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Danny Smith visits Architecture of Life, the inaugural exhibition in the new building of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Presenting a “sweeping, cacophonous vision,” the show conceives “of architecture as the organizing principle of everything from reality to society and human relationships,” making it “a compelling examination in homemaking.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Kimberly L. Dennis reads Old Women and Art in the Early Modern Italian Domestic Interior by Erin J. Campbell. The author “describes a proliferation of portraits of old women in the second half of the sixteenth century in northern Italy,” arguing “that these portraits served to remind viewers of the duty of old women to model familial and civic virtue.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Dustin London reviews Suzanne P. Hudson’s Robert Ryman: Used Paint. The volume “documents the development of Ryman’s art from the early 1950s to the turn of the century” and “provides a thorough description and analysis of the variety of his approaches to painting.” Hudson “writes with eloquence and perspicuity to bring Ryman’s work to a wider audience on its own terms.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.



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Vivien Green Fryd reviews Georgia O’Keeffe by Nancy J. Scott, a biography that, unlike its predecessors, draws on “the extensive correspondence, which only became available in 2006, between O’Keeffe and her husband,” Alfred Stieglitz. Although the author “does provide new information based on” the letters, “she fails to engage critically with the materials at her disposal.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Erica Levin reads Kaira M. Cabañas’s Off-Screen Cinema: Isidore Isou and the Lettrist Avant-Garde. In this “concise, thought-provoking study,” the author “sheds light on the brief but often overlooked period of radical filmmaking,” showing “how Lettrist cinema disrupted the signifying conventions of the film medium” and “reconceptualized the specific discursive practices embedding cinema” in postwar France. Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Rebecca Bedell discusses the exhibition catalogue Picturing the Americans: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic. “No previous publication has offered such an expansive and inclusive survey of the hemisphere’s landscape art,” and “its collectivity of voices … substantially enriches the still-opening conversation about pan-American art.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.


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Laura Anne Kalba visits Sonia Delaunay at Tate Modern. The exhibition marked “the first-ever in-depth analysis of the artist’s work in the United Kingdom” and featured “a provocative succession of works of high art, crafts, and industrially produced goods,” which “produced a heightened awareness of the tension between reverence for the unique art object and the allure of the copy.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Catherine E. Burdick reads The Spectacle of the Late Maya Court: Reflections on the Murals of Bonampak by Mary Ellen Miller and Claudia Brittenham. In this “thorough text,” the authors “draw from decades of study to advance fresh perspectives regarding the facture, narrative, and reception of these exquisite paintings,” “enriching our knowledge of one of the most complete artworks produced in the pre-Columbian Americas.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Modupe G. Labode discusses Dell Upton’s What Can and Can’t Be Said: Race, Uplift, and Monument Building in the Contemporary South. A “challenging, carefully argued book,” the volume “explores the meaning of the evolving commemorative landscape” of Confederate and civil rights monuments. Creating a “layered description” of the subject, Upton “reaches unsettling conclusions about race and public life.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Robert Bezucha reviews The Museum of French Monuments 1795–1816: ‘Killing art to make history’ by Alexandra Stara. The book traces the history of the “Museum of Monuments,” a “short-lived,” “revolutionary,” and “controversial” institution that, in the words of the author, “heralded the modern understanding of artifact-based history.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.


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Wayne Franits reviews Genre Imagery in Early Modern Northern Europe: New Perspectives, edited by Arthur J. DiFuria. The eight essays “challenge” and “transcend” traditional studies on this topic “by exploring the complex, heterogeneous reception of such imagery among early modern viewers,” and they achieve this “noteworthy goal” with “varying degrees of success.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Deborah Lewittes discusses the exhibition catalogue for Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism, produced by the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Offering “a fresh take on the popular topic of twentieth-century domestic design,” the “elegant” and “graphically stunning” book is “a work of scholarly importance” and “provides interesting cultural tidbits.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Astrid Köhler examines Daguerreotypes: Fugitive Subjects, Contemporary Objects by Lisa Saltzman. The volume “distinguishes itself from most other theories of photography, both in content and approach, via a lucid analysis” that “brings together heterogeneous objects that share a distinctive relation to time, identity, and memory.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.


