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Piranesi Provacateur

New York Review

May 11, 2023

Look around, and somehow poor Piranesi is still everywhere. His prints pop up like background chatter in photographs, fictions, and Logan Roy’s living room in Succession’s fourth season. Jorge Luis Borges and Le Corbusier were aesthetic and philosophical adversaries, but both decorated their rooms with Vedute...Louis Kahn, champion of modernist monumentality, had Piranesi’s quixotic plan of the Campo Marzio in his Philadelphia office; Peter Eisenman, architecture’s field marshal of fragmentation, has the same print in his bedroom.


Interview with Prudence Crowther

New York Review

April 29, 2023

... It’s easy to poke fun at “woke” excesses, but the larger problem is that any kind of discovery has been preempted. It’s comforting but deeply boring (and ultimately dangerous) if all you are asking from art is an affirmation of something you already believe. The universe is a probabilistic place, at least from the vantage point of an individual living in it, and coming to terms with unanticipated outcomes is important.


Sybil & Cyril: Dynamism, Domesticated

New York Review of Books

March 10, 2022

Between-the-wars has become a popular trope of film and television—cloche hats and people huddled before enormous radios—but Uglow gives us something else: thinking people navigating a world that was not just different from our own but also different from the one that nostalgia had imposed on them. Sybil and Cyril may have been adventurous and “modern,” but they spent as much time looking backward as looking


No Plan at All

Hatje Cantz, 2021

Susan Tallman & Niels Borch Jensen

How the Danish Printshop of Niels Borch Jensen Reinvented the Artist's Print for the Contemporary World



The Atlantic

May 2023

Of all the great painters of the golden age when the small, soggy Netherlands arose as an improbable global power, Johannes Vermeer is the most beloved and the most disarming. Rembrandt gives us grandeur and human frailty, Frans Hals gives us brio, Pieter de Hooch gives us busy burghers, but Vermeer issues an invitation. The trompe l’oeil curtain is pulled back, and if the people on the other side don’t turn to greet us, it’s only because we are always expected.


Kerry James Marshall's Exquisite Corpses

New York Review of Books

December 12, 2022

For four decades Marshall has been helping himself to the bounty of art history, extrapolating distinctive strengths of early Renaissance or French rococo and setting them to work in entirely novel ways to depict Black subjects and Black experience. In a spellbinding exhibition now at Jack Shainman Gallery, it’s Surrealism’s turn. Hilarious and sinister, easy to approach and impossible to resolve, the paintings and drawings in “Exquisite Corpse: This is Not the Game” follow the segmented protocol to which the Surrealists laid claim under the name le cadavre exquise.


The House That Johns Built

New York Review of Books

January 13, 2022

What has Johns done for us lately? Pretty much what he did for us in the first place: he continually disrupts the mental shorthand that converts complex visual experience into simple mental categories, with all their buttressing opinions, received wisdom, and personal preferences. In a world (including the art world) where “visuals” are used to simplify arguments and kindle beliefs, Johns reminds us that doubling, bifurcation, and uncertainty are the terms of vision itself.


Portraits and Politics

New York Review

October 7, 2021

It is hard, looking at the young Alessandro de’ Medici in Jacopo da Pontormo’s painting of 1534–1535, not to empathize. Long-nosed and tender-eyed, he has a moody Adam Driver gravitas. Though he is looking at us, his hands emerge from his vast black cloak to fiddle with stylus and paper, where a faint female profile can be seen. Reputedly


Feinting Spells: Cubism and Trompe l'Oeil

New York Review

January 19, 2023

Part of the delight of trompe l’oeil is the way it relocates, at least for a moment, the edge between art and life. The most dramatic example here is an actual marble tabletop on which Boilly painted a spill of pocket contents—business card, letter, miniature portrait, coins. Collage can do something comparable, as in Picasso’s inclusion of a real calling card whose folded corner has been removed and replaced with a drawn imitation. For both artists, real-world utility


Winslow Homer

The Atlantic

May 2022

The Homer of The Gulf Stream is both more worldly and more elusive than the Homer of little red schoolhouses and sou’westers. And what the 90 or so paintings and watercolors assembled in “Crosscurrents” make clear is that the most salient quality of his art was never straightforwardness; it is his knack for using visual precision to demonstrate the limits of vision. We can see what is happening but not what will happen. He is the master of the ambiguous outcome, which also makes him the master of the unclear moral: Believe in the ship, and The Gulf Stream is a lesson in forbearance; believe in the waterspout, and it is a lesson in futility.


Seeing Things: Anna Mary Howitt in Art History

in Picturing the Invisible: Exploring interdisciplinary synergies from the arts and the sciences. Edited by Paul Coldwell and Ruth M. Morgan


In the freshly written saga of Victorian women artists, Howitt was cast as the system’s ‘tragic victim’. This story is seductive. It pits a likeable, relatable heroine against a misogynistic villain, and dovetails neatly with current understandings of gender politics. It is, however, full of holes. The most yawning lacuna concerns the art itself: none of Anna Mary Howitt’s paintings is currently locatable.


The Garfields Collect

Johanna and Leslie Garfield in conversation with Susan Tallman


Published in conjunction with "Modern Times: British Prints 1913–1939" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2021

other recent publications

Jim Dine: I Print: Catalogue Raisonné of Prints, 2001–2020

with Tobias Burg, editor

Göttingen: Steidl 2021

Bits and Pieces: 400 Years of Collage

Print Quarterly, March 2021

What the Little Woman Was Up To:

Five Hundred Years of Women’s Work: The Lisa Unger Baskin Collection

New York Review of Books, 26 March 2020

The Self-portrait from Schiele to Beckman at the Neue Galerie

New York Review of Books, 18 July 2019  

Poons v Koons: the Art of ‘The Price of Everything'

New York Review Daily, February 2019 

Mirror Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar

Susan Tallman, Nancy Doll and Alison Saar

Portland: Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation 2019

The Edge of Visibility 

Art in Print, Sep-Oct 2018

Richter and Polke

Art in Print, Jul-Aug 2018

The American Dream: Pop to the Present

Stephen Coppell, Catherine Daunt, Susan Tallman

London: the British Museum 2017


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