The Art History Newsletter

Contemporary Category Archives

What Will Gioni’s Biennale Look Like?

20 July 2012 | Contemporary

Massimiliano Gioni is busy. Besides serving as associate director of the New Museum, he has in recent months discoursed on Alighiero Boetti at MoMA; juried the Victor Pinchuk Foundation’s Future Generation Artist Prize; published catalog essays on Pier Paolo Calzolari and Victor Man; worked as creative director of the Fondazione Trussardi in Milan; and co-founded [...]


Obit: Justine Price, 42

1 June 2012 | Contemporary, Modern

From Despina Stratigakos at the University at Buffalo: Justine Price, associate professor of art history at Canisius College, died unexpectedly of natural causes on October 24, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. She recently had been tenured and named director of the college’s art history program. Price’s knowledge and love of art were limitless, and her [...]


Terror, Connoisseurship and Theory at CAA2013

4 April 2012 | CAA2013, Conferences, Contemporary, Theory

CAA has announced the sessions for the 2013 conference. The three I’m most looking forward to: Art and “The War on Terror”: Ten Years On August Jordan Davis, Winchester School of Art, March 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (collectively identified by the [...]


Leonardo and Richter

17 December 2011 | Contemporary, Current Events, Museums, Renaissance

Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan The National Gallery, London, 9 November 2011 – 5 February 2012 Gerhard Richter: Panorama Tate Modern, London, 6 October 2011 – 8 January 2012 Two great exhibitions currently taking place in London, Leonardo Da Vinci: Court Painter at Milan at The National Gallery (until 5 February [...]


‘Africa and Its Diasporas in the Marketplace’

23 November 2011 | Africa, Conferences, Contemporary

The Autumn 2011 African Arts (44:3) continues that journal’s tradition of fine reporting on important conferences, with five dispatches from the Fifteenth Triennial Symposium of African Art last March at UCLA, which featured 46 panels. The Triennial’s theme was “Africa and Its Diasporas in the Marketplace.” Susan Rosenfield writes: dele jegede, alongside [Sylvia] Forni, and [...]


Art in the Streets

26 April 2011 | Contemporary, Museums, News, Outsider

Following the Né dans la rue show in 2009 at the Fondation Cartier, MOCA is presenting the first major US museum survey of street art, Art in the Streets. You might be familiar with the show via the controversy surrounding Blu’s mural but, scandal aside, it is an extensive, wide-ranging exhibition and should significantly contribute [...]


What makes contemporary American art American?

18 April 2011 | Americas, Books, Contemporary

In her new book “Since ’45: America and the Making of Contemporary Art,” Katy Siegel examines artists’ “preoccupations with issues of race, mass culture, the individual, suburbia, apocalypse, and nuclear destruction” — noting that “while a leading textbook like Art Since 1900, for instance, assumes that the most important art is American or European, those [...]


Ai Weiwei

15 April 2011 | Asia, Contemporary, Current Events

As the Chinese government’s detention of artist Ai Weiwei approaches the two-week mark, brings together the latest developments. Ai was arrested in Beijing on April 3, an event his studio assistants recorded on Twitter (translation here).  Evan Osnos reported on the day’s events in a New Yorker dispatch.  Police claim that Ai is being investigated [...]


Turner Prize goes to Susan Philipsz for sound piece

16 December 2010 | Awards, Contemporary

Sounds like a fascinating piece to me, no pun intended. You can read about it here. An interesting conversation which seems to growing from this selection is the question of pushing the definition of art. Sarah Lyall writes in the above NYT article: “The Turner Prize, awarded annually to a British artist 50 or younger, [...]



8 December 2010 | Africa, Conferences, Contemporary, Journals

The African art journal Nka celebrated its adoption by Duke University Press by engaging 15 scholars and critics in a debate in print (issue 26) and online over “contemporary African art history and the state of the scholarship.” Editor Salah M. Hassan expresses a certain pessimism of his own about “the political and economic crises [...]


