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VISUAL STUDIES
Dispatches from exhibitions around the world.
Looking Good In Thomas Struth's retrospective, sometimes his "precise looking" helps history flow. Sometimes it freezes it dead.
Burn the Paintings Is iconoclasm anything more than the senseless destruction of art?
In the Buff The naked woman in art isn’t unusual, but we have trouble viewing the male body as a sexual, or artistic, object.
Culture Shock It’s tough to define art, especially because every culture has a different definition. Maybe you just know it when you see it.
A Way of Looking Julia Margaret Cameron challenged the arbitrary aesthetic boundaries for photography in the 19th century. In doing so, she’s made us ask: What is the true definition of “focus?”
The Detroit Effect Our fascination with images of a decaying America reflects our hesitance to accept a modern world and our longing for a time past.
Defining the Masses How do we speak objectively about something of which we’re a part? By documenting everything.
Social Scenes L.S. Lowry’s work may depict the smoggy Industrial Era, but it makes us nostalgic for a disappearing class.
The World We Can’t See Are the works of Saloua Raouda Choucair testaments of war or glimpses at the potential of harmony?
The British Circuit The Tate Britain invites us to "Meet British Art." But would we recognize it if we met it?
Western Exposure Sebastião Salgado photographs of nature are undeniably beautiful, but they also portray a typical Western gaze.
Modernism's Margins George Bellows may have died before his work reached its peak, but it’s the fact that he’s “unfinished” that makes him interesting.
Picasso in the Future What does art from the ice age have to do with Picasso? It makes us think — how will we discuss Picasso millennia from now?
The Power of the Brushstroke Lichtenstein’s obsession with the minute details of painting proves there’s more craft to Pop Art than you might think.
The Gaze In Victorine Meurent, Manet found a model that examined the viewer, and thus Manet invented the modern art spectator.
Candid Camera Presenting the artist at work turns painters into performers. They become their art.
Into the Canvas Matisse wasn’t just a painter but an explorer, and each painting was a journey.
Artificial Paradise The Impressionist painters found a new natural beauty in the Paris's burgeoning fashion scene.
American or Artist? In defining Edward Hopper as the quintessential American artist, we've lost the artist himself.
Industrial Comfort Though the Victorian Era and the conservatism of the 1980s may have conflicted ideologically, even the Tories were charmed by the Pre-Raphaelites.
From Gossip to War Glamour Cecil Beaton had a knack for creating iconic photographs but his images of war are strangely romanticized and familiar.
Some Enchanted Evenings Christer Strömholm turned an affectionate eye on the less conventional ladies of the night.
Face Time The masks and dolls of Ralph Eugene Meatyard lead us to the margins of reality.
Meet the New Barnes Same as the old Barnes. Well, sort of.
Sherman's March Thirty years of looking at Cindy Sherman.
Bi-Curious Evaluating the role of the critic at the 2012 Whitney Biennial.
Skin Problems Lucian Freud's portraits do not create relationships with viewers, but instead explore those between the artist and his subjects.
Point and Shoot For 15 years, New York's Photo League used cameras to promote social change. Then McCarthy came along.
A Portrait of the Merchant as an Important Man Renaissance portraits reflect a shift in artistic style. More important, they mark a radical transformation in artistic subject.
If It Bleeds Weegee captured gruesome scenes of murder and mayhem, but the crimes are often incidental.
Selective Memory ''Youth and Beauty'' tells a very particular story about the 1920s, but the takeaway applies to any time in the past.
Oh, Really? The Whitney Museum of American Art blurs the line between the real and the surreal.
The Painter and His Process The Museum of Modern Art's de Kooning retrospective celebrates a way to live and work.
Creative Class Picasso's early drawings reveal much about the artist, but more about the creative process.
American Dreamer Peter Sekaer never had the fame of Walker Evans or Dorothea Lange, but his photographs may be the most relevant today.
World Views Lyonel Feininger left New York for Germany at 16. He returned almost 50 years later, but the city he knew was gone.
Going Hungary From Kertész to Capa, what makes Hungarian photography Hungarian?
Tiny Dancer Jane Avril was small and sick. Toulouse-Lautrec was deformed and unwanted. Together they created a new aesthetic.
Burning Down the House Miró may not have liked the dictatorship, but he was most interested in bringing down the ways we look at art.
Creative Forces ''Claude Cahun'' at the Jeu de Paume is an archive of the creative process.
Murky Muybridge To talk of Muybridge is to talk of the horse, yes, but also of railroad tycoons, Native American battles, epic nature, economic collapse, and murder.
Flash! ''Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance & the Camera'' reminds us that every photograph involves the very conscious act of looking. And boy do we love to look.