What's going on Saturday? - Yayoi Kusama at Gagosian Gallery

May 30 - Jul 17, 2009

Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto City, Japan in 1929. She studied Nihonga painting, a rigorous formal style developed during the Meiji period (1868–1912) to deflect the wholesale influence of Western art through the revitalization of the traditions of Japanese painting and their synthesis with aspects of Western art. Attracted by the experimental promise of the postwar international art scene, Kusama moved to New York City in 1958.

As a young struggling artist in New York, Kusama produced her first astonishing Net paintings in 1959—vast canvases measuring up to 33 feet in width, entirely covered in rhythmic undulations of small, thickly painted loops. The inherent philosophical paradox of these paintings—that "infinity" could be quantified and constrained within the arbitrary structure of a readymade canvas—combined with the more subjective and obsessional implications of their process, distinguish these works from Minimalist abstraction, which would dominate the New York art scene several years later. The mesmerizing, transcendent space of the Nets was further reinforced by Kusama's own insistent psychosomatic associations to her paintings. She went on to develop other striking bodies of work, including the phallic soft-sculptures Accumulation, Sex Obsession...

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Saturday Noon -8p

View the Guide to the Art Walk here


At Norton Simon Tonight

A Model for Matisse

Tonight at 7p - This documentary explores the little-known relationship between the legendary 20th-century artist Henri Matisse and French Dominican nun Sister Jacques-Marie, who inspired him to create his final masterpiece, the Chapelle du Rosaire (Chapel of the Rosary) in Vence, France. Directed by Barbara Freed, Professor of French and Applied Linguistics at Carnegie Mellon. (67 minutes)

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The Ego & the ID at The Steve Allen Theater

The Ego and the Id, starring Tony Sam & Davey Johnson performs at 8pm, the first Tuesday of each month, starting in June.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009 at 8:00 PM
The Steve Allen Theater at The Center For Inquiry

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Tonight at BOOK SOUP - Writer Ayelet Waldmen

In-Store Event:
with Ayelet Waldman

In the tradition of recent hits like The Bitch in the House and Perfect Madness comes a hilarious and controversial book that every woman will have an opinion about, written by America’s most outrageous writer.

In our mothers’ day there were good mothers, neglectful mothers, and occasionally great mothers.

Today we have only Bad Mothers. If you work, you’re neglectful; if you stay home, you’re smothering. If you discipline, you’re buying them a spot on the shrink’s couch; if you let them run wild, they will be into drugs by seventh grade. If you buy organic, you’re spending their college fund; if you don’t, you’re risking all sorts of allergies and illnesses.

Is it any wonder so many women refer to themselves at one time or another as “a bad mother”? Ayelet Waldman says it’s time for women to get over it and get on with it, in a book that is sure to spark the same level of controversy as her now legendary “Modern Love” piece, in which she confessed to loving her husband more than her children.

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At REDCAT Friday

Partch DARK/Partch light

Harry Partch was famous for his multihued, many-splendored musical personalities--from contemplative to whimsical, from darkly brooding to achingly hilarious. The ensemble directed by John Schneider continues its multimedia survey of the one-of-a-kind American composer and raconteur with a program that features the out-and-out zaniness of Yankee Doodle Fantasy; the forlorn and beautiful Eleven Intrusions; the intensely anguished Dark Brother (a setting of Thomas Wolfe's "God's Lonely Man"); and the cheerful loopiness of Two Settings from Finnegans Wake and O Frabjous Day! (The Jabberwock). Also: a rare screening of Madeline Tourtelot's art-house film Windsong (1958). And, as always, the fantastic array of Partch's custom-built microtonal instruments.

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Go See - Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool, Paintings 1964-2007 at The Santa Monica Musuem of Art

Santa Monica Museum of Art

Now Through August 22

The renowned artist’s first career retrospective highlights his paintings from 1964 to 2007. While Hendricks has worked in a variety of media throughout his career, and has explored diverse subject matter, he is best known for his striking and provocative life-sized portraits of everyday African-American people from the urban northeast. Bringing to mind American realism, pop culture, and post-modernism in a way uniquely his own, Hendricks’ pioneering contributions to African-American portraiture and conceptualism claims a compelling space somewhere between portraitists Chuck Close and Alex Katz, and African-American conceptualists David Hammons and Adrian Piper. At times cool, at times confrontational, sometimes sexually charged, and always empowering, the work reveals the artist’s keen eye for his subject’s attire, attitude, style, and point of view. Hendricks' groundbreaking body of work has both influenced and paved the way for many of today's generation of artists.

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Last Weekend for the Dan Graham Exhibit at MOCA

Dan Graham: Beyond

Beyond the first North American retrospective of the art of Dan Graham , examining his entire body of work in a focused selection of photographs, film and video, architectural models, indoor and outdoor pavilions, conceptual projects for magazine pages, drawings and prints, and writings. Graham has been a central figure in the development of contemporary art since the 1960s—from the rise of minimalism, conceptual art, and video and performance art, to explorations of architecture and the public sphere and collaborations with musicians and the culture of rock and roll. This exhibition traces the evolution of his practice across each of its major stages, while asserting ongoing themes, most notably, the changing relationship of the individual to society as filtered through American mass media and architecture at the end of the 20th century. Dan Graham: Beyond is co-curated by Bennett Simpson, MOCA associate curator, and Chrissie Iles, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Following its presentation at MOCA, Dan Graham: Beyond will travel to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, from June 25 to October 11, 2009, and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, from October 31, 2009, to January 31, 2010. Dan Graham: Beyond is accompanied by a fully illustrated, scholarly catalogue.


At REDCAT Friday Night

CAP/Plaza de la Raza Youth Theater
behind the barbed wire

The human impact of the controversial U.S.-Mexico "border fence"--now being expanded into a fully militarized zone at a cost of $3 million per mile--is the subject of this year's production from the CAP/Plaza de la Raza Youth Theater Program. Developed by Chicana playwright Virginia Grise in collaboration with some 50 high school actors and writers, this original drama explores the meanings of "borders" and "walls" through documenting personal stories and a wider history of internment, immigration and protest in the United States. The interdisciplinary production is directed by B.J. Dodge and choreographed by Marvin Tunney, with original music composed and performed by Alexandro Hernandez.

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Tonight at the Egyptian Theater - William Friedkin's THE FRENCH CONNECTION

Wednesday, May 20 – 7:30p


Arguably the greatest American crime film ever made: Gene Hackman stars as Detective Popeye Doyle, muscling minor hoods in NYC (the "You ever pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?" scene is still a classic) when he catches the trail of a huge shipment of French heroin. With partner Roy Scheider, Hackman dogs drug kingpin Fernando Rey through the concrete jungle -- highlighted by a brainjangling car chase that still hasn’t been topped (except perhaps in Friedkin’s own TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A.) Discussion following with film critic Kevin Thomas and cinematographer Owen Roizman.

1971, 20th Century Fox, 104 min.


Hammer Screening TONIGHT!


Sundance Work in Progress: Out in the Silence

Out In The Silence is a documentary film that captures the remarkable chain of events that unfold when the announcement of filmmaker Joe Wilson’s wedding to another man ignites a firestorm of controversy in the small Pennsylvania hometown he left long ago. Out In The Silence is a Sundance Works in Progress screening, which provides an opportunity for filmmakers and viewers to explore the creative process and examine the issues addressed in the film. Out In The Silence has received creative and financial support from the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, a core program of Sundance Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmakers Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer.

-2009, 56 min., Dirs. Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson-

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Downtown L.A. Scavenger Hunt

Saturday, May 30th

Take part in a fun and unique scavenger hunt in Downtown Los Angeles to benefit PHARMAKA and the LOS ANGELES CONSERVANCY. Created by Out of the Box Events, this scavenger hunt will bring awareness to parts of Downtown rarely seen before. As you explore the neighborhood, you will learn more about the architecture, unique culture and the intriguing history of the Historic Core and Old Bank District while supporting these very important community organizations. Special prizes for those with best scores!

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Architectural Ambiguity

The MAK Center Presents:
The Isle by Pages (Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi)

Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 27, 7 - 9 pm

MAK Center for Art and Architecture, L.A.
Schindler House
835 North Kings Road
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Please join the MAK Center for the opening reception of the new installation The Isle, by artists Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi. The installation will focus on the contemporary circumstances of Kish, an island located in the Persian Gulf. At the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, the duo, partners who make up the collaborative team called Pages, will explore notions of "geopolitical indecisiveness" as it relates to this island. The Isle will be on view from May 28 through August 23, 2009.

The Isle consists of text, video, found documents, and architectural models that together narrate the "symptomatic" features of Kish. The central element of the exhibition is a steamship, recreated by means of a scale model and video recording. This boat, stranded along the southern coast of Kish in 1966, has become the island's quintessential attraction for visiting tourists as it is silhouetted against the setting sun each night. In another work, Tabatabai and Afrassiabi incorporate the February 1978 issue of Vogue Paris...

