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

Rice Gallery
Houston: Rice Gallery, 2017.
Rice University Art Gallery, February 9–May 14, 2017
In 1966 Sol LeWitt wrote, “The most interesting characteristic of the cube is that it is relatively uninteresting” (LeWitt, “The Cube,” Art in America, Summer 1966). Rice University Art Gallery (a space that has now been repurposed), like many contemporary art spaces, was a modest white cube, and LeWitt’s installation Glossy and Flat Black Squares purposely played off of its seemingly “uninteresting” architectural container.  When LeWitt repeated the assertion in 1967,... Full Review
March 27, 2018
Thumbnail
Alva Noë
New York: Hill and Wang, 2015. 304 pp. Hardcover $28.00 (9780809089178)
“What Art Unveils” is the title of an essay by cognitive scientist and philosopher Alva Noë printed in the opinion pages of the New York Times on October 5, 2015, the year his book Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature was published. The op-ed states some of the book’s basic arguments: art, for Noë, is a human “making activity,” but a special activity, a “research practice” that “unveils us to ourselves.” Art begins (and design stops) “when we are unable to take the background... Full Review
March 27, 2018
Thumbnail
Wanda M. Corn
Exh. cat. New York: Prestel, 2017. 320 pp.; 217 color ills.; 112 b/w ills. Hardcover $60.00 (9783791356013)
Brooklyn Museum, March 3–July 23, 2017; Reynolda House Museum of American Art, August 18–November 19, 2017
I do not usually care much about the clothes that artists wear or what their living rooms look like. But after reading Wanda Corn’s new book about Georgia O’Keeffe, I will certainly pay more attention. Previous O’Keeffe scholars have delved deeply into the artist’s personal and professional relationship with Alfred Stieglitz, speculated on her sexuality as expressed in her flower imagery, and dissected her skull paintings. None, however, have so fully detailed the contents of her closet.... Full Review
March 26, 2018
Thumbnail
The Menil Collection
Houston: The Menil Collection, 2017.
Menil Collection, Houston, April 14–August 27, 2017
In 1954, Ellsworth Kelly returned from his years in Paris to live and work in New York. By 1956, he settled on the Coenties Slip, at the very bottom of Manhattan, near his friend from Paris the abstract painter Fred Mitchell. Robert Indiana moved up the street later that year. In 1957, Agnes Martin, Lenore Tawney, and Jack Youngerman arrived there through word of mouth. In the early nineteenth century, the Coenties Slip had been one of many inlets of water just wide and long enough to hold... Full Review
March 26, 2018
Thumbnail
Spelman College Museum of Fine Art
Atlanta: Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, 2017.
Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, February 9–May 20, 2017
For her new body of work, almost entirely composed of, or engaging with, durational media, such as video and film, Mickalene Thomas has re-created the same intimate, female domestic spaces of communion and solidarity as she sets up in her studio for her photo shoots. Islands of patterned carpet with ottomans covered by the familiar 1970s textiles invite the viewer to sit and interact with versions of her personal library, comprising books by Toni Morrison, Zadie Smith, Alice Walker, and... Full Review
March 26, 2018
Thumbnail
The Pizzuti Collection and Greer Pagano
Exh. cat. 2 volumes. Columbus, OH: The Pizzuti Collection, 2017. 158 pp.; 130 color ills. Paperback $60.00 (9780990486633)
Exhibition Schedule: The Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, March 10–October 28, 2017
The Pizzuti Collection’s Visions from India comprises two exhibitions: Transforming Vision: 21st Century Art from the Pizzuti Collection, the larger in scope and size, showcases significant holdings of very recent Indian art; The Progressive Master: Francis Newton Souza from the Rajadhyaksha Collection, includes thirty works by the sought-after Indian modernist painter. These exhibitions, tucked away in a private nonprofit museum in... Full Review
March 23, 2018
Thumbnail
Catriona MacLeod
Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2013. 264 pp. Paperback $39.95 (9780810129344)
Fugitive Objects features impressive scholarship, skillfully engaging a great variety of sources: philosophical texts, literary works, sculptures, and paintings, as well as objects, texts, and images from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century popular culture. But at the same time, unlike many other scholarly works, it also tells an exciting story, full of suspense, which at times makes the book a genuine page-turner. In Hegelian terms, this story could be summarized by another title,... Full Review
March 23, 2018
Thumbnail
Jessica Berenbeim
Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2015. 242 pp.; 147 ills. Hardcover $95.00 (9780888441942)
As befits a study of the appearance of documents, Jessica Berenbeim’s Art of Documentation: Documents and Visual Culture in Medieval England is beautifully designed and richly illustrated. It also makes an important contribution to the study of medieval manuscripts, breaking out of traditional disciplinary categorizations to offer new insights that will be of relevance to both art historians and historians. Indeed, the form and function of medieval documents has become an... Full Review
March 23, 2018
Thumbnail
James Meyer
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. 384 pp.; 325 color ills.; 90 b/w ills. Hardcover $60.00 (9780226425108)
Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959–1971. Exhibition schedule: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, September 30, 2016–January 29, 2017; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, March 19–September 10, 2017
Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959–1971, the first museum exhibition to chronicle the eleven-year run of Virginia Dwan’s bicoastal gallery, anticipates the promised gift of the art dealer’s collection to the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington, DC. During a period of incredible transformation in American and European art, Dwan was at the forefront, mounting... Full Review
March 23, 2018
Thumbnail
Kishwar Rizvi
University of North Carolina Press, 2015. 296 pp.; 25 color ills.; 78 b/w ills. Hardcover $37.50 (9781469621166)
When one thinks of architecture in the contemporary Middle East, a mosque is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Today, critics and journalists are more focused on the starchitect museums of Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island or the record-setting towers of Dubai and Kuala Lumpur than on places of communal worship. In her volume The Transnational Mosque, however, Kishwar Rizvi counters this perception and contends that mosque architecture is equally a space where the... Full Review
March 22, 2018
Thumbnail