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

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Marylin M. Rhie and Robert A. F. Thurman
Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 2010. 336 pp.; many color ills. Cloth $60.00 (9781590203101)
Exhibition Schedule: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, March 13–July 18, 2010
During the Tibetan Shrine exhibition at the Sackler gallery in Washington, DC, at the foot of the staircase leading into the museum’s subterranean atrium, a red gateway drew visitors toward a small opening on the opposite, neutral wall. Introductory wall text explained that what lay inside approximated a shrine that an elite family in Tibet might have had in their home. Comprised of objects collected over several decades by Alice Kandell, the single-room shrine installation was an adaptation... Full Review
August 18, 2010
Xavier F. Salomon, ed.
Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2009. 160 pp.; 66 color ills.; 12 b/w ills. Paper $45.00 (9787100001212)
Exhibition schedule: Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, February 10–May 3, 2009; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, May 29–September 6, 2009; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, October 4, 2009–February 7, 2010
This exhibition and catalogue reassemble the surviving fragments of one of Paolo Veronese’s largest altarpieces, a work completed around 1565 for the cousins Antonio and Girolamo Petrobelli to adorn the family’s chapel in San Francesco at Lendinara, a town west of Rovigo in the Po valley. The church no longer survives, and Veronese’s altarpiece had disappeared by 1795. The three largest fragments have been known to relate for more than a century, but only recently has Xavier Salomon... Full Review
August 18, 2010
Gail Stavitsky and Katherine Rothkopf
Exh. cat. Baltimore and New Haven: Baltimore Museum of Art in association with Yale University Press, 2009. 376 pp.; 190 color ills. Cloth $65.00 (9780300147155)
Exhibition schedule: Montclair Museum of Art, Montclair, NJ, September 13, 2009–January 3, 2010; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, February 14–May 23, 2010; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, July 1–September 26, 2010
In the first gallery of the Montclair Art Museum’s excellent and illuminating exhibition, Cézanne and American Modernism, two arresting views of Mont Sainte-Victoire from 1927 by the American artist Marsden Hartley flanked a painting by Paul Cézanne of the same subject, Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from the Bibémus Quarry (ca. 1897), an exemplary work by that artist, acquired by the Baltimore collector Claribel Cone in 1925. The comparison drawn between Cézanne and Hartley (same... Full Review
July 21, 2010
Exhibition schedule: Getty Villa, Malibu, November 18, 2009–February 8, 2010
J. Paul Getty purchased his first work of art, a painting, in 1931 and, eight years later, his first antiquity. Collector’s Choice: J. Paul Getty and His Antiquities, on view at the Getty Villa in Malibu, thus marked the seventieth anniversary of the initiation of a renowned and still-expanding collection. The exhibition was a natural for the museum, particularly since the construction of the Getty Center has allowed the Villa to devote itself entirely to the art of the ancient world.... Full Review
June 3, 2010
Nancy E. Green and Christopher Reed, eds.
Exh. cat. Ithaca, NY: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, 2008. 272 pp.; 301 ills. Cloth $35.00 (9781934260050)
Exhibition schedule: Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, NC, December 18, 2008–April 5, 2009; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, July 18–October 18, 2009; Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA, November 7–December 13, 2009; Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston, Il, January 15–March 14, 2010; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA, April 3–June 15, 2010; Palmer Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, July 6–September 26, 2010
The visual artists associated with the Bloomsbury Group are not so well known in the United States. The explanations for this are varied, but essentially boil down to the fact that few of them ever achieved fame here for their art. Roger Fry was best known for the pioneering art criticism he wrote in the early days of modernism; Vanessa Bell is most often portrayed as the artist sister of Virginia Woolf; Dora Carrington and Duncan Grant, both talented artists, typically earn brief mention as... Full Review
May 25, 2010
Michael R. Taylor, ed.
Exh. cat. Philadelphia and New Haven: Philadelphia Museum of Art in association with Yale University Press, 2009. 400 pp.; 277 color ills.; 66 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 (9780300154412)
Exhibition schedule: Philadelphia Museum of Art, October 21, 2009–January 10, 2010; Tate Modern, London, February 10–May 3, 2010; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, June 6–September 20, 2010
Organized by Michael R. Taylor, the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective offers the richest survey of this artist’s oeuvre in more than a quarter century. With nearly two hundred paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures, as well as some comparative works and materials, the exhibition traces the full range of Gorky’s career and amply demonstrates his critical importance as a late Surrealist on the threshold... Full Review
May 18, 2010
Exhibition schedule: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, November 5, 2009–January 31, 2010
The heart of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is its four-story Venetian courtyard around which circle palatial rooms lined with exquisite tapestries, treasures of Medieval and Renaissance art, gems of U.S. painting, and sumptuous holdings of decorative arts. Along the narrow paths of the central garden rest Grecian urns and a gently running fountain. It was here, one night in the winter of 2007, that Taro Shinoda, a guest at the Gardner’s artist-residency program, looked up into the... Full Review
May 5, 2010
Exhibition schedule: Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong SAR, China, November 21, 2008–January 28, 2009
One critical question for exhibiting past art is its contemporary relevance. Instead of asserting a work’s temporal transcendence, a more convincing way to prove its enduring life is to show that it can still captivate an audience and contribute to the creation and appreciation of art today. This is the approach taken by the exhibition Looking for Antonio Mak, an extraordinary show that brought an unprecedented vitality to the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Centered on the much-esteemed late... Full Review
April 20, 2010
Gary M. Radke
Exh. cat. Atlanta and New Haven: High Museum of Art in association with Yale University Press, 2009. 224 pp.; 201 color ills. Cloth $50.00 (9780300154733)
Exhibition schedule: High Museum of Art, Atlanta, October 6, 2009–February 21, 2010; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, March 23–June 20, 2010 (as Leonardo da Vinci and the Art of Sculpture: Inspiration and Invention)
Leonardo da Vinci: Hand of the Genius, organized by Atlanta’s High Museum of Art in collaboration with the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, Italy, aims to explore an aspect of Leonardo’s wide-ranging interests long acknowledged but still poorly understood. That Leonardo studied from, theorized on, and made designs for sculpture has been established through his drawings and writings yet is frustratingly... Full Review
April 14, 2010
Kristen Hileman and James Meyer
Exh. cat. London: D Giles Limited and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2009. 176 pp.; 150 color ills.; 12 b/w ills. Cloth $55.00 (9781904832614)
Exhibition schedule: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, October 8, 2009–January 3, 2010
Though Anne Truitt’s art has not shaped art-historical and critical debates at the level of many of her contemporaries, whether Morris Louis, Robert Morris, Eva Hesse, and others, her work warrants all the attention the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden devoted to her in this retrospective exhibition, Anne Truitt: Perception and Reflection. Curated by Kristen Hileman, it included drawings, paintings, and sculptures by the artist from the early 1960s to 2004, the year of her... Full Review
April 7, 2010