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SUNDAY At Walt Disney Concert Hall - Adams Conducts Adams: A Flowering Tree

One of Minimalism’s shaping spirits, John Adams is a composer of distinctive stylistic élan. He made an early decision to break with the modernist aesthetic prevailing in post-war Europe and U.S. academia, launching a vigorous exploration of Minimalism infused with American vernacular influences. This Friday and Sunday the LA PHIL Presents: Adams Conducts Adams- In the 2000-year-old South Indian folk tale A Flowering Tree, a beautiful young girl devises a plan to help her impoverished family: she transforms herself into a tree, from which she and her sister gather the fragrant flowers, weave them into garlands, and sell them at the marketplace. They carefully perform the ritual, which requires two pitchers of water for the girl to turn into the tree, and two pitchers of water for her to turn back into human form. A prince from the nearby palace spies on her and wants her for his wife. After their wedding, the prince commands the girl to metamorphose for him. She complies, but his sister watches from a hiding place and, envious of her sister-in-law’s powers, forces the girl to perform the ceremony for a group of her friends. After the girl turns into a tree, however, they break her branches, tear off her flowers, and abandon her, without helping her turn back into human shape. She languishes in a netherworld, not quite tree, not quite human.

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At the AERO Theater : A Tribute to Jules Dassin

An Aero Theatre Exclusive!

Director, screenwriter, and actor Jules Dassin first gained recognition for a series of tough, realistic urban action movies during film noir’s glory years: the prison thriller BRUTE FORCE (1947), the police docudrama THE NAKED CITY (1948) and the riveting crime picture THIEVES’ HIGHWAY (1949). One of Dassin’s best films was NIGHT AND THE CITY, a 1950 classic starring Richard Widmark as a shady wrestling promoter; unfortunately, it was also the director’s final film before his exile from Hollywood. The blacklist sent Dassin, who had old ties to the Communist Party, to Europe for the rest of his career. Barely able to speak French, Dassin relocated to Paris in 1953 and helmed the masterful heist film RIFIFI (1954); in 1955, he won a directing award for the film at Cannes. Other classics followed, including the comedy NEVER ON SUNDAY (1960) and another heist classic, TOPKAPI (1964). Dassin’s work was marked by a blend of gritty reality and poetic expressionism; as critic J. Hoberman wrote in the New York Times, "Dassin’s characteristic movies combine Pop Front sentimentality and pulp fiction violence; his directorial style is at once overtly theatrical and cannily neo-realist. The hybrid was his forte." The Aero will screen six of Mr. Dassin’s most acclaimed films.

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This Friday: Eric Bogosian at Vroman's

In the final installment of his immensely popular Million Dollar trilogy, the #1 "Essence"- bestselling author and actor Eric Bogosian delivers a juicy and shocking conclusion that his fans won't soon forget. Eric will discuss and sign Perforated Heart his third novel. A story about a once-prominent author embittered by declining fame. Perforated Heart examines the dynamic between creativity and commerce in the artistic world.

Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, California 91101



at REDCAT - Cheryl Dunye The Watermelon Woman

Jack H. Skirball Series
Cheryl Dunye
The Watermelon Woman

Los Angeles theatrical revival
1996, 85 min., screened in Beta SP

Cheryl Dunye's "saucy, daring, insidiously smart debut" (The Boston Phoenix) stands as the first-ever theatrical feature directed by an African American lesbian. The Watermelon Woman tells the story of Cheryl, played engagingly by Dunye herself, who develops a fascination with 1930s actress Fae Richards--a fictional character confined to playing "Mammy" roles in movies by a Dorothy Azner-type director. As part of the production, New York photographer Zoe Leonard shot cleverly constructed still images of Fae Richards and in the process (re)invented a history running counter to the invisibility of black women in early Hollywood and black lesbians in general. The winner of the Teddy (the Berlinale) and Outstanding Narrative Feature (Outfest) awards, The Watermelon Woman also managed to raise the hackles of unreconstructed reactionary Jesse Helms, who called the work "flotsam floating down a sewer."



At LACMA Tonight - Nagisa Oshima's Boy (Shonen)

Boy (Shonen)
Friday, May 8 - 730p

In the Realm of Oshima

Based on a true story that shocked Japan, this film is a double portrait of a desperate family and the grasping society in which they live. A ten-year-old child fakes being hit by cars so his parents can collect damages from the shaken drivers. With rigorous empathy, Oshima portrays the father, who was a soldier in the war and whose wounds are both real and symbolic, the hard-nosed stepmother, and their two children, the unblinking boy and his mercifully uncomprehending baby brother. Oshima called his film "a prayer."

1969.New 35mm print color.105 min.Scope. Scr: Tsutomu Tamura; dir: Nagisa Oshima; w/ Tetsuo Abe, Fumio Watanabe, Akiko Koyama.

Read Derek Malcom's Guardian essay on the film here.


