Christopher Knight, Art Critic

  • Review
Survey of Agnes Martin's powerful yet meditative work draws a straight, vibrant line to Zen

A survey of abstract paintings and paper work by Agnes Martin at LACMA charts the artist's blossoming awareness

  • Review
SFMOMA's expansion offers a deep dive into blue-chip artists' works

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's expansion has a lot of art by a few big names such as Andy Warhol, Richard Serra, Alexander Calder.

  • Review
Marilyn Minter's 'Pretty/Dirty' show allures and repulses all at the same time

New York-based artist's exhausting visuals at the Orange County Museum of Art are as shamelessly captivating as a car wreck

  • Review
Roman floor mosaics with violent scenes pack a punch at Getty Villa

A small collection of Roman floor mosaics at the Getty Villa has stunning scenes of violence and triumph.

  • Review
'Helen Lundeberg: A Retrospective' downplays the painter's key early works

The life of Helen Lundeberg spanned the 20th century, almost exactly. In the first full-scale retrospective exhibition of paintings by the Los Angeles artist,

  • Review
LACMA and Getty's impressive Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit reveals Andy Warhol's lasting influence

Without classic 1960s Pop art, especially Andy Warhol's, there would be no Robert Mapplethorpe photographs as we know them from the 1970s and 1980s.

  • Review
The radical and politically potent opening show at DTLA's new Hauser Wirth & Schimmel

New Hauser Wirth & Schimmel gallery's spacious facility hosts 'Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women 1947-2016'

  • Review
See how Japanese American photography from 1920-1940 is still 'Making Waves'

A great American art movement is rediscovered in "Making Waves: Japanese American Photography, 1920-1940" at JANM.

How Robert Mapplethorpe went from America's pariah to America's sweetheart

"Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium" at the J. Paul Getty Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a thorough examination.

  • Review
Identity transformed in the Fowler's 'Disguise: Masks and Global African Art'

'Disguise: Masks and Global African Art' at the Fowler Museum adds a dynamic, modern touch to an ancient, cross-cultural tradition.

  • Review
Surprises abound in the illuminating 'Leap Before You Look' at UCLA's Hammer Museum

'Leap Before You Look' at UCLA's Hammer Museum offers a fascinating look at Black Mountain College, which had a profound influence on the emergence of the midcentury American avant garde.

Getty purchases Gentileschi's radiant 'Danaë,' now owns 2 of 3 paintings in a set

The J. Paul Getty Museum purchases Gentileschi's Baroque masterpiece "Danae," now owns 2 of 3 paintings in a set.

  • Review
'Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots,' in Dallas, is exciting and enlightening

Dallas Museum of Art's "Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots," focused on the artist's "black paintings," impresses Christopher Knight.

  • Review
The Kimbell captures 'Painter's Eye,' but it can't elevate Caillebotte

Christopher Knight reviews the Kimbell's 'Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter's Eye' and finds the artist's works mostly tepid.

  • Review
Keiko Fukazawa's 'Made in China' show employs ceramics to make the personal political

Keiko Fukazawa's ceramic assisted readymades touch on politics, history and her outsider perspective

  • Review
Around the Galleries: Matt Wedel's 'Peaceable Fruit' ceramics have a hint of fiery apocalypse

Matt Wedel's ceramics at L.A. Louver, Doug Ohlson's paintings at Louis Stern and Genevieve Gaignard's installation are reviewed.

  • Review
Alex Israel spells everything out at the Huntington

"Alex Israel at the Huntington," a seven-month exhibition at the Huntington Library, is simplistic and shallow.

  • Review
'UH-OH: Frances Stark, 1991-2015' at Hammer Museum is an enthralling midcareer survey

"UH-OH: Frances Stark, 1991-2015" at Hammer Museum is an enthralling midcareer survey.

