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

Browse Recent Exhibition Reviews

Kristen Gresh and Michket Krifa
Exh. cat. Boston: MFA Publications, 2015. 168 pp.; 100 color ills. Cloth $40.00 (9780878468041)
Exhibition schedule: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, August 27, 2013–January 12, 2014; Cantor Arts Center, Stanford, January 28–May 4, 2015; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, May 30–September 28, 2015; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, April 8–July 31, 2016
Taking its title from rawiya, the Arabic noun for a storyteller (feminine) and the eponymous name of an all-women photography collective in the Middle East, She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World, organized by Kristen Gresh, the Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Assistant Curator of Photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, exhibits the photographs and, in two cases, the videos of twelve artists. (The title page for the catalogue includes... Full Review
April 5, 2017
Thumbnail
Centre Pompidou, Paris, February 26–March 6, 2016
[See the multimedia media review on Scalar.] This review of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Work/Travail/Arbeid (2015–17) enlists the interactive, multimedia capabilities of the Scalar platform to evoke the dance exhibition’s ten-day run at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. The exhibition brought together several components of the Belgian choreographer and dancer’s broader project, including investigating choreography... Full Review
March 23, 2017
Thumbnail
Austen Barron Bailly, ed.
Exh. cat. London and New York: Prestel and DelMonico Books, 2015. 256 pp.; 200 color ills. Cloth $60.00 (9783791354224)
Exhibition schedule: Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, June 6–September 7, 2015; Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO, October 10, 2015–January 3, 2016; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, February 6–May 1, 2016; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, June 10–September 5, 2016
Touted in museum press releases as the “first major exhibition in more than twenty-five years to feature the life and works of the renowned American painter Thomas Hart Benton,” American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood explores the complex intersections between the work of one of the United States’ most revered Regionalists and the American feature film industry. In its staging at Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum of American Art (the third stop on a four-city tour), American... Full Review
March 23, 2017
Thumbnail
Exhibition schedule: Printed Matter, New York, June 18–July 31, 2016
We live in a country divided. Americans today are struggling to have frank, productive dialogues about politics, civil liberties, and social issues. Thanks to livestreaming and social media, our impassioned reactions, firsthand accounts, and official statements catalog each day’s debates in real time and on a vast public scale. While it is tempting to attribute our current state of the union to uniquely twenty-first-century problems—terrorism, technology, or globalization, to name a few—it is... Full Review
March 22, 2017
Thumbnail
Dimitrios Pandermalis, ed.
Exh. cat. New York: Onassis Foundation, 2016. 159 pp.; 164 color ills.; 9 b/w ills. Paper $30.00 (9780990614227)
Exhibition schedule: Onassis Cultural Center, New York, March 24–June 18, 2016
From first glance, it was clear that the exhibition Gods and Mortals at Olympus: Ancient Dion, City of Zeus was more than an impressive collection of ancient sculpture. It was a show with a clear didactic objective: to illuminate the accomplishments of the archaeologists and conservators who had worked for forty-five years to systematically unearth and preserve the rugged ancient city of Dion. The exhibition illustrated the potential of scientific and systematic excavations, with every... Full Review
March 16, 2017
Thumbnail
Jennifer Blessing
Exh. cat. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2015. 148 pp.; 135 color ills. Paper $50.00 (9780892075218)
Exhibition Schedule: Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin, July 10–August 30, 2015; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, November 20, 2015–March 23, 2016
“How many minutes would you invest in looking at a particularly striking photograph?” I asked this of my History of Photography students last year, and the response came not in minutes but in seconds. They largely used Instagram as their default experience: “six seconds” answered one of the more thoughtful students. “No,” argued another, “maybe three seconds, if it’s attached to text on a blog.” Thus the understandable motivation of undertaking an exhibition like Photo-Poetics: An... Full Review
March 15, 2017
Thumbnail
Lawrence Rinder
Exh. cat. Berkeley: University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2016. 349 pp.; 280 color ills. Paper $39.95 (9780983881315)
Exhibition schedule: University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, January 31–May 29, 2016
Architecture of Life, the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive’s (BAMPFA) inaugural exhibition in its new building, opens with something of a self-portrait. A photograph, taken four years before the museum itself would open to the public, shows a hand holding an early architect’s model of the new building. In the black-and-white image, the wood model is a small, abstracted form that has been sanded, blackened, and polished to a fine sheen. The hand... Full Review
February 22, 2017
Thumbnail
Anne Montfort and Cecile Godefroy, eds.
Exh. cat. London : Tate Publishing, 2015. 256 pp.; 250 color ills. Paper $49.95 (9781849763172)
Exhibition schedule: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, October 17, 2014–February 22, 2015; Tate Modern, London, April 15–August 9, 2015
In retrospect, I see how my experience of the Sonia Delaunay exhibition at Tate Modern, like that of many other London tourists, was inescapably shaped by other shows on view at the same time. Visiting one after the other in quick succession, I started thinking of them as a whole, each contributing in its own way to the construction of the city’s curatorial “brand.” The Tate’s recent efforts to foreground women artists—Sonia Delaunay; Agnes Martin, also at Tate Modern (June 3–October 11,... Full Review
February 2, 2017
Thumbnail
Omar Kholeif, ed.
Exh. cat. London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2016. 272 pp.; 200 color ills. Paper $45.00 (9780854882465)
Exhibition schedule: Whitechapel Gallery, London, January 29–May 15, 2016
Ingesting Electronic Superhighway: From Experiments in Art and Technology to Art After the Internet brought about the familiar experience of an overdose one might have after seeing an art fair or large-scale biennial. This ambitious exhibition, covering fifty years of digital culture and curated by Omar Kholeif, considered how the world’s ceaseless flow of electronic information and unrelenting proliferation of images have come to impact contemporary art. In her introduction to the... Full Review
January 19, 2017
Thumbnail
Jens M. Daehner and Kenneth Lapatin
, eds.
Exh. cat. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015. 368 pp.; 164 color ills. Paper $45.00 (9781606064405)
Exhibition schedule: Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, March 14–June 21, 2015; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, July 28–November 1, 2015; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, December 13, 2015–March 24, 2016
The exhibition Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World presented significant examples of monumental bronze sculpture from the Hellenistic period (323 BCE–27 CE). Curated by Jens Daehner and Kenneth Lapatin, both of the Getty Villa, Power and Pathos not only examined the historical context of these Hellenistic bronzes, but also addressed the importance of bronze as a medium for depicting the movement and expression that are characteristic of Hellenistic art.... Full Review
January 18, 2017
Thumbnail