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Amanda Cachia visits Electronic Superhighway (2016–1966) at Whitechapel Gallery in London. The “ambitious exhibition” covers “fifty years of digital culture” and considers “how the world’s ceaseless flow of electronic information and unrelenting proliferation of images have come to impact contemporary art.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Lauran Whitworth reviews Art AIDS America, organized by the Tacoma Museum of Art and the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Aiming “to be the most comprehensive exploration of the impact of AIDS on the course of American art,” the “powerful” show is “haunted by loss and erasure but simultaneously teeming with verve and resistance.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Elizabeth M. Molacek discusses the Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World exhibition, curated by Jens Daehner and Kenneth Lapatin of the Getty Villa. “A feast for the eyes,” the exhibition provided “an unprecedented opportunity” to see nearly fifty objects and “succeeded in demonstrating the significance of bronze and defining the trajectory of monumental sculpture in the Hellenistic period.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Anna Blume reads Images Take Flight: Feather Art in Mexico and Europe, 1400–1700, edited by Alessandra Russo, Gerhard Wolf, and Diana Fane. The “scholarly and magnificent book” features thirty-three essays “that reveal how feathers, birds, and images of flight became defining signifiers within art, thinking, and history during the geographical expansion of Europe into the Americas.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.



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Michael Yonan visits Wordplay: Matthias Buchinger’s Drawings from the Collection of Ricky Jay at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The artist “was born without legs or hands” and created micrography, “a technique whereby minutely drawn words create an image.” The “small but excellent” exhibition managed to “illuminate the life of a little-known historical figure” and “examine a historically significant art form.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Margit Thøfner reviews Art and Antiquity in the Netherlands and Britain: The Vernacular Arcadia of Franciscus Junius (1591–1677) by Thijs Weststeijn. This “well-researched, thoughtful, and timely” book argues “for the seminal role” played by Junius’s The Painting of the Ancients in Three Books “within the history of early modern Netherlandish art theory and also in the broader European tradition.”  Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Jeffrey Fraiman reviews Clare Robertson’s Rome 1600: The City and the Visual Arts under Clement VIII. It is a “comprehensive study of the plenitude of projects commissioned by various patrons” in the “tumultuous and transforming” time during the reign of Clement VIII. The publication “transports readers to Rome circa 1600” and “will surely inspire valuable new directions in research.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

caa.reviews publishes over 150 reviews each year. Founded in 1998, the site publishes timely scholarly and critical reviews of studies and projects in all areas and periods of art history, visual studies, and the fine arts, providing peer review for the disciplines served by the College Art Association. Publications and projects reviewed include books, articles, exhibitions, conferences, digital scholarship, and other works as appropriate. Read more reviews at caa.reviews.



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Peter Gena reads Records Ruins the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording by David Grubbs. In this “excellent and meticulously researched book,” Grubbs examines “several early recordings along with a number of post-Cagian minimalists and free improvisers.” The volume is “highly recommended and a must-read for anyone probing new music and recordings.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Eloise Quiñones Keber reviews Alessandra Russo’s The Untranslatable Image: A Mestizo History of the Arts in New Spain, 1500–1600. The author “extends and deepens her excursions into the creative and cultural dynamics of the art forms of early colonial New Spain” while advocating “their necessary place in contemporaneous Renaissance and early modern art history” in this “learned, insightful, and challenging” study. Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Sonja Drimmer examines Postcards on Parchment: The Social Lives of Medieval Books by Kathryn M. Rudy. Over the course of “three hundred riveting pages,” Rudy establishes “a new category of late medieval object, which she terms ‘parchment painting.’” The book is full of “intrepid flights of scholarship” and “like the manuscripts that it revives,” it “is prodigious with riches.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.
Gennifer Weisenfeld discusses Christine Guth’s Hokusai’s Great Wave: Biography of a Global Icon. “A landmark in multidisciplinary scholarly sophistication,” the volume “examines the long and storied history of one Japanese artwork as it has circulated around the world being imagined, reimagined, and reimaged, thereby fusing the local and global across time.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

caa.reviews publishes over 150 reviews each year. Founded in 1998, the site publishes timely scholarly and critical reviews of studies and projects in all areas and periods of art history, visual studies, and the fine arts, providing peer review for the disciplines served by the College Art Association. Publications and projects reviewed include books, articles, exhibitions, conferences, digital scholarship, and other works as appropriate. Read more reviews at caa.reviews.