  • Critic's Notebook
Bill Cosby art collection: How the National Museum of African Art shot itself in the foot

National Museum of African Art, showing works from Bill Cosby's art collection in 'Conversations,' hurts itself.

  • Review
'Woven Gold: Tapestries of Louis XIV': Splendid pomp and circumstance at the Getty

The power of the French monarchy is on full display in 'Woven Gold: Tapestries of Louis XIV' at the Getty Museum, with designs after Raphael, Giulio Romano, Peter Paul Rubens, Simon Vouet, Charles Le Brun and others.

Propaganda is here to stay. Is there a museum willing to tackle its complexity?

L.A. Times art critic Christopher Knight reflects on how propaganda has taken unprecedented forms in 2015.

  • Review
'Rain Room,' technology's hot-ticket riff on Mother Nature

The immersive LACMA exhibit takes visitors inside a downpour for a mostly dry experience that's already a massive hit.

  • Best of 2015
The 10 best art exhibitions at L.A. museums in 2015

The 10 best art exhibitions at L.A. museums in 2015 include "Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974-1989" at Hammer Museum and the Broad's debut.

  • Review
'Hard Edged' art at California African American Museum widens perception of black artists' work

"Hard Edged: Geometrical Abstraction and Beyond" at the California African American Museum shifts frame of reference for black artists

  • Review
'Jim Shaw: The End Is Here' taps public's id in a weird, humorous way

Part political cartoon, part surreal history lesson, Jim Shaw's 'The End Is Here' show at N.Y.'s New Museum encapsulates almost 40 years of conclusions

  • Review
A chilling portrait of Germany's Weimar era emerges in 'New Objectivity' at LACMA

LACMA exhibits German art of the Weimar era in "New Objectivity," a show that might chill you to the core. A review.

  • Review
Matthew Barney's 'River of Fundament'? Well, it's certainly big

Matthew Barney's operatic film "River of Fundament" is shown at MOCA with related sculptures. It's sprawling and messy. A review.

  • Review
An early look in the Broad museum reveals a show that doesn't quite gel

At the Broad museum in downtown Los Angeles, many works are superlative but the inaugural show doesn't gel.

  • Review
'Paintings of Moholy-Nagy' gives only a taste of the artist's eclectic body of work

Santa Barbara Museum of Art's modest show on Laszlo Moholy-Nagy is largely a sketch of his artistic philosophy.

Museums' disturbing transformation: relentless commercialization

As museums lose funding, some like LACMA, MOCA and De Young Museum are turning to the commercial world for lucrative help.

  • Review
Charles Ray's sculptures cast a forceful modern eye on antiquity

'Charles Ray: Sculpture, 1997-2014' at the Art Institute of Chicago is an outstanding survey of the L.A.-based sculptor.

Images of Muhammad and a Texas cartoon show's sketchy purpose

Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest in Texas is one of those moments in which there's no one to root for, Christopher Knight writes.

  • Critic's Notebook
LACMA landed Kirchner's 'Dancer With Necklace' through skill, happenstance

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's 'Dancer With Necklace' is a standout in '50 for 50' at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

  • Review
Chris Burden's 'Ode to Santos Dumont' inspires wonder, delight

Chris Burden's remarkable "Ode to Santos Dumont" is an ethereal sculptural poem to disembodied flight; Christopher Knight reviews.

  • Review
William Pope.L sets the U.S. flag waving at the MOCA/Geffen

William Pope.L's work at the MOCA/Geffen is dominated by "Trinket," an enormous, billowing U.S. flag meant to make viewers think.

  • Review
Making photos, not taking them; the distinction in 'Perfect Likeness'

"Perfect Likeness," at the UCLA Hammer Museum, looks at the work of photographers whose manipulations make statements.

