The Noir Effect

October 23, 2014–March 1, 2015

About the Exhibition

Following up where the exhibition Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950 left off, The Noir Effect traced the influence of noir into more recent times, exploring how the genre has continued to impact American popular culture, art, and media. 

Show details

Through a diverse display of original work, the exhibition examined how key noir elements—stark lighting and shadows, moody characters, “hard-boiled” language, and fragmented narratives—have infiltrated contemporary film and television, graphic novels, children’s books, fashion advertising, video games, and fine art. The artists featured were Cindy Sherman, Ed Ruscha, Bill Armstrong, Helen K. Garber, Ronald Corbin, Daido Moriyama, David Lynch, Karina Nimmerfall, Jane O'Neal, Alex Prager, and ROUSE & JONES.

Visitors entered even deeper into the world of noir through interactive gallery activities by writing their own noir stories, donning the accessories of a femme fatale or private detective, and playing noir-inspired games such as Noir Escape and Third Eye Crime.

Organized by the Skirball Cultural Center and co-presented with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.