April 2018

Frustrated Seeing: Scale, Visibility, and a Fifteenth-Century Portuguese Royal Monument by Jessica Barker argues that the limited, conditional or partial visibility of an artwork could be a strategy to produce a distinctive type of aesthetic experience, lending it both meaning and importance.

Drawing on the contemporary language of trade, diplomacy, chronicles, cultural commentary, and travel literature, Elizabeth Rodini’s essay, Mobile Things: On the Origins and the Meanings of Levantine Objects in Early Modern Venice, proposes that many objects were significant less for their actual points of origin (‘provenience’) than for broader geographical perceptions and imaginings that surrounded them.

Charlotte Guichard suggests in Signatures, Authorship and Autographie in Eighteenth-Century French Painting that as the signature became conventional in an art imbued with the aura of names, it also gained a new status, that of an autographic trace, carrying a discourse on the performance of the artistic gesture.

In Courbet after Sudjojono Kevin Chua considers three paintings that the Indonesian artist Seabad Sindudarsono Sudjojono made in 1964, all depicting the Indonesian Revolution of 1946-1949, from the vantage point of realism, contesting a linear history of global artistic modernism by using the concept of ‘contemporaneity’.

Eye Wandering the Ceiling: Ornament and New Brutalism by Mark Crinson examines Eduardo Paolozzi’s ceiling paper of 1952 to expose a New Brutalist re-working of an older modernist problematic, pointing to a broader range of New Brutalist works concerned with the ceiling, or the zone above our heads.

Tim Stott’s essay When Attitudes Became Toys: Jasia Reichardt’s Play Orbit discusses an exhibition of ‘toys, games and playables’ as an encounter of art and cybernetics, marking a significant but still largely neglected moment in the history of systems art in the late 1960s.

Two recent publications on early modern art and natural history are reviewed in Making Things Strange by Marcia Pointon. Images in Compressed Times by Craig Clunas evaluates three books on modern Chinese art. Graham Bader looks at a monograph on the Weimar photographic book in Reinventing Vision, Page by Page. A new account of post-war Spanish art is analysed in Spanish Avant-Garde Art during the Francoist Dictatorship by Jacopo Galimberti. Charles Reeve turns to the topic of writings by the artist Donald Judd in Mercenary Criticism. And Todd Cronan assesses an anthology of essays in One Way Cul-de-Sac: Benjamin Buchloh’s Art History.