  • Review
'Someday Is Now' reflects influence of the '60s and Warhol on artist Sister Corita

The work of Sister Corita, a nun and activist, edges on Pop art, but her humanism went deeper than the Warhol influences

  • Review
'Junk Dada' assembles Noah Purifoy's overlooked, pivotal works

Noah Purifoy's important assemblages, begun after the Watts riots and stretching past 9/11, redefined and enlarged the idea of black consciousness

  • Critic's Notebook
Caitlyn Jenner's courage is bold, Annie Leibovitz's portrait cliched

Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair cover photograph by Annie Leibovitz is cliched, a missed opportunity, Christopher Knight writes.

  • Review
'Sculpture in the Age of Donatello' shows artist's competitive spirit

'Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces From Florence Cathedral' at the Museum of Biblical Art captures rivalry.

LACMA's 'Space Sculpture' shot from center stage to oblivion

The gleaming 'Space Sculpture' greeted LACMA visitors when the museum opened in 1965, but Norbert Kricke's work is long forgotten.

  • Review
New book 'Out of Sight' gives L.A.'s '60s art scene the respect its due

In 'Out of Sight,' William Hackman takes a worthwhile look at the L.A. art scene in the 1960s but repeats some outdated established ideas.

  • Review
Santa Barbara's 'Botticelli, Titian and Beyond' a quirky gem

Santa Barbara Museum of Art's 'Botticelli, Titian and Beyond' a compelling look at Italian painting by way of Glasgow.

  • Review
At new Whitney Museum site, a show is shrouded in parochialism

New Whitney Museum of American Art has a friendly design, but its show "America Is Hard to See" reflects a parochialism; review.

LACMA's Michael Govan finds great character in museum's collection

Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, reflects on a collection that keeps growing, 50 years on.

The Mosul Museum video from Islamic State could be a staged drama

A video said to show Islamic State militants destroying artifacts in Mosul Museum in Iraq could be a staged drama

LACMA purchases long-lost masterpiece, once kept under a couch

LACMA's acquisition of Miguel Cabrera's casta painting 'From Spaniard and Morisca, Albino' is an art world coup.

J.M.W. Turner exhibit at J. Paul Getty Museum tosses convention

J. Paul Getty Museum's exhibit 'J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free' shows him capturing his era's subjects and pressing ideas.

  • Review
'Apparitions' at the Hammer explores low-tech art in a high-tech world

"Apparitions," at the UCLA Hammer, explores the embrace of the low-tech art technique frottage in a high-tech world.

  • Review
Getty's Josef Koudelka retrospective is grim yet riveting

'Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful' at the Getty Museum is a grim yet compelling photography retrospective

  • Review
Hammer's 'Gridwork' plots Charles Gaines' captivating process

'Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974-1989' at the Hammer Museum a deep dive into conceptual artist's template.

  • Year in Review
Museum admission should be free: The state of art in 2014

It is time for more Los Angeles art museums to follow the Getty Museum and Hammer Museum and have free admission

  • Review
Artist Brian Weil's work focuses on a 'World' few ever see

Traveling retrospective at Santa Monica Museum of Art presents visually compelling, sometimes gritty images from society's margins

At satire's forefront, cartoons press against hard lines

Authoritarianism and cartooning are oil and water. Strict commitment to irreducible doctrine is an irresistible target for a cartoonist.

  • Review
Delacroix's 'Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi' as a rallying cry

Eugene Delacroix's "Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi" is part of an incisive show at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Review.

  • Review
Three art shows in San Diego recall abstraction's prominence

  • Year in Review
Christopher Knight's best art shows of 2014

The 10 best shows at Los Angeles art museums in 2014 include ones at Getty, MOCA and LACMA

  • Review
Warm spots in Pierre Huyghe's often chilly Conceptualism at LACMA

A retrospective of French Conceptual artist Pierre Huyghe turns the Los Angeles County Museum of Art into a mammoth vivarium.

Plans for a new LACMA seem to be aligning, but first some questions

A new Los Angeles County Museum of Art? Much looks promising, but much is also unresolved.

