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 the College Art Association (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

Vittoria Di Palma
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014. 280 pp.; 23 color ills.; 84 b/w ills. Cloth $45.00 (9780300197792)
Architectural historian Vittoria Di Palma’s book Wasteland: A History examines the shift in the way wasteland was understood, classified, and managed over the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It is both a wide-ranging survey of representations of wasteland in prints, paintings, maps, and elsewhere, and an alternative account of English improvement understood through developments in modern aesthetics. As such, it is of interest not only to art and architectural... Full Review
October 27, 2017
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Liu Yang, ed.
Exh. cat. Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2015. 252 pp.; 200  color ills. Paper $49.95 (9780989371865)
The terracotta army pits of the First Emperor’s (r. 221–210 BCE) mausoleum in China remain one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the twentieth century; yet the story of the First Emperor, his tomb, and the rise of the Qin state did not end with that excavation. Instead, continuous archaeological activity in Shaanxi and Gansu Provinces has... Full Review
October 27, 2017
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Henri Loyrette
Exh. cat. Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 2016. 255 pp.; 309 ills. Cloth $55.00 (9780890901915)
Exhibition schedule: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, June 24–September 18, 2016; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, October 16, 2016–January 16, 2017
Degas: A New Vision offered a rare, broad, and true career-spanning retrospective of Edgar Degas (1834–1917), whose body of work was produced over the course of half a century, in a trajectory that made many twists and turns. Degas was an artist deeply rooted in the traditions of the Renaissance and the Academy yet also one of the most avant-garde artists of his era. His innovations in monoprint, for example, both as a unique medium and in conjunction with pastel, show an... Full Review
October 20, 2017
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Chelsea Foxwell
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. 296 pp.; 34 color ills.; 70 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 (9780226110806)
“What is nihonga, where did it come from, and why is it still around?” (12). These questions comprise the final sentence of the introduction to Chelsea Foxwell’s impressive book and serve as our point of departure into the emergence and evolution of nihonga or “modern Japanese painting” in late nineteenth-century Japan. As Foxwell compellingly argues, the emergence of nihonga was not simply the result of Japan’s shedding its feudal past at the precise moment of the... Full Review
October 20, 2017
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Joan Kee
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013. 384 pp.; 135 color ills. Paper $39.95 (9780816679881)
Dansaekhwa is a style of abstract painting in which Korean artists explore monotones using various materials. There has been little agreement among Korean theorists on the term, which demonstrates the difficulties of defining it. Although Joan Kee transliterates it as Tansaekhwa in her book Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method, ever since the 2012 exhibition Dansaekhwa at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea,... Full Review
October 20, 2017
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Luke Gartlan
Leiden: Brill, 2015. 384 pp.; 165 ills. Cloth $128.00 (9789004289321)
In the last few years, nineteenth-century Japanese souvenir photography from the port city of Yokohama has witnessed increasing public interest after decades of neglect in institutional archives. In the current decade alone, there have been more than five special exhibitions across Europe dedicated to these photographic works. This unexpected emergence of so-called “Yokohama photography” was pioneered by new critical scholarship. Building upon the persistent research efforts on the visual... Full Review
October 20, 2017
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Edward H. Wouk, ed.
Exh. cat. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016. 240 pp.; 55 ills. Cloth £ 25.00 (9781526109569)
Exhibition schedule: The Whitworth, University of Manchester, UK, September 30, 2016–May 29, 2017
The exhibition Marcantonio Raimondi and Raphael celebrates the collaboration between the celebrated papal court painter Raphael Sanzio (1483–1520) and the lesser-known but respected Bolognese metal engraver and goldsmith Marcantonio Raimondi (ca. 1480–ca. 1534). Tracing the development of the close working partnership shared between artist and craftsman, the exhibition reveals how this unique relationship benefited both men in their chosen artistic fields. Marcantonio Raimondi... Full Review
October 13, 2017
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Tara Zanardi
University Park: Penn State University Press, 2016. 264 pp.; 44 color ills.; 35 b/w ills. Cloth $94.95 (9780271067247)
Tara Zanardi’s Framing Majismo examines the cultural phenomenon of majismo, the eighteenth-century movement that defined Spanish types drawn from the urban lower classes. She emphasizes that majismo was a product of the Enlightenment as well as a xenophobic reaction to foreign influences, and argues that majismo imagery provides a view into the tensions between gender and class, as well as between tradition and modernity, in eighteenth-century Bourbon Spain. Zanardi brings... Full Review
October 13, 2017
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Christopher R. Marshall
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016. 352 pp.; 88 color ills.; 115 b/w ills. Cloth $75.00 (9780300174502)
Seventeenth-century Naples was the largest city in Italy, and the second largest in Europe after London. It was also home to a thriving school of painting, with homegrown artists such as Massimo Stanzione, Bernardo Cavallino, and Luca Giordano, as well as foreigners such as Caravaggio, Jusepe de Ribera, and Artemisia Gentileschi. Yet Neapolitan painting has been overshadowed by that of Bologna, Rome, or other schools of Italian painting. Although there has been no shortage of interest in... Full Review
October 13, 2017
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Stephennie Mulder
Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Art. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014. 320 pp.; 121 color ills.; 21 b/w ills. Cloth £ 75.00 (9780748645794)
The topic of ‘Alid shrines in medieval Syria has an established scholarly framework of sectarian arguments. These include, on the one hand, a debate concerning the role of Shi’i doctrine in the proliferation of shrines from the tenth century onward, and on the other, bold statements concerning the culturally transformative impact of the so-called Sunni Revival from the eleventh century. In her introduction to The Shrines of the ‘Alids in Medieval Syria: Sunnis, Shi‘is and the Architecture... Full Review
October 13, 2017
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