Visitors to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art who caught this exhibition with the unassuming title Chinese Paintings from Japanese Collections were treated to the rare opportunity of viewing some of Japan’s most treasured works of art. Thirty-five paintings in handscroll and hanging scroll formats, presented in two rotations, offered diverse examples of the major subjects of Chinese painting. Figures were especially well represented, including an emaciated Confucian scholar with... Full Review
November 19, 2014
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