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Amanda Cachia visits Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947–2016 at Hauser Wirth and Schimmel. Although “it was the inaugural project at Hauser Wirth and Schimmel, a commercial gallery-cum-arts complex,” the show “felt like an ambitious museum exhibition,” making it “an echo of the revolution taking place within the institutional world of museums and galleries themselves.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Sarahh E. M. Scher reads Architectural Vessels of the Moche: Ceramic Diagrams of Sacred Space in Ancient Peru by Juliet B. Wiersema. The book “is a significant contribution to the field of art history” that “addresses the relationship between architectural spaces and its representation” on ceramic vessels and architectural remains from the Moche culture, “a topic that has not been closely researched prior to this volume.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Johanna Seasonwein discusses Elina Gertsman’s Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna. In this “ambitious exploration” of about forty sculptures known as Shrine Madonnas, the author breaks with past studies “of these and other kinds of late medieval devotional objects” and “aims to suggest ways that medieval audiences understood and responded these objects.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Kristen Gaylord reviews Someday Is Now: The Art of Corita Kent, an exhibition and catalogue organized by the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery. Corita, “a teacher, nun, activist, and artist,” was a “national figure in her time,” and the “monumental” catalogue is “the first scholarly monograph dedicated to an important but previously understudied artist of the postwar period.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

caa.reviews publishes over 150 reviews each year. Founded in 1998, the site publishes timely scholarly and critical reviews of studies and projects in all areas and periods of art history, visual studies, and the fine arts, providing peer review for the disciplines served by the College Art Association. Publications and projects reviewed include books, articles, exhibitions, conferences, digital scholarship, and other works as appropriate. Read more reviews at caa.reviews.



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Anni Albers spooling thread (n.d.). Photo by Claude Stoller. Courtesy Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina, Asheville, NC.

Sunanda K. Sanyal visits the solo exhibition Zanele Muholi: Isibonelo/Evidence at the Brooklyn Museum. For the last decade, Zanele Muholi, “who identifies herself more as a visual activist than an artist,” has created photo and video projects to document “multiple facets of LGBT life in South Africa, focusing particularly on hate crimes against the community.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Holly Gore reviews Leap before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957 at the Hammer Museum. The exhibition “offers an earthbound view on this storied institution, as seen through over two hundred artworks created by students and faculty.” Ultimately, the show’s “uplifting effect is grounded in physical encounter,” and the artworks “feel ever-vital, never dusty.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Midori Yamamura discusses the sixth edition of The Echigo–Tsumari Art Triennale in Nīgata, Japan. “The world’s largest international exhibition,” the placed-based triennale featured “180 new works in addition to 200 preexisting projects” and impelled viewers “to rethink consumer society, urban lifestyle, and the corporate world as not necessarily happier choices.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

caa.reviews publishes over 150 reviews each year. Founded in 1998, the site publishes timely scholarly and critical reviews of studies and projects in all areas and periods of art history, visual studies, and the fine arts, providing peer review for the disciplines served by the College Art Association. Publications and projects reviewed include books, articles, exhibitions, conferences, digital scholarship, and other works as appropriate. Read more reviews at caa.reviews.



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John Hawley visits Van Dyck: The Anatomy of Portraiture at the Frick Collection. The “more than one hundred paintings, drawings, and prints” by Anthony van Dyke and his contemporaries look “exclusively at portraiture, with special attention given to the way drawings (which account for nearly half the exhibited works) highlight Van Dyke’s inimitable process as a portraitist.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Stephen J. Lucey reads The Apse Mosaic in Early Medieval Rome: Time, Network, and Repetition by Erik Thunø. Presenting “an alternative ‘non-diachronic’ art-historical interpretation of the Roman apse decorations from the sixth through ninth centuries,” the author “promotes the continuity of imagery as a ‘synchronic’ manifestation, which reflects a timeless ecclesiological essence.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Jennifer Nelson reviews Visual Acuity and the Arts of Communication in Early Modern Germany, edited by Jeffrey Chipps Smith. The essays “consider German visual culture from the late fifteenth to early eighteenth centuries by means of healthy reliance on present-day creativity and hermeneutic skill” and put “productive pressure on its period’s blind spots.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Amy F. Ogata discusses Marta Gutman’s A City for Children: Women, Architecture, and the Charitable Landscapes of Oakland, 1850–1950. The author “explores the long tradition of benevolent concern for the poorest children in the rapidly urbanizing context of Oakland, California,” and argues that the structures “reveal a complex history of adaptive reuse against the drama of class and racial politics.” Read the full review at caa.reviews.

caa.reviews publishes over 150 reviews each year. Founded in 1998, the site publishes timely scholarly and critical reviews of studies and projects in all areas and periods of art history, visual studies, and the fine arts, providing peer review for the disciplines served by the College Art Association. Publications and projects reviewed include books, articles, exhibitions, conferences, digital scholarship, and other works as appropriate. Read more reviews at caa.reviews.



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