Abajo ‘Hispanic’ y ‘Baroque’

12 November 2010 | Baroque/Neoclassical, Contemporary, Museums

At the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Jorge Luis Marzo and Tere Badia have put together an exhibition and catalogue titled “THE BAROQUE (D)EF(F)ECT: Politics of the Hispanic Image,” a deconstruction of the words “Baroque” and “Hispanic” and their implication that there is a “homogeneous framework shared by Spain and Latin America”: [W]ho built [...]


‘The Model in the Mirror of Art’

29 October 2010 | Books, Contemporary

In her new book The Real Real Thing: The Model in the Mirror of Art Wendy Steiner posits that the modernist “ ‘separate sphere of the aesthetic’ has become indistinguishable from normal life … [W]e gingerly negotiate a real-virtual divide that we suspect no longer exists.” To illuminate this new world, she examines models and [...]


‘Documents of Contemporary Art’

25 October 2010 | Books, Contemporary

We noted in 2007 the debut of “Documents of Contemporary Art,” a series of books that collect writings on individual themes. The latest volume to appear is Failure, edited by Lisa Le Feuvre, which announces, “Amidst current global uncertainty failure has become a central subject of investigation in recent art … Here success is deemed [...]


In the papers

18 September 2010 | Africa, Ancient, Baroque/Neoclassical, Contemporary, Modern, Renaissance, Theory

Recently in the papers: Kaelen Wilson Goldie on Routes d’Arabie at the Louvre (The National) On Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art from Ancient Nigeria, previously in Santander, Madrid and London, now in Houston, and later in Indianapolis, Richmond and New York: Douglas Britt (Houston Chronicle); The Economist; Itziar Reyero (; Richard Dorment (The Telegraph); Jonathan [...]


Enwezor (Indirectly) Responds to Ogbechie

19 August 2010 | Africa, Contemporary

The newspaper Nigerian Compass interviews Okwui Enwezor, who is visiting Nigeria for the first time in 8 years. It appears to ask about Sylvester Ogbechie’s recent indictment of his curatorial practice: But how would you say your work has contributed to the the global discourse in art and in changing the general feeling about African [...]


Artists’ Books in

17 August 2010 | Books, Contemporary, Journals has started reviewing artists’ books recently. (If this started earlier, I must have missed it.) Clifton Meador (who in February reviewed a book about artists’ books) writes on The Square by Emily McVarish: Emily McVarish is one of a handful of artists whose primary artistic output takes the form of books, books that she [...]


Video Games in the Museum

5 August 2010 | Contemporary, Museums

Last February, a conference convened to discuss the “Art History of Games.” This February, a CAA session will address “Cel-Culture: The Hybrid Intersections of Art, Video Games, and Manga.” And now on view in Paris is “MuseoGames: Une Histoire à Rejouer” (“MuseoGames: A Story to be Replayed”), as ARTINFO reports: This multimedia exhibition chronicles three [...]


‘Hiroshima after Iraq’

3 August 2010 | Books, Contemporary

Rosalyn Deutsche’s new book Hiroshima after Iraq (based on her Wellek Library Lectures) examines three contemporary video works whose subject is the 1945 nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. Its press release announces that Deutsche “reveals the passive collusion between leftist critique and dominant discourse in which personal dimensions of war are denied.” In her introduction, she [...]


Art Critics & Historians For Hire

29 July 2010 | Contemporary

On The Huffington Post, Daniel Grant writes: For some time, the ground has been shifting, moving the line between what is and is not considered acceptable for artists to pay for … Critics, museum curators and art historians regularly are approached by artists to write catalogue essays; for some of them, it is a lucrative [...]


Judge: Art caused ‘psychological trauma’

27 July 2010 | Contemporary

From The Moscow News, an update to the story of the censored curators: Moscow’s Tagansky District Court convicted prominent museum curators Yury Samodurov and Andrei Yerofeyev of “inciting hatred and denigrating human dignity” by staging a controversial art exhibit – but allowed them to avoid a jail term, ordering them instead to pay 350,000 roubles [...]