Medieval Africa Comes to Illinois

“Can you picture the richest person ever in our collective recorded history? Would that picture change if you were told that he ruled the Empire of Mali in the 14th century? Might it change again if you were informed that he was a devout Muslim?”

Caravans of Gold, Fragments of Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa  is now on view at the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. The exhibition details the life of what was likely the richest man in history: Mansa Musa of Mali (Hyperallergic)

Review of “Harvey Quaytman: Against the Static” at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Quaytman skillfully translated the energy of preparatory sketches to large-scale proportions in these works. The resultant paintings retain the small moments where inconsistencies arise and balance is subtly disturbed when one draws by hand. In other words, Quaytman imported the personal aspect of the drawing process to the often impersonal world of geometric abstraction and, given the large scale of the paintings, cast the irregularities as heroic. Frank Stella, pioneer of the shaped canvas, warned that abstraction, especially as practiced by Kandinsky and Mondrian, can lack “human dynamics.” Quaytman’s work, however, is full of humanity.
[Kim Beil, Art in America]

Japan in Princeton

Lev Feigin reviews the exhibition “Picturing Place in Japan,” now on view at the Princeton University Art Museum. [Hyperallergic]