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

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Exh. cat. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2016. 264 pp. $70.00 (9781776560547)
Exhibition schedule: City Gallery Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, August 22–November 2, 2015; Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland, New Zealand, March 5–June 19, 2016; Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, Christchurch, New Zealand, July 9–November 6, 2016
A survey of thirty years’ work by one of New Zealand’s most prolific photographers required agonies of curatorial selection. Fiona Pardington and curator Aaron Lister collaborated for over two years, choosing works not only from institutional and private collections but also from boxes unearthed from under beds. Inevitably, curation becomes an exercise in synecdoche; each selection is a tip-of-the-iceberg gesture standing in for some facet of an extensive oeuvre. The combination of... Full Review
August 4, 2016
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Judy Annear
Exh. cat. Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2015. 304 pp.; 400 ills. Paper $75.00 (9781741741162)
Exhibition schedule: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, March 21–June 8, 2015; Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, July 4–October 11, 2015
The Photograph and Australia brings together over five hundred photographs from major Australian collections of historical and contemporary works. These images have never been seen together before, coming as they do from libraries, museums, and art galleries, each with a different concept of the photograph and its use. This diversity is a particularly poignant aspect of an exhibition that overwhelms us with the common evidentiary power of photography. At the same time, The... Full Review
August 4, 2016
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Alejandro Anreus
A Ver: Revisioning Art History, Volume 10. Minneapolis and Los Angeles: University of Minnesota Press and UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press, 2014. 156 pp.; 82 color ills. Paper $29.95 (9780895511522)
As the bounds of American art history edge into new territories, encroaching, for example, upon the fields of modernist and contemporary art, the discipline is also rekindling itself from within, sparked by its engagements with the once shadow presences of African, Asian, Latin, and Native visual traditions. The elasticity of “American” art today, buoyed by this transnational recognizance, appears already propitious for emergent histories of Latino art, long neglected and too often... Full Review
August 4, 2016
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Philipp Kaiser, ed.
Exh. cat. New York: Prestel, 2015. 152 pp.; 116 color ills. Cloth $39.95 (9783791354866)
Exhibition schedule: Brandywine River Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, PA, August 8–November 15, 2015
Visitors to the Brandywine River Museum of Art’s Things Beyond Resemblance: James Welling Photographs who are new to Welling’s work might be surprised to discover, on the basis of the visible evidence gathered, that this artist first came to public note associated with (if not quite trading in) an appropriative photographic language at pains to estrange itself from both photography’s claims to inspired worldly reference and the fruit of art-historical influence. Here that... Full Review
July 28, 2016
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Ian McLean, ed.
Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014. 380 pp.; 67 b/w ills. Cloth £ 52.99 (9781443867436)
The situations debated and analyzed in Double Desire: Transculturation and Indigenous Contemporary Art, edited by Ian McLean, were familiar to me. I was scheduled to give a paper at the 2013 International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) in Sydney on a white South African artist whose work comes from a genealogy of European/American minimalism and abstraction. After some discussion it was decided that my paper should be moved from the panel on experimental art to the panel for Latin... Full Review
July 28, 2016
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Peter Fuhring, Louis Marchesano, Rémi Mathis, and Vanessa Selbach, eds.
Exh. cat. Los Angeles and Paris: Getty Publications in association with Bibliothèque nationale de France , 2015. 344 pp.; 51 color ills.; 138 b/w ills. Cloth $80.00 (9781606064504)
Exhibition schedule: Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, June 16–September 6, 2015; Bibliothèque nationale de France, November 2, 2015–January 31 2016 (under the title Images du Grand Siècle: l’estampe française sous Louis XIV, 1660–1715)
This review will examine the exhibition of French prints at the Getty Research Institute from June to September 2015, and its companion volume, A Kingdom of Images: French Prints in the Age of Louis XIV. There is some divergence between the contents of the exhibition and the book, which is not strictly speaking a catalogue: the grouping of subjects in the exhibition differs somewhat from the arrangement in the volume, while some images in the exhibition are not featured in the book,... Full Review
July 28, 2016
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Laura M. Giles, Lia Markey, and Claire Van Cleave
Exh. cat. Princeton: Princeton University Art Museum, 2014. 364 pp.; 370 color ills.; 40 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 (9780300149326)
Exhibition schedule: Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, January 25–May 11, 2014; Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Stanford, May 22–August 24, 2015
The tradition of university art museums forming excellent collections, which began in Europe with the Ashmolean and Fitzwilliam in England and Erlangen University in Germany, has flourished in the United States. Second only to the Harvard Art Museums, the Princeton collection of Italian drawings is of great importance, and in many respects is better than the majority of important civic museums. It includes some outstanding Renaissance drawings by Carpaccio, Michelangelo, Parmigianino, and... Full Review
July 28, 2016
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Nancy Hoffman, Frank Verputten, and Robbert Roos
Exh. cat. Amsterdam: KIT Publishers, 2012. 144 pp.; 76 color ills. Paper $35.00 (9789460222115)
Exhibition schedule: Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, Netherlands, May 25–August 26, 2012
The eponymous catalogue to the exhibition Who More Sci-fi Than Us?: Contemporary Art from the Caribbean aims to examine the complexity of Caribbean art through the metaphor of science fiction. Curator of the exhibition and co-founding director until 2011 of the Instituto Buena Bista, Curacao Center for Contemporary Art in the Dutch Caribbean, Nancy Hoffman writes in the introduction that the logic of the Caribbean is perfectly captured in Junot Díaz’s The Brief and Wondrous Life of... Full Review
July 21, 2016
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Valérie Rousseau
Exh. cat. New York: American Folk Art Museum, 2015. 136 pp.; 83 color ills.; 17 b/w ills. Cloth $30.00 (9780912161242)
Exhibition schedule: American Folk Art Museum, New York, New York, March 26–July 5, 2015
In the American Folk Art Museum’s exhibition catalogue When the Curtain Never Comes Down: Performance Art and the Alter Ego, curator Valérie Rousseau highlights the creative expressions and artistic practices of twenty-six individuals and one religious community. With selections that span the late nineteenth century to the present, Rousseau succeeds in opening new discussions on objects and related performative actions of artists referred to as “self-taught” and “art brut.” A... Full Review
July 21, 2016
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Naomi Beckwith, Donatien Grau, and Jennifer Higgie
New York: Prestel, 2014. 136 pp.; 75 color ills. Cloth $39.95 (9783791349671)
A casual perusal of the monograph Lynette Yiadom-Boakye quickly establishes—in its ratio of image to text—the main objective of the book to be a celebration of the artist’s oeuvre rather than a critical engagement with it. Of the 136 pages in the slim, attractive volume, the substantive text amounts to less than fifty pages while more than fifty-five leaves are devoted to beautifully designed, full-page color reproductions, most of them featuring a single image of Yiadom-Boakye’s... Full Review
July 21, 2016
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