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

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Allison Louise Cort and Paul Jett, eds.
Exh. cat. Washington, DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 2010. 160 pp. Paper $40.00 (9780295990422)
Exhibition schedule: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, May 15, 2010–January 23, 2011; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, February 22–August 14, 2011
In 2005 the National Museum of Cambodia opened its metal conservation laboratory after having received training and support from experts at the Freer and Sackler galleries of the Smithsonian Institution and the Getty Conservation Institute. That laboratory was the first of its kind to be built in Cambodia after the devastation of the preceding decades and has trained a generation of specialists in the treatment and preservation of ancient metalwork. For the past five years the conservation... Full Review
January 20, 2011
Lisa Melandri, ed.
Exh. cat. Santa Monica: Santa Monica Museum of Art, 2010. 64 pp.; 35 color ills.; 32 b/w ills. Paper $30.00 (9780974510873)
Exhibition schedule: Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, California, September 11–December 18, 2010
Widely celebrated in the United States during the 1950s, Italian artist Alberto Burri (1915–1995) was subsequently forgotten. Forgotten by U.S. institutions, at least, as the nation solidified its claim as the cultural center in the era of Pop. Not so in Italy, where his place in the twentieth century as a key, postwar artist is now firmly established. In Rome, there is no shortage of catalogues to consult and exhibitions to visit. But in Los Angeles (or in English), many have never heard of... Full Review
January 19, 2011
Elizabeth Cowling and Richard Kendall
Exh. cat. Williamstown, MA and Barcelona: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and Museu Picasso, 2010. 354 pp.; 310 color ills.; 9 b/w ills. Paper $45.00 (9780931102868)
Exhibition schedule: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA, June 13–September 12, 2010; Museu Picasso, Barecelona, October 14, 2010–January 16, 2011
The exhibition Picasso Looks at Degas at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute opened with a statement attributed to Picasso: “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” That Degas was among those judged worthy of theft—discerned as early as the young Spaniard’s first show in Paris (1901)—was first connected to Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Robert Rosenblum (in Je suis le cahier: The Sketchbooks of Picasso, ed. Arnold Glimcher and Marc Glimcher. Exh. cat. London:... Full Review
January 6, 2011
Klaus Biesenbach, ed.
Exh. cat. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2010. 224 pp.; 345 ills. Cloth $50.00 (9780870707476)
Exhibition schedule: Museum of Modern Art, New York, March 14–May 31, 2010
Over the course of a career that spans more than thirty-odd years, Marina Abramović has maintained an unwavering commitment to a form of performance that tests the psychological and physical extremes of the body. The word “commitment” indeed might be the singular most defining characteristic of her art, as well as her approach to the practice of being an artist. Among an early, important group of artists who moved away from the utilization of inert materials in favor of a direct employment of... Full Review
January 4, 2011
Edgar Peters Bowron, ed.
Exh. cat. Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Houston: High Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2010. 108 pp.; 50 color ills. Cloth $29.95 (9780300166859)
Exhibition schedule: High Museum of Art, Atlanta, October 16, 2010–January 2, 2011; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, February 5–May 1, 2011; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, May 21–August 14, 2011
A small but impressive exhibition, Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting brought twelve drawings and thirteen paintings from the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh to the United States for a three-city tour in Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Houston. Six of the paintings were from the Bridgewater Collection (on long-term loan to the National Gallery), of which four have been purchased by the museum. In Atlanta (where it was seen by this reviewer), the twenty-five works were... Full Review
December 23, 2010
E. Luanne McKinnon, ed.
Exh. cat. New Haven and Albuquerque: Yale University Press in association with University of New Mexico Art Museum, 2010. 88 pp.; 30 color ills. Cloth $40.00 (9780300164152)
Exhibition schedule: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, September 25, 2010–January 3, 2011; University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque, January 28–May 22, 2011; Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum, New York, September 16, 2011–January 8, 2012
Eve Hesse Spectres 1960 offers a rare opportunity to look and think carefully about one year in an artist’s career, in this case a very early one. E. Luanne McKinnon’s selection of nineteen paintings (all Untitled) from among the four dozen Eva Hesse made in 1960 offers a satisfying range of small studies and larger compositions, and their hanging within a single gallery at the Hammer allows for provocative overlaps and differences to come forward, leading the viewer confidently... Full Review
December 22, 2010
Sarah King, ed.
Exh. cat. Santa Fe: SITE Santa Fe, 2010. 240 pp.; 200 color ills. Cloth $50.00 (9780976449294)
Exhibition Schedule: SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, June 20, 2010–January 2, 2011
Curators Sarah Lewis and Daniel Belasco use a metaphor of alchemy to describe the contemporary works they brought together for The Dissolve, their title for the SITE Santa Fe Eighth International Biennial. The ingredients for the new global media practice they highlight are bodily gestures, advanced digital technologies, and inspirations from early twentieth-century motion picture experiments, resulting in, as the exhibition catalogue states, “new hybrid forms where the homespun... Full Review
December 15, 2010
Katherine Smith Abbott, Wendy Watson, Andrea Rothe, and Jeanne Rothe
Exh. cat. Middlebury, VT: Middlebury College Museum of Art, 2009. 116 pp.; 50 color ills. Paper $24.95 (9781928825067)
Exhibition schedule: Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, MA, February 9–May 30, 2009; Middlebury College Museum of Art, VT, September 17–December 13, 2009
A grey-green architectural screen with an arcaded view of late medieval Florence—an enlarged detail of the fourteenth-century fresco of the Madonna della Misericordia in the Loggia del Bigallo—drew visitors to the Mount Holyoke Art Museum and into the Harriet L. and Paul M. Weissman Gallery where they encountered the realm of the sacred. Twenty objects dated from ca. 1385 to ca. 1475 comprised The Art of Devotion: Panel Painting in Early Renaissance Italy, including two... Full Review
December 8, 2010
Roni Horn
Exh. cat. 2 vols.. London and New York: Steidl, Tate Publishing, and Whitney Museum of American Art, 2009. 430 pp.; 375 color ills. Cloth $70.00 (9783865218315)
Exhibition schedule: Tate Modern, London, February 25–May 25, 2009; Collection Lambert en Avignon, Avignon, June 21–October 4, 2009; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, November 6, 2009–January 24, 2010; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, February 19–June 13, 2010
Roni Horn aka Roni Horn rewarded patient, introspective viewers with a revelatory experience. Organized by curators Donna De Salvo and Carter E. Foster (of the Whitney Museum of American Art) and Mark Godfrey (of the Tate Modern), this mid-career retrospective compiled three decades of the artist’s quietly enigmatic and provocative photographs, sculptures, drawings, and books. The greatest strength of the exhibition’s recent incarnation at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston... Full Review
November 10, 2010
Roald Nasgaard and Ray Ellenwood
Exh. cat. Vancouver and Unionville, ON: Douglas & McIntyre and Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 2010. 160 pp.; 60 color ills.; 20 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (9781553653561)
Exhibition schedule: Varley Art Gallery, Markham, ON, October 21, 2009–February 28, 2010; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, March 19–May 30, 2010
When visiting most major art collections in Canada—be it the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts or the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa—one is likely to encounter the distinctive abstractions created by artists affiliated with “Automatisme,” a Montreal-based modernist movement active during the early 1940s through the 1950s. The Automatistes consisted of a group of young painters who gathered around Paul-Émile Borduas, united by their sympathies for European abstraction and outrage over... Full Review
October 6, 2010