College Art Association

CAA News Today

New in

posted by July 14, 2017

Emma Natalya Stein reviews the exhibition catalogue Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Representing “a watershed moment in the historiography of Southeast Asia, especially in terms of its relationship with India,” the “well-researched and beautifully illustrated catalogue” showcases “a truly remarkable body of material.” Read the full review at
Grant Klarich Johnson visits Don’t Look Back: The 1990s at MOCA at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. As the museum’s “legacy still takes shape,” the exhibition “focused on a decade with particular relevance to contemporary art in Los Angeles” and “narrated a version of the institution’s past that wove local triumphs into the global geography of art at the close of the last century.” Read the full review at

Carmen Pérez González reads The Arab Imago: A Social History of Portrait Photography, 1860–1910 by Stephen Sheehi. The author aims “to ‘provincialize’ the history and ‘nature’ of photography,” and the “groundbreaking” volume “is an ambitious and theoretically challenging study, a significant and original work of social analysis of mostly unknown photographic material from the 1860s onwards.” Read the full review at
Filed under:

New in

posted by July 07, 2017

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

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

Sampada Aranke reads Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display by Jennifer Tyburczy. In this “dynamic and compelling study,” the author “provocatively weaves together a mode of research and writing that thickens the role of sex in the museum . . .  cracking[ing] open an unwieldy composition of narratives, critical approaches, and sensual objects to rethinking the pleasure and politics of display.” Read the full review at
Ana Pulido-Rull discusses Amara Solari’s Maya Ideologies of the Sacred: The Transfiguration of Space in Colonial Yucatan. The author “examines the city of Itzmal” to “illustrate how this project was heavily influenced, even challenged, by deep-rooted Maya traditions and conceptions of space,” providing “a nuanced understanding” of these ideas “and their role in shaping early colonial indigenous identity.” Read the full review at
Filed under:

New in

posted by June 16, 2017

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







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







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

Filed under:

New in

posted by June 09, 2017

William S. Smith discusses Adjunct Commuter Weekly, edited by Dushko Petrovich, “a one-off, twenty-page publication” created “by and for these academic day laborers.” Although it “employs the conventions of newspaper publishing in a tongue-in-cheek manner,” it “also seems intended to publicize the struggle it documents.” Moreover, Adjunct Commuter Weekly “has to be seen within a tradition of artists’ publications.” Read the full review at
Robert Summers reviews Contemporary Art: 1989 to the Present, an anthology edited by Alexander Dumbadze and Suzanne Hudson. With the “desire to expand the discussion of contemporary art to include a multiplicity of voices,” the volume features “forty-six international writers” grouped into fourteen rubrics. Although “there are blind spots in the anthology, it is very much worth reading.” Read the full review at
Jean Li reads The Priest, the Prince, and the Pasha: The Life and Afterlife of an Ancient Egyptian Sculpture by Lawrence Berman. Focusing on “the so-called Boston Green Head,” the book questions “what is it about antiquities that so compels us to collect them” by examining “the personalities responsible for the ‘afterlife’ of the head.” It “spurs reflection on the issues of desire, value, and commodification.” Read the full review at
Michelle Moore Apotsos reviews Mark Hinchman’s Portrait of an Island: The Architecture and Material Culture of Gorée, Sénégal, 1758–1837. In this “meticulous, compelling” study of Gorée Island, “a depot for the trans-Atlantic slave,” the author brings to light “its accompanying history as a center of globalistic capitalistic enterprise and the point of origin for an emergent brand of Afro-modernity.” Read the full review at
Filed under:

New in

posted by June 02, 2017

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

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









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

Filed under:

New in

posted by May 26, 2017

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










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











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









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

Filed under: Books,

New in

posted by May 19, 2017

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









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

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




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

Filed under:

New in

posted by May 12, 2017

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

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

Eric Kramer reads The Grid and the River: Philadelphia’s Green Places, 1682–1876 by Elizabeth Milroy. An “authoritative and compelling portrait of how a city’s actual landscape fabric has been fashioned through a process of negotiating and representing a dominant idea about landscape’s place in American culture,” the volume builds “a more nuanced and positive image of how cities and landscapes coexist.”

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

Maxime Durocher dicusses Zeynep Yürekli’s Architecture and Hagiography in the Ottoman Empire: The Politics of Bektashi Shrines in the Classical Age. “Combining a study of hagiographical texts with an advanced analysis of the sixteenth-century architectural transformation of two Anatolian shrines,” the author “provides an insightful study” that “contributes to the revival of Sufi studies.” Read the full review at
Filed under:

New in

posted by May 05, 2017

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








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

Filed under:

New in

posted by April 28, 2017

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

Nikolas Drosos reads Place and Displacement: Exhibiting Architecture, an edited collection of fifteen essays. Focusing on “the institutional structures that underpin architectural practice, theoretical discourse and its dissemination, as well as architecture’s relationship to its publics and to mass media,” the volume “reflects a greater tendency in scholarship to focus less on individual buildings.” Read the full review at
Christiana Maranci discusses Rebuilding Anatolia after the Mongol Conquest: Islamic Architecture in the Lands of Rūm by Patricia Blessing. The author “emphasizes the local circumstances in which the monuments were produced” and “argues that the lack of centralized control in Anatolia led … to a diverse and dynamic tradition best understood on its own terms.” Read the full review at
William Sharpe examines Hélène Valance’s Nuits américaines: L’art du nocturne aux États-Unis, 1890–1917. This “much-needed history” shows “how image makers reacted to the ways in which the American night was lit, exploited, and commercialized from the turn of the twentieth-century until the U.S. entry into World War I,” often in relation to “aesthetic, racial, imperial, and economic interests.” Read the full review at
Filed under: