Raisa Rexer is an assistant professor of French at Vanderbilt University. Her current book project examines the history of the photographic nude in 19th-century France and its influence on literary production of the period

Petite danseuse de quatorze ans (1881; cast in 1921–31), Edgar Degas. Installation view of ‘In Colour: Polychrome Sculpture in France 1850–1910’ at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

How polychrome sculpture revolutionised art in 19th-century France

Coloured sculpture was a controversial art form that raised wider questions about realism and the role of art

31 Jul 2018
Nude No. 72, New York, 1949–50 Irving Penn. © The Irving Penn Foundation

Irving Penn’s radical formalism

The Met emphasises the quantity and variety of Penn’s photographs, but what really stands out is the unity of his vision

27 Jun 2017
Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Apse (1854), Auguste Salzmann.

One photographer’s spiritual struggle in Jerusalem

In 1853 Auguste Salzmann went to Jerusalem to photograph religious sites. The results, on show at the Metropolitan Museum, are an insight into his own faith

15 Dec 2016

The history of photography through women’s eyes

Two Paris museums have joined forces to celebrate the work of 165 women photographers

14 Jan 2016

Not even Stalin could snuff out the legacy of early Soviet photography and film

The Jewish Museum’s exhibition reveals the importance of formal innovation to freedom of expression

1 Dec 2015

The Lady Vanishes: ‘Madame Cézanne’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

No pairing of artist and muse was more complicated, ambivalent, or more richly productive

11 Feb 2015

Every bit as good as Matisse: ‘The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec’ at New York’s MoMA

There’s a second talented Parisian on show at the MoMA this winter

6 Jan 2015

Review: ‘That Obscure Object of Desire’ at Luxembourg and Dayan, NYC

Unfortunately these particular obscure objects make for a slightly incoherent show…

14 Sep 2014

Review: ‘Multiple Exposures: Jewellery and Photography’ at MAD New York

In focusing on recent innovations, this exhibition risks losing sight of some of the original allure of its subject

21 Aug 2014

Review: ‘Other Primary Structures: Others 2’ at the Jewish Museum New York

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose… the Jewish Museum revisits its seminal 1966 exhibition of minimalist sculpture, again

15 Jun 2014

Review: ‘Other Primary Structures’ at the Jewish Museum

‘Primary Structures’ in 1966 featured minimalist sculptors from the US and UK. This revisionist revival looks further afield

25 Apr 2014

Charles Marville and the Urban Sublime

Marville found glimpses of the Romantic sublime in Haussmann-era Paris. His photographs at the Met are not to be missed

26 Mar 2014

White Walled Cage

The reification of ‘revolutionary’ work by John Cage and the Fluxus artists at MoMA is unsettlingly contradictory. The artist is dead. Long live the artist!

22 Dec 2013


‘Art Spiegelman’s Co-Mix’ at the Jewish Museum in New York celebrates the extraordinary breadth and variety of the comic artist’s career

21 Nov 2013

Little d’Angers

An exhibition at the Frick Collection ostensibly celebrates David d’Angers’ monumental sculpture, but his small medallions steal the show

26 Sep 2013