Cindy Lisica visits We Chat: A Dialogue in Contemporary Chinese Art at the Asia Society Texas Center. The exhibition features artists “who were of single-digit age during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest-turned-massacre” and are “self-reflective and uninhibited by conventional social constructions of the past.” It is “a layered, nuanced, and exhilarating presentation of contemporary currents in Chinese art.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Alpesh Kantilal Patel reviews Nari Ward: Sun Splashed and Firelei Báez: Bloodlines, both at the Pérez Art Museum Miami. The “first mid-career retrospective of the Jamaican-born” Ward and his “diverse oeuvre” “overlapped with “a smaller solo exhibition of primarily paintings and drawings by the Dominican Republic-born Báez, a former student of Wards,” presenting “a carefully constructed curatorial conceit.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Mary Hunter reviews Realism in the Age of Impressionism: Painting and the Politics of Time by Marnin Young. The author “provides an original, compelling argument about how transformations in the perception of temporality fueled a reengagement with Realist painting in France.” A “smart, engaging” volume, it “will make a lasting mark … on the central role of temporality in the history of modern art.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Jane King Hession discusses Steven M. Reiss’s Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House. This “skillful retelling of the complex history of a 1,200-square foot Usonian house” both “rigorously analyzes site issues” and “reflects on broader topics including changing social attitudes toward housing in the postwar years” and “the nascent yet evolving preservation movement in the United States in the early 1960s.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Sybil E. Gohari discusses The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi, an exhibition and catalogue organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The show “chronicles this important mid-century artist” whose work “combines American folk and Surrealist art with dreamlike perspectives,” highlighting “the figurative dimension” of his art and enhancing “an understanding of the period by presenting its diversity.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Rachel Goshgarian visits Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As “the first major exhibition on the Seljuqs in the United States,” the show “sets out to elucidate how the orders of this world and the next were conceptualized and represented in the Seljuq Empire and its successor states,” and, “to a certain extent,” the curators “delivered.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Amy Chun Kim reads They Shall Not Have Me: The Capture, Forced Labor, and Escape of a French Prisoner in World War II, the artist Jean Hélion’s account of his imprisonment and escape from German camps. His “experience of the concrete as a camp inmate consolidated an aesthetic trajectory that was already in motion,” and this “vivid portrait” is “a stylistic testimony to this rejection of abstraction.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Agata A. Gomółka reviews Gretchen E. Henderson’s Ugliness: A Cultural History. The author “ventures on a critical journey through the history of ugliness, viewing the concept through the lens of culture and corporeality” and “packs an abundance of fascinating case studies and thought-provoking insights into a stimulating conceptual framework.” It is a “highly readable, erudite, and compelling account.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Sarah R. Cohen reads On Display: Henrietta Maria and the Materials of Magnificence at the Stuart Court by Erin Griffey. In this “meticulously researched” and “densely detailed” volume, the author argues that “early modern sovereigns, especially powerful woman such as Queen Henrietta Maria of England, projected their authority through the specific and calculated allure of their material luxuries.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Paisid Aramphongphan reviews Wade Guyton’s One Month Ago, an artist’s book featuring the transposed contents of a Tumblr blog consisting “mainly of photographs of a variety of gay kink scenes.” The reviewer is “inclined to read the book as Guyton’s rebuke to the line of criticism that positions him as basking in the limelight without making a difference in the privileged art world of abstract paintings.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Ellis Dullaart discusses Confronting the Golden Age: Imitation and Innovation in Dutch Genre Painting, 1680–1750 by Junko Aono. The author aims “to investigate how artists working in the waning light of the Golden Age dealt with the illustrious artistic past,” and the book “delivers important insights” and “has the potential to revive interest in and appreciation for a long-neglected period in Dutch art history.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Betsy Fahlman examines the exhibition catalogue A Place in the Sun: The Southwest Paintings of Walter Ufer and E. Martin Hennings, edited by Thomas Brent Smith. Meticulously researched and “handsomely produced,” the volume “accomplishes the authors’ intention to restore these figures as artists of exceptional talent who were engaged with the significant art and historical issues of the day.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Ralph Lieberman reads Bernard Berenson: A Life in the Picture Trade by Rachel Cohen, “part of a Yale series of biographies entitled Jewish Lives.” In this “clear, concise, and gracefully written retelling of” Berenson’s life, the author “deals well with his contradictory attitudes and conversions from Judaism, but it is difficult to determine from her text exactly what she thinks his Jewishness meant to him.” Read the full review on caa.reviews.
Mark White discusses Jason Weems’s Barnstorming the Prairies: How Aerial Vision Shaped the Midwest. Weems “provides an engaging and thoughtful analysis of how the elevated vantage point helped to create the modern Midwestern landscape and, in turn, informed the region’s identity.” Through case studies, he “explores how the aerial, synoptic view of the prairie fostered changes in the perception of that landscape.” Read the full review on caa.reviews.
Gwendolyn Owns reviews the exhibition catalogue The Idea of the North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris. Organized by the Hammer Museum, the show “attempts to bring this star of Canadian art to the attention of a U.S. audience,” and “the beautifully produced catalogue . . . provides an in-depth examination of one brief period in the artist’s career” and “is a worthy addition to the literature on him.” Read the full review on caa.reviews.
John Klein reviews Matisse in the Barnes Foundation, edited by Yve-Alain Bois. The volume reproduces and catalogues “every one of the Barnes Foundation’s fifty-nine artworks by Matisse” and “goes further,” providing correspondence, “three intellectually stimulating thematic essays,” and a “wealth of historical, biographical, artistic, and historiographic information derived from scrupulous research.” Read the full review on caa.reviews.
John Hawley reviews Rembrandt’s First Masterpiece at the Morgan Library and Museum. The show provided “a rare opportunity to engage with Rembrandt’s painted Judas Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver (1629) and the three surviving preparatory drawings associated with it.” Despite some “flaws in conception and execution,” the exhibition offered a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Laura Roulet visits Puerto Rican Light (Cueva Vientos) (2015), a site-specific installation created by Allora & Calzadilla and commissioned by the Dia Art Foundation. Set in a remote cave in Puerto Rico, the project “is a post-colonial inversion and commentary on the complicated state of U.S.-Puerto Rican relations” and “a way of putting Puerto Rico on the map for serious international art travelers.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Through a generous grant from the Wyeth Foundation for American Art in 2014, CAA provided financial support for the publication of Elizabeth Murray’s The Grid and the River: Philadelphia’s Green Places, 1682–1876. Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Frederick M. Asher reads Image Problems: The Origin and Development of the Buddha’s Image in Early South Asia by Robert DeCaroli. The author “provides some remarkable insights into the conception and production of images, both Buddhist and Brahmanical, in enormously impressive ways.” The volume is an “important work, one that should shape our thinking and teaching about early South Asian images.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Marie Frank reviews The Art and Architecture of C. F. A. Voysey: English Pioneer Modernist Architect and Designer by David Cole and C. F. A. Voysey: Arts and Crafts Designer by Karen Livingstone. “Both books are handsomely produced” and “draw extensively on archival and museum collections,” making “significant contributions” to the study of Voysey, whose “resistance to easy classification may in part help explain the remarkable staying power of his work.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Alise Tifentale reviews Anri Sala: Answer Me, an exhibition and catalogue organized by the New Museum. As the Albanian artist’s “first comprehensive survey exhibition in the United States,” the show primarily features video and sound works and “introduces Sala’s artistic strategies that often are aimed at multisensory confusion and a questioning of temporal and spatial coherence.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.