Journalist, critic and art curator
Kristine McKenna wrote for The Los Angeles Times from 1977 through 1998 and was one of the first mainstream journalists chronicling the early L.A. punk rock scene. She was Music Editor for the influential avant-garde arts publication Wet, and the West Coast Editor of NME. Her profiles and criticism have appeared in Artforum, The New York Times, Artnews, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. She was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Administration grant in 1976, and a Critics Fellowship from the National Gallery of Art in 1991. McKenna co-curated the 1998 exhibition Forming: The Early Days of L.A. Punk for Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica. She was co-curator of Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle, a traveling group exhibition that opened at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in 2005. She is producer and co-writer of The Cool School, a documentary about L.A.’s first avant-garde gallery, and her book The Ferus Gallery: A Place to Begin was published by Steidl in 2009. In 2010 she partnered with Donna Wingate and Lorraine Wild to launch the publishing imprint Foggy Notion Books. In October 2015 it was announced she is co-writing David Lynch’s “quasi memoir” Room to Dream. That book is due out in June 2018. She has participated in Lynch’s Festival of Disruption, doing onstage interviews with Lynch, Frank Gehry, Ed Ruscha, Sheryl Lee, and others. She edited her many conversations with musician Dan Hicks into his posthumous autobiography I Scare Myself, published in 2017. She has also contributed to programs made by the radio artist Joe Frank.