Go See: Franz West’s “To Build a House You Start with the Roof" at LACMA

Spanning from early interactive work from the 1970s to more recent large installations, LACMA’s retrospective exhibition on Austrian artist Franz West is his most comprehensive in the United States so far. The exhibition, organized by The Baltimore Museum of Art, explores West’s history and position and highlights West’s critical contributions to post-1965 art. West expanded the definition of sculpture as an environmental and social experience and “continues to do so today,” according to Michael Govan, LACMA CEO. His work with furniture, found materials, papier-mâché has infused his work with a unique European character. Informed by philosophers Freud Wittgenstein, West brings together the aesthetics of trash art and painterly abstraction in prosthetic and biomorphic forms. West’s collages, installations, sculptures and furniture can be experienced in over a hundred objects at LACMA, now through June 7th, 2009.

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at Royce Hall Thursday Night

UCLA Live Presents

Sing Sing

Created by multi-award-winning musician David Bridie from the Australian band Not Drowning Waving, Sing Sing – a Papua New Guinea expression for “large musical gathering” – brings together some of the most important indigenous artists from the Oceania region around Australia for a rousing celebration of traditional and contemporary music and dance. From the highlands of West Papua and the forests and coral atolls of Papua New Guinea to the vast deserts of Australia, the region boasts a plethora of vibrant musical and cultural traditions that are rarely experienced outside their native lands. Sing Sing offers a unique journey through the physical and cultural landscape of urban and grass roots village life in these areas with a thrilling visual show and an exhilarating mix of traditional and contemporary sounds—from the haunting melodies of bamboo flutes to the upbeat rhythms of a string band.


Tonite: Museum of Jurassic Technology's David Wilson at the Hammer

"Pinocchio" from the Eye of the Needle exhibition at the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

Museum of Jurassic Technology's David Wilson | 7 pm at the Hammer

David Wilson is the founding director of the Museum of Jurassic Technology, which opened in 1988. Wilson has also produced six independent films, most recently under the auspices of MJT in conjunction with Kabinet, an arts and science-based cultural institution located in St. Petersburg, Russia.

ALL HAMMER PUBLIC PROGRAMS ARE FREE. Tickets are required, and are available at the Billy Wilder Theater Box Office one hour prior to start time. Limit one ticket per person on a first come, first served basis. Hammer members receive priority seating, subject to availability. Reservations not accepted, RSVPs not required.

Parking is available under the museum for $3 after 6:00pm.


Preview Screening at LACMA

May 5 - 7:30p

Summer Hours (L'Heure d'été)

When we pass on, what becomes of the objects we have cherished during our lives? In this Chekhovian drama about loss and change, Olivier Assayas subtly explores the fractious relationship among three adult siblings when they return to their childhood home to dispose of their mother's collection of nineteenth-century paintings and furniture. One of four films commissioned by the Musée d'Orsay in honor of its twentieth anniversary.

Watch the Trailer here...

Screening courtesy of IFC Films.


Sunday at Skylight Books - Russell Howze of Stencil Nation: Graffiti, Community, and Art

Without a doubt, stencils are the fastest, easiest, and cheapest method for painting an image on a wall, a sidewalk, or practically anywhere. "Stencil Nation" focuses on the unexpected mix of this lively, accessible medium-from famous artists including Banksy to international street stencils and gallery shows-to reveal engaging aspects of an intentionally secretive creative community.

With dynamically illustrated perspectives from the niches of the art form, female artists, documentarians, and the growing online community of the international scene are featured in this fresh collection of photographs and essays curated by StencilArchive.org's founder, Russell Howze. New artists, often utilizing stencil art in unconventional ways, are also featured.

"Stencil Nation" also represents the art of lesser-known urban scenes, including Poland, Romania, and Israel. Additionally, "Stencil Nation" builds upon previous published works to give the most extensive and up-to-date history of stencil art, as well as how-to tips from the artists themselves.

Sunday, May 3 - 7p @ Skylight Books

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At MOLAA -The Art of Oswaldo Guayasamín

Now thru August 16
Of Rage and Redemption: The Art of Oswaldo Guayasamín
MOLAA is proud to celebrate the art of the renowned Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamín (Ecuador, 1919-1999) with the exhibition Of Rage and Redemption: The Art of Oswaldo Guayasamín.

The retrospective exhibition profiles the evolution of Guayasamín’s life and his personal concern for crimes against humanity of social and political injustice. The collection of 80 works of art, paintings, drawings and prints created between 1937 – 1996 focus on the plight of the indigenous peoples in the Andean region as well human suffering, war and violence throughout the world.

Guayasamin earned a reputation as Ecuador’s official painter in the 1940s when he presented an exhibition of paintings and portraits of Indians that provoked a scandal. In 1999, he received honorary recognition from the Ninth Meeting of Latin American Presidents as “the painter of Latin America,” for being an activist against violence, war and social injustice. At this time in our history, the art of Guayasamin resonates within the global outcry for peace and justice in the world today.

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