RLT presents the second staging of a Yasmina Reza play in Raleigh in the past few months, following a presentation of God of Carnage by Theatre Raleigh. Art is a black comedy about three men, Serge, Marc and Yvan, whose longtime friendship is jeopardized when Serge buys an expensive piece of modern art, a white canvas marked by just a few white lines. Serge is eager for his friends to approve of his new purchase, but when Marc questions Serge's judgment, the criticism of artistic taste quickly becomes about personal values. Meanwhile, Yvan's attempts to pacify the conflict and play to both sides backfire, and tensions escalate until the issue of the painting threatens to ruin the three men's once-solid relationship. Reza excels at creating conflict that forces ostensibly civilized people to turn nasty. This play may be lightweight, but it's not lighthearted.
—Emma D. Miller