Taking as a point of departure Eustache Deschamps’s fourteenth-century manuscript Le double lay de la fragilité humaine, Phantoms of Emptiness: The Space of the Imaginary in Late Medieval Art by Elina Gertsman explores empty spaces which treat absence as a generative presence.
Charting the origins and significance of the use of two types of specifically coloured cloth in west central Africa, Cécile Fromont’s essay, Common Threads: Cloth, Colour, and the Slave Trade in Early Modern Kongo and Angola, investigates visual, material, and social change in that region during the era of the slave trade.
Girodet’s Galvanized Bodies by Stephanie O’Rourke considers how the striking luminous effects of Girodet’s paintings offer a uniquely concentrated opportunity to reconsider the bodies and politics of post-Revolutionary France.
Molly Brunson’s essay, Vasily Surikov and the Russian Point of View, argues that Surikov’s deployment of perspective displays Russian culture’s innately dual orientation, as both premodern and modern, realist and modernist.
In Giorgio de Chirico’s ‘Jewish Hour’: Metaphysical Painting in Ferrara, 1915-1918, Ara H. Merjian argues that de Chirico distils ostensibly Jewish moral and cultural tendencies not simply to an arcane iconography, but to an ‘ascetic’ economy of painted form.
The late 1960s and early 1970s, a period that witnessed the radicalization of the Cuban revolution and the increase of Soviet dominance on the island, are the focus of Luc Chessex, Robert Frank, and the Representation of Labour in the Magazine Cuba Internacional, 1968-71 by Iliana Cepero.
A recent publication on Chinese painting and its audiences is evaluated by Jennifer Purtle in Looking at Viewers: Spectatorship, Chinese Painting, and Art History. Kamini Vellodi, in An Eel Soup, addresses a study of Aby Warburg. Two books on post-war British art are examined in Sam Gathercole’s Misrecognition and Miscegenation: Reading Different Structures of Feeling. Catherine Spencer focuses on precarious and participatory practices in The Expanding and Disappearing Work of Art. New books on craft are reviewed in The Making of Contemporary Art by David Hodge. And in Living Archives, From Dust to Data Jessie Robertson looks at a collection of essays on art and digital technologies.