  • Review
The shock, critique, theatricality of '80s art, on view in Fort Worth

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth's "Urban Theater" exhibition revisits art of the 1980s. Christopher Knight reviews.

  • Review
Wonders unfurl at Getty, Met tapestry shows on Rubens, Coecke

Tapestry exhibitions at the Met and the Getty reveal the genius of Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Peter Paul Rubens.

Loss permeates Jim Hodges' art; prepare for heartbreak

Sculptor Jim Hodges sifts through art history, the AIDS pandemic and social interaction: 25 years of work on view at the Hammer.

  • Review
'@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz' a powerful meditation on repression

'@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz' is a poignant, powerful meditation on soul-deadening repressions of human thought and feeling.

  • Review
Alas, mere 'Shadows' in MOCA's Andy Warhol exhibit

The overblown installation of 102 lifeless canvases in monochrome ranks among the Pop artist's worst works — even its creator was unimpressed, calling it 'disco decor'

  • Review
Minor White snaps into focus again in Getty Museum show

Review: Minor White snaps into focus again in Getty Museum show

  • Review
Pollock's stellar 'Lucifer' and impressive Anderson Collection

Featuring Jackson Pollock's "Lucifer," the Anderson Collection at Stanford University impresses critic Christopher Knight. Review.

Los Angeles' art world is bigger and wider

The art world's center of gravity in Los Angeles is no longer confined to the Westside

  • Review
Object lessons at Torrance Art Museum's 'Another Thing Coming'

'Another Thing Coming: New Sculpture in L.A.' at the Torrance Art Museum finds that object-sculpture is alive and well.

  • Review
LACMA's 'Marsden Hartley' show a moving study of German years

LACMA's magnificent 'Marsden Hartley: The German Paintings, 1913-1915' a vivid and touching exploration of artist's breakthrough.

  • Review
Huntington's new gallery rooms show promise

Huntington's new rooms in Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art include work by Arthur Dove, Robert Seldon Duncanson.

  • Review
LACMA exhibit on John Altoon shows his jazzy, seductive touch

Review: A LACMA exhibit of works by John Altoon, a '60s California artist, features abstraction and jazz-influenced sexuality.

  • Review
LACMA's 'Expressionism in Germany and France' an edifying mix

In scholarly and absorbing detail, LACMA explores Expressionism's beginnings and Germany's close identification with the form.

MOCA's latest challenge: a practically blank exhibition schedule

The empty exhibition schedule threatens to interrupt MOCA's recovery after years of upheaval.

  • Arts & Culture
Review: 'Tea and Morphine' a potent mix

Art Review: The Hammer Museum print exhibit "Tea and Morphine: Women in Paris" reveals the lot of disenfranchised women in

  • Review
Surveying Francesco Vezzoli's shrewd, movie-mad work at MOCA

In "Cinema Vezzoli," a survey of movie-mad work by Francesco Vezzoli at the Museum of Contemporary Art, too much is just right.

  • Review
LACMA's lovely show on Korea in a time of transformation

At Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the large and lovely "Treasures From Korea" surveys the transformative Joseon Dynasty.

  • Critic's Notebook
What is an artist? Peter Plagens' 'Bruce Nauman' illuminates

Peter Plagens' 'Bruce Nauman: The True Artist' is a compelling meditation by one artist on the enormous influence of another.

Art review: 'Floral Journey' at Autry shows beadwork with deep meaning

Art review: The exquisite beadwork in 'Floral Journey' at Autry National Center has messages about the beliefs, struggles of Native Americans.

Review: Santa Barbara Museum of Art makes room for Stuart and Aycock

Art review: New York-based artists Michelle Stuart and Alice Aycock meet auspiciously at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

  • Arts & Culture
Review: The Getty's 'Canterbury' a potent mark of medieval art

Art review: The Canterbury Cathedral's stained-glass windows and the St. Albans Psalter are on vivid display at the Getty.