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

Mitchell Merback
University of Chicago Press, 1999. 280 pp.; 30 color ills.; 70 b/w ills. Cloth $42.00 (0226520153)
Recent decades have seen a number of inventive studies that have added significantly to our understanding of medieval and early modern images of the Crucifixion, from James Marrow's analysis of Passion iconography in Northern art to Anne Derbes's examination of the impact of Franciscan devotional piety on medieval Italian art. No less inventive is Mitchell Merback's book, which plunges us into the world of judicial spectacle, for it is this author's central claim that "late medieval realist... Full Review
August 31, 2000
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Megan Holmes
Yale University Press, 1999. 160 color ills.; 70 b/w ills. Cloth (0300081049)
Megan Holmes's beautifully-illustrated book on Fra Filippo Lippi sets a standard for the study of Florentine Renaissance art by demonstrating how much more remains to be done, even for an artist who has been the object of study for centuries. Florentine Renaissance art is, after all, one of the oldest fields of art history, and the bibliography is extensive. Writers since the late quattrocento have reveled in the beauty of the works, and already in the sixteenth century Vasari had established... Full Review
August 28, 2000
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Jody Blake
University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999. 207 pp. Cloth $65.00 (0271017538)
As a reflex of the growing resistance among European intellectuals in industrialized societies to glaring colonialist appropriations, an avant-garde emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries which adopted an open-minded anthropological perspective. Rejecting racially tainted claims of the superiority of Western cultural traditions, it proposed a series of expressive theories that valued the authenticity and originality of the "primitive." After World War I, however, and notably since... Full Review
August 24, 2000
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Gordon Baldwin and Judith Keller
Getty Trust Publications, 1999. (089236565X)
Candace Breitz
Thalwil and Pittsburgh: Edition Stemmle in association with Andy Warhol Museum, 1999. 400 pp.; 12 color ills.; 300 b/w ills. (3908163102)
It is not hard to see the significance of photography—as idea, as technology, as way of seeing—to Andy Warhol's art. His most famous paintings are appropriated photographs (think of the Marilyns, Jackies, race riots, electric chairs, or the commissioned portraits) and they visually signify as such. Moreover, Warhol's method for making use of photography—silkscreen—mimics the process of technological reproduction that characterizes photography. (Warhol: "With silkscreening, you pick a... Full Review
August 23, 2000
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Norman L. Kleeblatt and Kenneth E. Silver, eds.
Exh. cat. Prestel in association with The Jewish Museum, 1998. 207 pp.; 32 color ills.; many b/w ills. $65.00 (3791319329)
The Jewish Museum, New York, NY; Apr. 26-Aug. 16, 1998.
It is rare that an exhibition pushes curatorial conventions, particularly in a monographic show which is so dependent on the stylistic development of an artist. The exhibition An Expressionist in Paris: The Paintings of Chaim Soutine held at the Jewish Museum (1998), however, bypassed standard organizational principles of chronology or thematic genres and concentrated, instead, on the history of Soutine's critical reception. The unorthodox groupings allowed us to look at... Full Review
August 23, 2000
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Pierre Rosenberg
Exh. cat. Yale University Press, 1999. 360 pp.; 99 color ills.; 35 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 (0300083483)
Royal Academy of the Arts, London, March 11–May 29, 2000; in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, June 27–September 3, 2000.
Emblazoned on the cover of the Louvre's new Chardin exhibition catalogue is the image of a girl child holding a racquet and shuttlecock but curiously made-up and dressed like an adult woman. Her cheeks are rouged, her hair is powdered and she wears a circlet of ribbon tied enticingly around a slim white neck. In contrast to the solemn abstract beauty of Basket of Wild Strawberries splashed on the Louvre's 1979 Chardin exhibition catalogue, this detail, taken from Girl with... Full Review
August 23, 2000
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Cary Y. Liu and Dora C.Y. Ching, eds.
Princeton University Art Museum, 1999. many b/w ills. Paper (0943012309)
Chinese art scholarship is undergoing invigorating change, in tandem with the larger field of art history but with special characteristics of its own. The book under review illuminates the political and cultural significance of painting during the first two dynasties of China's early modern period: the Sung (960-1279) and the Yuan (1279-1368). The original occasion for this volume's seven papers was a symposium held in conjunction with the 1996 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art... Full Review
August 23, 2000
Teresa Carbone and Patricia Hills
Rizzoli, 1999. 272 pp.; 110 color ills.; 100 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 (0847822141)
Brooklyn Museum of Art, October 29, 1999-February 6, 2000; San Diego Museum of Art, February 26-May 21, 2000; Seattle Museum of Art.
In 1940 John I. H. Baur organized an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum devoted to the work of Eastman Johnson (1824-1906). For the next three decades, the publication accompanying that show was the standard source on the painter's life and achievement--for the few who chose to disturb Johnson's posthumous obscurity. In 1972, in tandem with her dissertation research, Patricia Hills assembled a retrospective of the artist's work for the Whitney Museum of American Art; her text became the... Full Review
August 23, 2000
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Theodore Stebbins
Yale University Press, 2000. 496 pp.; 84 color ills.; 690 b/w ills. Cloth $75.00 (0300081839)
Theodore Stebbins
Yale University Press, 1999. 208 pp.; 112 color ills.; 30 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (0300081693)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, May 28–August 13, 2000; National Gallery of Art, February 13–May 7, 2000; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, September 29, 1999–January 17, 2000.
Martin Johnson Heade (1819–1904) marched to a different drum than his fellow American painters in the second half of the nineteenth century. When confreres explored mountain ranges, he discovered marshlands; when they settled in New York City to establish reputations, he continued a peripatetic existence; when others were repeating tired variations on a single theme, he struck out in new directions. His marsh scenes, storm paintings, orchid and hummingbird pictures, and late reclining floral... Full Review
August 23, 2000
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Bettina Bergmann and Christine Kondoleon
Yale University Press, 2000. 384 pp.; 15 color ills.; 224 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (0300077335)
For some years now, a lingering sense of inadequacy has plagued U.S. historians of ancient art and text, a sense of having somehow got behind in the great "race for theory" (Barbara Christian's phrase). Everyone elsewhere and in other fields always seemed to have read more broadly and to have thought more originally about theoretical frameworks for scholarship. But The Art of Ancient Spectacle, an elegantly produced and intellectually sophisticated collection of... Full Review
August 23, 2000
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