Christopher Knight on Muck Rack

Christopher Knight Verified

Los Angeles
Art Critic — LA Times
As seen in:  LA Times, Chicago Tribune

Los Angeles Times art critic

In Judith Eisler's work, light trumps star power — Seven big paintings of cinematic close-ups and two-shots of movie stars by Judith Eisler seem to be less about Hollywood and celebrity than they are about light. Gloria Swanson, Dorothy Malone, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson glow from the walls at Gavlak, but the people are finally just props - essentially interchangeable with three similarly large paintings of popping flashbulbs and movie lights.

Glenn Ligon explores race in America — Remember post-racial America? Shortly after we elected the first African American president, some eager folks decided that a couple of hundred years of home-grown racial terrorism hadn't really done deep and lasting damage to the national DNA. The most appropriate retort to that delusion might be: "You lie."

Meditations on Southern California's water lifeline — California is not in danger of running out of water in the next year or two, but the climate-change situation is going from bad to worse as we enter the fourth year of drought. At Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, “After the Aqueduct” looks at one big piece of the state’s water puzzle.

Review: Marten Elder at Tif Sigfrids Gallery — One of Marten Elder’s six large-format pigment prints at Tif Sigfrids shows the prickly pads of a Nopal cactus against an urban stucco wall, bathed in riveting hues. They range from scarlet and deep purple to lime green and palest blue. It’s not like any plant you’ve ever seen.

William Pope.L sets the U.S. flag waving at the MOCA/Geffen — In the spring of 2008, months before distracted voters focused on the fall presidential election, several TV reporters ginned up a fake campaign controversy to fill some airtime in the insatiable maw of the 24-hour news cycle. The economy had collapsed, blood still gushed like oil in Iraq.

Santa Barbara's 'Botticelli, Titian and Beyond' a quirky gem — Scotland is apparently in the midst of a cultural tourism push, with traveling exhibitions from its national museums in Edinburgh and civic museums in Glasgow visiting California. Both are old-fashioned "treasures" shows. San Francisco's De Young Museum is presenting 55 paintings in "Botticelli to Braque: Masterpieces From the National Galleries of Scotland," a sprawl that starts in Renaissance Florence and ends in Modernist Paris.

Propaganda video may be a cover for Mosul Museum looting — Many questions were raised by the shocking recent propaganda video showing Islamic State jihadists smashing statues, both authentic antiquities and gypsum reproductions, inside Iraq's Mosul Museum and at the ancient Ninevah archaeological site nearby. Most important is the absence of an accurate accounting of what has been lost.

Hammer's 'Gridwork' plots Charles Gaines' captivating process — Charles Gaines' drawings from the 1970s and 1980s are not for the faint of heart. Encountering all those big sheets of graph paper filled in with row upon row of tiny little numbers and Latin alphabet letters has the immediate appeal of undergoing an IRS audit or perhaps reading through digital program code.

Baghdad's National Museum of Iraq re-opens in rebuke to Islamic State — The National Museum of Iraq, shuttered 12 years ago in the wake of the country's invasion by U.S.-led troops, has re-opened in Baghdad. According to the BBC , the opening date was moved up to Saturday in direct response to a statue-smashing propaganda video released last week by the so-called Islamic State .

The Mosul Museum video from Islamic State could be a staged drama — The Islamic State wants the global community to know that there's a new sheriff in town. So it wrecked a museum full of precious sculptures and on Thursday posted video of the vandalism on the Internet. At least, that's what their video wants you to think.
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Mar 25, 2015

ThirdLA will live-stream a debate over architect Peter Zumthor’s plan to radically redesign @LACMA at 7:30 pm PDT

Mar 25, 2015

RT @magdasawon: @cmonstah @HowardHalle I'm seconding this.And I may add the tabloid clickbait ways of artnet are nauseating at this point.

Mar 25, 2015

RT @joshtpm: Cruz vying for libertarian vote by saying taste in art should be guided by ideological imperatives…

Mar 25, 2015

War fog: "Unesco confirmed...that satellite images show that...Nimrud and Hatra 'have not been completely razed'"

Mar 24, 2015

Bloomberg's provincial ex-policy adviser: "You can’t be a serious cultural philanthropist unless you’re in New York"

Mar 24, 2015

RT @JonWiener1: A giant American flag in a windstorm William Pope L. @MOCALosAngeles "sinister, thrilling, unforgettable" @KnightLAT

Mar 24, 2015

William Pope.L's installation sculpture "Trinket" is anything but @MOCAlosangeles Made me smile...and fret.

Mar 24, 2015

U.S. Code says: "The flag represents a living country & is itself...a living thing." @MOCAlosangeles William Pope.L knows & shows

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