Peter Plagens (born 1941 in Dayton, Ohio) is an American art critic, painter, and novelist. From 1989 until 2003 Plagens was a senior writer and art critic for Newsweek. As a novelist, Plagens is the author of Time for Robo (1999, Black Heron Press, ISBN 0930773543) and The Art Critic, which was and is serialized online at artnet. As a painter, he has been represented by the Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York.
Plagens lived and worked in California after graduating from the University of Southern California. In 1974, Plagens wrote Sunshine Muse: Contemporary Art on the West Coast. For most of the 1970s, Plagens and artist Bruce Nauman had studios on the same block in Pasadena and they played in a weekly Santa Monica artists' basketball game. Plagens also performed in Nauman's 1975 film Pursuit, which features more than 24 minutes of footage of men and women running on a treadmill against a black background, panting desperately into the void while staying in place.
- Carol Kino (May 1, 2014), Pioneering Artist Bruce Nauman Releases a New Monograph Wall Street Journal.