Caribbean: Art at the Crossroads of the World by Edited by Deborah Cullen & Elvis Fuentes - review by Matthew Parker

Matthew Parker

Artists of the Archipelago

Caribbean: Art at the Crossroads of the World


Yale University Press 491pp £45

It’s been described as the summer blockbuster of the New York art scene. ‘Caribbean: Crossroads of the World’ is showing more than 500 works by 379 different artists, spread across three prestigious galleries – the Museo del Barrio, Queens Museum of Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Some of the artists are familiar – Paul Gauguin, Camille Pissarro, Edna Manley, Wifredo Lam, Jesús Rafael Soto – but very many are not. The project, ten years in the making, has been widely admired for its size, cultural scope and the freshness of its material. There is a feeling it was long overdue. 

The only slight criticisms have been about over-ambition and over-inclusion. For some, such is the quantity and variety that it is hard to comprehend. This accompanying book shares the exhibitions’ strengths and weaknesses. The pictures, appearing in no particular chronological order, are often powerful, funny, moving or shocking. What is

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