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

Browse Recent Exhibition Reviews

Christine Van Assche and Clarrie Wallis, eds.
Exh. cat. London: Tate Publishing, 2016. 196 pp.; 250 color ills. Paper $47.00 (9781849763608)
Exhibition schedule: Centre Pompidou, Paris, June 24–September 28, 2015; Tate Modern, London, May 4–August 21, 2016; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, October 7, 2016–February 26, 2017
Mona Hatoum is a potentially paradoxical example of the contemporary artist working on the international scene today: On the one hand, she embraces various media and aesthetics in a pared-down, Duchampian approach to material and conceptual-based practices. On the other hand, she is a Palestinian woman who was forced into exile in London due to civil unrest in the Middle East in the 1970s, and thus an artist whose life experience is anything but clean and neat. It might be easy to... Full Review
September 15, 2017
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Emily Braun
Exh. cat. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2015. 250 ills. Cloth $65.00 (9780892075232)
Exhibition schedule: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, October 9, 2015–January 6, 2016; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf, March 5–July 3, 2016
Alberto Burri (1915–1995) had an extremely successful career almost from the get go, and his work was widely exhibited during most of it. However, if over the past thirty or so years one wished to see work by Burri in the flesh, one needed to make strenuous efforts to do so, for example by going to the artist’s native Città di Castello in Italy where Burri established the Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri in 1978, and subsequently placed late work on permanent display in the Ex... Full Review
September 15, 2017
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Stephen Gilchrist, ed.
Exh. cat. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Art Museums, 2016. 228 pp.; 122 color ills.; 2 b/w ills. Cloth (9780300214703)
Exhibition schedule: Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA, February 5–September 18, 2016
Near the entrance to Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia, a group of framed works on paper, all modestly scaled and dating from 1971–72, hang in a line. For some viewers, their distinctive disposition of spirals, striations, lines, networks, and circles will immediately call up traditions of Indigenous mark-making and design in Australia. The media used are less familiar, though. Here it is not a case of the materials most often identified with Indigenous... Full Review
August 24, 2017
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Joan Marter, ed.
Exh. cat. Denver: Denver Art Museum in association with Yale University Press, 2016. 216 pp.; 138 color ills.; 50 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 (9780300208429)
Exhibition schedule: Denver Art Museum, Denver, June 12–September 25, 2016; Mint Museum, Charlotte, October 22–January 22, 2017; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, February 18–May 28, 2017
There is much to celebrate about the exhibition Women of Abstract Expressionism curated by Gwen Chanzit for the Denver Art Museum (DAM), and indeed the mood of the show was decidedly exuberant in its design and content. From the breathtaking views of Helen Frankenthaler’s towering Jacobs Ladder (1957), Lee Krasner’s ebullient The Seasons (1957), or Elaine de Kooning’s explosive Bullfight (1959) to the reading room lined with archival photographs of laughing artists... Full Review
August 10, 2017
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Exhibition schedule: Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR, July 23–November 13, 2016
Josh Kline: Freedom, curated by Sara Krajewski for the Portland Art Museum, is the title of the first work in a projected five-work cycle by the artist. Each will imagine a future that extends out from the present’s particular techno-economic landscapes. Less a single work than an evolving cluster of works, Freedom has been previously exhibited at the New Museum (2015) and Modern Art Oxford (2015). The Portland Art Museum show marks its completion (public conversation between... Full Review
July 26, 2017
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Adam Pendleton
Exh. cat. Los Angeles and New Orleans: Siglio and Contemporary Art Center, 2016. 144 pp.; Many b/w ills. Paper $29.95 (9781938221132)
Exhibition schedule: Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA, April 1–June 16, 2016; Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver, July 15–September 25, 2016; Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, January 27–May 14, 2017
Installed in a city many consider ground zero for Black Lives Matter at a particularly volatile moment in U.S. race relations, Adam Pendleton: Becoming Imperceptible at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) in New Orleans is charged with a political urgency at odds with the artist’s restrained forms, prosaic typography, and cryptic citations. Yet the triumph—and challenge—of Pendleton’s language-based enquiries reside in their capacity to interrogate system and process as provocatively as... Full Review
July 19, 2017
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The third incarnation of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) opened to great fanfare in May 2016. The new building more than doubles SFMOMA’s galleries, increases by over ten times the educational facilities, and multiples by four the spaces devoted to cinema and performance. Despite the expanded potential, reactions were mixed. Much of the criticism focused on the architecture, notably the rippling facade of fiberglass-reinforced polymer panels. The sheathing incorporates white... Full Review
July 18, 2017
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Exhibition schedule: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, March 12–July 11, 2016
“When you join an institution, you join its history as much as you work to create its future,” explained Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), Chief Curator Helen Molesworth shortly after accepting the position in 2014. Since then, Molesworth has reinstalled the museum’s Grand Avenue galleries as The Art of Our Time (August 15, 2015–September 12, 2016). A revision of postwar art history, it began with the experimentalism of North Carolina’s Black Mountain College instead of... Full Review
July 12, 2017
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Asia Society Texas Center, Houston. Exhibition schedule: March 26–July 3, 2016
The exhibition We Chat: A Dialogue in Contemporary Chinese Art took its name from the popular social-media app in China, giving space and voice to ten artists born after the end of the Cultural Revolution (1966–76). These artists are some of China’s “Millennials” (known also as the “Me Generation,” and successors of what might be called the “Mao Generation”), who were of single-digit age during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest-turned-massacre. Self-reflective and uninhibited by... Full Review
July 6, 2017
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Diana Nawi, ed.
Exh. cat. New York: Prestel, 2015. 211 pp.; 65 color ills.; 105 b/w ills. Cloth $55.00 (9783791355184)
Exhibition schedule: Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, November 19, 2015–February 21, 2016; Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, June 24–August 22, 2016; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, April 26–September 4, 2017
María Elena Ortiz, ed.
Exh. cat. Miami: Pérez Art Museum Miami, 2015. 128 pp.; 53 color ills.; 12 b/w ills. Cloth $39.95 (9780989854672)
Exhibition schedule: Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, October 15, 2015–March 6, 2016; Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, February 17–March 21, 2017
The exhibition Nari Ward: Sun Splashed at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is the first mid-career retrospective of the Jamaica-born artist, and it includes over two decades of his work. It overlapped with Firelei Báez: Bloodlines, a smaller solo exhibition of primarily paintings and drawings by the Dominican Republic-born Báez, a former student of Ward’s. Both artists live and work in New York City—Ward in Harlem and Báez in Brooklyn. Curator Diana Nawi installed Ward’s... Full Review
July 5, 2017
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