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

Mia L. Bagneris
Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017. 272 pp.; 68 color ills. Cloth $75.00 (9781526120458)
On August 7, 1981, a senior staff member at the Yale Center for British Art wrote an internal memorandum recommending the sale of ten works in the center’s collection by a little-known artist named Agostino Brunias (ca. 1730–1796). Among the reasons he gave were that the Italian-born Brunias “is not English and very, very minor,” and that his paintings, which depict scenes of life in the British West Indies, bore only “tenuous connection with British Studies.” Suggesting that the works... Full Review
March 22, 2019
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Sharon Hecker
Oakland: University of California Press, 2017. 328 pp.; 20 color ills.; 80 b/w ills. Cloth $65.00 (9780520294486)
Sharon Hecker’s recent monograph on Medardo Rosso (1858–1928) situates this all-too-often marginalized sculptor within the field of the international avant-garde. Often considered as either a slightly mysterious three-dimensional Impressionist or as an inspiration to movements such as Futurism, Rosso has rarely received sustained attention as a figure in his own right. Hecker makes a significant effort to counter this by placing him at the center of a key modernist concern:... Full Review
March 20, 2019
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Kim Conaty, ed.
Exh. cat. New Haven and New York: Yale University Press and Whitney Museum of American Art, 2018. 160 pp.; 115 color ills.; 15 b/w ills. Cloth $50.00 (9780300234978)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, June 8–November 25, 2018
On the top floor of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Mary Corse’s (b. 1945) expansive canvas Untitled (White Inner Band) captivated with a subdued brilliance. Its pale vertical bands shimmered in response to ambient light. A seasoned art viewer new to the experience of Corse’s work could draw comparisons with analogous minimal painters like Agnes Martin or Robert Ryman. However, such comparisons dissolved as the vertical bands appeared and disappeared relative to one’s mobility.... Full Review
March 19, 2019
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Diana Gisolfi
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017. 352 pp.; 293 color ills.; 54 b/w ills. Cloth $75.00 (9780300225822)
In recent years, scholarship has shown a growing interest in the art and person of Paolo Caliari, called Veronese (1528–1588), who for too long was considered essentially a mere decorator, a lesser figure compared to the more intellectual Titian and the volcanic Jacopo Tintoretto. Between 2013 and 2014, a few international exhibitions (Sarasota, London, Verona) honored this artist from Verona. Recent publications have likewise begun to change our perception of the master,... Full Review
March 13, 2019
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Paul Stephenson
Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. 304 pp.; 92 b/w ills. Hardcover $82.00 (9780190209063)
The idea of writing a “cultural biography” of the Serpent Column is brilliant. Over the 2500 years of its history, this monument stood in the center of two of the most significant environments of the ancient world: the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi and the Circus of Constantinople. It witnessed their transformations, and it underwent important alterations itself, both in its physical appearance and in the meanings associated to it.After a first chapter dealing with the history of... Full Review
March 11, 2019
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Craig Clunas
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017. 320 pp.; 200 color ills.; 50 b/w ills. Hardcover $60.00 (9780691171937)
Craig Clunas opens the introduction to Chinese Painting and Its Audiences with a monumental understatement: it is a book that some might feel has “a narrow focus, but it has somewhat wider aims” (1). The published form of the 2012 A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, Chinese Painting and Its Audiences is neatly structured into six chapters. It starts with an introductory “Beginning and Ending” that confronts the reader with the prospect that Chinese painting, as an... Full Review
March 8, 2019
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Mey-Yen Moriuchi
University Park: Penn State University Press, 2018. 180 pp.; 31 color ills.; 29 b/w ills. Cloth $99.95 (9780271079073)
Of the principal areas of study constituting Latin American art history, i.e., ancient, colonial, modern, and contemporary, the nineteenth century remains under examined. Situated precariously between the Spanish viceregal period and modern nationhood, this turbulent yet pivotal stage in Mexico’s history has lagged in terms of scholarly attention, particularly in art history. Art historians in Mexico, such as Jean Charlot, Justino Fernández, Fausto Ramírez Rojas, Esther Acevedo, and... Full Review
March 7, 2019
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Nancy E. Green and Christopher Reed, eds.
Exh. cat. Ithaca, NY: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, 2016. 296 pp.; 246 color ills.; 30 b/w ills. Cloth $ 35.00 (9781934260258)
Herbert E. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, August 27–December 18, 2016; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA, February 12–May 21, 2017
In recent decades, specialists of both American and Japanese arts have turned their attention to the history of these two countries’ artistic interactions from the nineteenth century through the present. Scholars of Japan have also explored twentieth-century avant-garde Japanese arts. Concurrently, art history has increasingly expanded to embrace a field more aptly termed “visual culture studies,” which incorporates the analysis of mass-market commercial products. These efforts have... Full Review
March 6, 2019
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Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, March 13–August 13, 2017
In 1839, shortly after publishing “Some Account of the Art of Photogenic Drawing, or the Process by Which Natural Objects May Be Made to Delineate Themselves without the Aid of the Artist’s Pencil,” William Henry Fox Talbot sent a letter along with thirty-six examples of photogenic drawings to Antonio Bertoloni, a botanist in Bologna, Italy. Talbot undoubtedly desired to alert colleagues to his invention in the wake of Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre’s announcement of his own... Full Review
March 4, 2019
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Katie Hornstein
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018. 208 pp.; 100 color ills.; 46 b/w ills. Cloth $70.00 (9780300228267)
Representations of war and soldierly actions have assuredly fascinated entire generations, especially during fragile political contexts such as revolutions and governmental changes. Rarely, however, has military imagery been dealt with from a critical art historical perspective. Military imagery has typically been understood in terms of its official ideological role and its capacity as a tool for the state to guide public opinion. Katie Hornstein has managed to invert this... Full Review
March 1, 2019
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