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

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Peter Allison, ed.
Exh. cat. London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 2006. 224 pp.; 300 color ills.; 283 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (9780500342244)
Exhibition schedule: Whitechapel Gallery, London, January 24–March 26, 2006; Netherlands Architecture Institute, Maastricht, September 2, 2006–April 21, 2007; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, July 18–October 28, 2007; Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, January 11–February 18, 2007; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, Denver, March 11–May 25, 2008
A certain swath of the collective museum-going, architecture-loving audience must be endlessly fascinated by the success of David Adjaye. Just forty-one years old, his rise to the top echelon of his profession has happened quickly, and has just as suddenly put his name into the minds of a larger group interested in celebrity homes, industrial design, and the perversely compelling cult of genius prodigies. That Adjaye is arguably the most prominent contemporary (if not twentieth-century)... Full Review
February 12, 2008
Susan Earle, ed.
Exh. cat. New Haven and Lawrence: Yale University Press in association with Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, 2007. 272 pp.; 139 color ills.; 50 b/w ills. Cloth $60.00 (9780300121803)
Exhibition schedule: Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, September 8–December 2, 2007; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, January 19–April 13, 2008; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, May 9–August 3, 2008; Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, August 30–November 30, 2008
While many scholars celebrate Aaron Douglas as the foremost visual artist of the Harlem Renaissance, there remains a widespread unfamiliarity with the diversity of his artistic production and his manifold contributions to the New Negro Movement. Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist, the first nationally touring retrospective of his work, attends to this disparity. Organized by Susan Earle and coordinated by Stephanie Fox Nappe for the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of... Full Review
February 5, 2008
Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, ed.
Exh. cat. Austin: Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, 2007. 344 pp.; 70 color ills.; 30 b/w ills. Paper $29.95 (9780977145362)
Exhibition schedule: Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, February 20–April 22, 2007; Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York, September 12–December 8, 2007
Originating at the Blanton Museum of Art and organized by its Latin American curator, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, The Geometry of Hope features over 125 works produced by artists from Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina between 1930 and 1970. A respected scholar in the field, specializing in Argentinian Madi art (one of the movements represented in the exhibition), Pérez-Barreiro has assembled the most comprehensive presentation to date of the alternative modernity that due to a wide... Full Review
January 22, 2008
Walter Liedtke
New York and New Haven: Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2007. 1083 pp.; 230 color ills.; 250 b/w ills. Cloth $175.00 (9780300120288)
Exhibition schedule: Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008
The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings, organized by Walter Liedtke, Curator of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum, provides unparalleled opportunities for the enjoyment and study of Dutch art on a vast scale. Timed to coincide with Rembrandt’s four-hundredth birthday (2006) and the publication of Liedtke’s masterful two-volume catalogue, Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this impressive exhibition puts on display every one of the museum’s 228 Dutch... Full Review
January 3, 2008
Eik Kahng, ed.
Baltimore: The Walters Art Museum, 2007. 200 pp.; 164 color ills.; 36 b/w ills. Paper $24.95 (9780911886689)
Exhibition schedule: Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, October 7, 2007–January 1, 2008; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, January 20–May 4, 2008
The exhibition Déjà Vu? Revealing Repetition in French Masterpieces at the Walters Art Museum challenges many of the assumptions that both scholars and the general public have about the importance of the original in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French art. Beginning with Jacques-Louis David and ending with Henri Matisse, the exhibition investigates the variety of ways that artists engaged in the act of replicating their works of art. From studio copies, to prints for... Full Review
December 19, 2007
Doryun Chong and Yasmil Raymond, eds.
Exh. cat. Minneapolis, Minn.: Walker Art Center, 2007. 272 pp.; 429 color ills.; 466 b/w ills. Paper $39.95 (9780935640892)
Exhibition schedule: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, October 4, 2007–February 17, 2008
Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1932 as a frightening vision of a consumerist future; thirty years later he concluded that the world was approximating Brave New World much faster than he anticipated. In his satirical and sinister novel, warfare and poverty have been eliminated, but also family, culture, art, literature, science, religion, and philosophy. In their place, Soma, a powerful drug provided by the “World State,” is taken to escape reality through hallucinatory... Full Review
December 12, 2007
Antoinette Le Normand-Romain and Christina Buley-Uribe
London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 2007. 440 pp.; 373 ills. Cloth $34.95 (0500238359)
Catherine Lampert and Antoinette Le Normand-Romain
Exh. cat. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2006. 320 pp.; 370 color ills. Cloth $85.00 (9781903973660)
Exhibition schedule: Royal Academy of Arts, London, September 23, 2006–January 1, 2007; Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, February 9–May 13, 2007
Auguste Rodin enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Great Britain, relishing the company of admiring patrons and fellow artists and exhibiting his work to laudatory reviews. Shortly before his death, he donated eighteen sculptures to the state—the only such donation he made during his lifetime. It comes as no surprise, then, that the British have honored his work in grand retrospectives, including two organized by the Arts Council of Great Britain at the Hayward Gallery in 1970 and... Full Review
November 15, 2007
Madeleine Grynsztejn, ed.
Exh. cat. San Francisco and London: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in association with Thames and Hudson, 2007. 276 pp.; 200 color ills. Cloth $50.00 (0500093407)
Exhibition schedule: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, September 8, 2007–February 24, 2008; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York, April 20–June 30, 2008; Dallas Museum of Art, November 9, 2008–March 15, 2009; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, summer, 2009
The first work of Olafur Eliasson’s that one encounters upon entering the atrium lobby of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is an ordinary fan swinging wildly just overhead. Mesmerizing and a bit menacing at the same time, the work, titled Ventilator (1997), serves as an introduction to a series of meticulously choreographed interactive installations that comprise the artist’s first major U.S. survey exhibition. I experienced a similar sense of heightened awareness when I visited... Full Review
October 29, 2007
Hoi-chiu Tang
Exh. cat. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Museum of Art, 2007. 204 pp.; 115 ills. HKD 168.00 (96221520410)
Exhibition schedule: Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, April 4–June 3, 2007
A Pioneer of Modern Chinese Painting: The Art of Lin Fengmian was jointly organized by the Shanghai Art Museum and the Hong Kong Museum of Art. The long-awaited exhibition consisted of paintings from the two museums as well as private collections. On display were the artist’s paintings from the 1930s to the 1980s. This retrospective presented Lin’s technical virtuosity and innovative spirit and reaffirmed his artistic authority in twentieth-century Chinese art. Lin Fengmian was born... Full Review
October 18, 2007
Alain Tapié and Nicolas Sainte Fare Garnot
Exh. cat. Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux, 2007. 328 pp.; 179 color ills.; 36 b/w ills. Paper Euros 45.00 (9782711852420)
Exhibition schedule: Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille, France, April 27, 2007–August 15, 2007; Musée Rath, Geneva, Switzerland, September 20, 2007–January 13, 2008
Compared to his contemporaries such as Nicolas Poussin and Georges de la Tour, Philippe de Champaigne remains the one great painter of seventeenth-century France who has attracted little scholarly attention. Most scholarship reduces Champaigne’s artistic production to his portraits of Cardinal Richelieu and to his involvement with the Benedictine Convent of Port-Royal, seen as the stronghold of Jansenism in France and to which he gave his famous Ex-Voto (1662, cat. 57). Champaigne... Full Review
October 16, 2007