Show Time

Jens Hoffmann
Thames & Hudson

Show Time examines art exhibitions from the late 1980s to the present day and looks at how they have altered our understanding of the curator’s role. Initially, the text is dry, but the photographs selected are intriguing and beautiful throughout.

Its failing might simply be ambition: with such a large subject area, each exhibition is only fleetingly studied, with no great depth. Any one of the many subsections would make for a fascinating exploration of curatorial movement; the book might have been better served by restricting its focus and offering a more detailed analysis of one specific location.

Despite this, the text gives a good general overview and offers a glimpse into the varied and ever-changing world of art presentations. It certainly has a position as a resource: some of the projects are accompanied by precise and informative lists, featuring names, dates, times and locations, and there is no doubt that the 50 shows selected are important, both artistically and for their role in opening up ideas about what it means to have responsibility for art.

Bryony Byrne