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

Reviews in caa.reviews are published continuously by CAA and Taylor & Francis, with the most recently published reviews listed below. Browse reviews based on geographic region, period or cultural sphere, or specialty (from 1998 to the present) using Review Categories in the sidebar, or by entering terms in the search bar above.

Recently Published Reviews

In June 2008, The Rossetti Archive “closed,” although the site remains accessible. What can a “closed” site reveal to scholars today? Much. As digital scholarship gains purchase in the field of art history, we should learn from pioneering projects such as The Rossetti Archive. Edited by literary scholar Jerome McGann, the archive began in 1993 at the moment of public access to the worldwide web and when McGann’s home... Full Review
March 19, 2018
Christopher Reed
Modernist Latitudes. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016. 440 pp.; 126 b/w ills. Paperback $35.00 (9780231175753)
From its first pages, Bachelor Japanists: Japanese Aesthetics and Western Masculinities asserts itself as a sophisticated, well-written, insightful, and important contribution to masculinity studies and studies of japonisme and East-West exchange. Christopher Reed guides his reader through a variety of spaces and times, including an examination of the Goncourt brothers and other japonistes in Paris in the late nineteenth century, Ernest Fenollosa and the circle of collectors... Full Review
March 16, 2018
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Ana Clara Silva and Eugenio Valdés Figueroa, eds.
Exh. cat. Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2017. 404 pp.; 250 ills. $95.00 (9780692820735)
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, March 5–May 21, 2017; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, November 11, 2017–March 18, 2018
A series of international flags stripped of their color by Wilfredo Prieto framed the entrance to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s presentation of Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950. Titled Apolítico (Apolitical, 2001), Prieto’s gray-scale flags guarded the balcony of the second-floor gallery where the exhibition was on view, as if demarcating neutral ground for the oft-contested field of Cuban art. Visible just beyond Prieto’s... Full Review
March 16, 2018
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Lesley Harding and Denise Mimmocchi, eds.
Sydney and Bulleen: Art Gallery of New South Wales in association with Heide Museum of Modern Art, 2017. 216 pp. Cloth $45.00 (9781921330537)
Heide Museum of Modern Art, October 12, 2016–February 19, 2017; Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, March 11–June 11, 2017; Art Gallery of New South Wales, July 1–October 2, 2017.
O’Keeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith: Making Modernism brought together the American Georgia O’Keeffe and two Australians: Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington Smith. Setting each artist’s work in its own tightly hung space, the curators (and there were many) presented an enticingly simple premise. In unison they stated: Here are three significant Modernists. Their work revealed to us rich similarities in ambition and productive differences in context and technique. Do you see them,... Full Review
March 15, 2018
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Noriko Aso
Asia-Pacific: Culture, Politics, and Society. Durham: Duke University Press Books, 2013. 320 pp.; 33 ills. Paper $27.95 (9780822354291)
The obvious characteristics that distinguished Japan’s modern museums from older indigenous practices are permanent space, comprehensive collections, and a viewing public. While the pivotal research on the state-centric practice of “show and tell” has been conducted by scholars such as Satō Dōshin, Christine Guth, and Alice Tseng, Noriko Aso focuses on the discursive formation of museum-going publics within broader developments of exhibiting institutions. Tellingly, she opens the book with... Full Review
March 15, 2018
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Alexander Alberro, ed.
Writing Art. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2016. 344 pp.; 47 color ills.; 18 b/w ills. Paperback $34.95 (9780262034838)
Working Conditions, the recent volume of Hans Haacke’s collected writings edited by Alexander Alberro, reveals the artist’s preoccupation with a handful of concepts since the late 1960s. Chief among these are the ideological structures that govern a culture’s understanding of art; the mechanisms of the “consciousness industry,” of which the art world is a small but relevant element; and, more specifically, the ways in which governments, corporations, museums, and other institutional... Full Review
March 14, 2018
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Neil Levine
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015. 464 pp.; 84 color ills.; 336 b/w ills. Hardcover $39.00 (9780691167534)
Consider some iconic Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. Many of them are set in rural environments. Fallingwater is embedded in a dense forest in the secluded southwest corner of Pennsylvania. Taliesin (East) overlooks a lush green landscape fed by tributaries of the Wisconsin River. Taliesin West sits on the dusty foothills of the Tonto National Forest outside Scottsdale, Arizona. Moreover, the design of these buildings seems to reflect and harmonize with their natural environment. They are... Full Review
March 14, 2018
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Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017. 304 pp.; 99 color ills.; 71 b/w ills. Hardcover $65.00 (9780300207170)
The works of art commissioned by ancient Maya royal courts captivate and confound. Hieroglyphic captions accompany images of kings, queens, and noble families, but ancient voices on gods, the cosmos, and epic heroes are idiosyncratic at best, opaque at worst. Intuition guided early scholarly interpretations, buttressed by colonial texts, such as the sixteenth-century K’iche Maya Popol Vuh, which seemingly held a wealth of analogous descriptions for colorful Classic-period (ca. 250–900 CE)... Full Review
March 13, 2018
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Amelia Jones and Erin Silver
Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016. 424 pp.; 61 b/w ills. Paperback £ 18.99 (9780719096426)
Why is queer feminism not an established subdiscipline in art history or a more influential politic in curating, art criticism, or visual theory? Otherwise: Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories, edited by Amelia Jones and Erin Silver, begins to answer these questions and to identify the problems this absence occasions or exacerbates. Twenty chapters by artists, scholars, and curators of different generations are framed by an introduction by Jones, an epilogue by Silver, and... Full Review
March 13, 2018
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Heather Davis and Etienne Turpin, eds.
London: Open Humanities Press, 2015. 402 pp. Hardcover £ 14.13 (9781785420054)
T. J. Demos
Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2017. 132 pp.; 25 color ills. Hardcover € 18.00 (9783956792106)
Since the glaciers of the last ice age receded, 11,700 years ago, humanity has lived under the stable climatic conditions of the geologic epoch known as the Holocene. Agriculture flourished during this period, and sedentary societies sprouted up around the globe. Yet a growing number of scientists contend that human-induced alterations to the biosphere, beginning with the invention of the coal-fired steam engine in the eighteenth century and accelerating through the atomic age, have... Full Review
March 12, 2018
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