Jack Hoyer's Wilshire Center Building (2015)
Jack Hoyer's Wilshire Center Building (2015)
Courtesy of the artist and Moskowitz Bayse

5 Free Art Shows to See in L.A. This Week

This week, a German artist tells Americans they alone can stop Trump, and an artist continues a filmed labor of love loosely inspired by tuba thieves.

Paying respect
The seven paintings in Jack Hoyer's exhibition at Moskowitz Bayse took 10 years to complete, their craftsmanship evidence the careful attention that went into each. Joshua, which features scraggly tumbleweeds growing along the desert floor, looks surprisingly flat up close. Then, with each step back, its dimension and fullness grows. Wilshire Center Building, a painting of the back of the Dicksboro Building at Vermont and Beverly, could only have been painted by someone intimately familiar with L.A. quirks and densities, and with its air quality (gray, with a bit of smog). The time Hoyer invested into each of these is infectious; the paintings request that you slow down, respect them and spend time. 743 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood; through Dec. 17. (323) 790-4882, moskowitzbayse.com.

No man is an island
The night of Wolfgang Tillmans' opening at Regen, three days before the election, visitors took away posters saying "Only Americans Can Stop Trump," the words visible beneath a gray photograph of waves. Tillmans, the German artist whose photographs of anything (fruit bowls, cigarette butts, fashion models) earned him his reputation for inclusiveness, has been protesting this year: he made a series of anti-Brexit posters too ("No man is an island, No country by itself"). At Regen, he's hung photographs everywhere, above elevator buttons and light switches, high and low on walls. Some are framed; others are taped to the wall. Images depict rumpled white sheets, beaches, liquid, protesters, stoic friends with painted faces, a drummer in a  hospital gown. The inclusiveness is relentless, but each photo is attractive and well-composed, Tillmans' trained eye pulling everything into his aesthetically consistent vision of beauty as diversity. 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; through Dec. 23. (310) 276-5424, regenprojects.com.

Sex lives of mushrooms
Artist Alison O'Daniel has, for a few years, been working on a film project loosely informed by a string of tuba thefts, in which still-unknown thieves took tubas from local L.A. high school band rooms. O'Daniel became fascinated by silence (inadvertent and intentional) and by what it meant to steal a band's deepest sound. She will record the final scenes of her film, this portion called The Tuba Thieves: The Sex Lives of Mushrooms, onstage in the Hammer Museum courtyard this weekend. It will be filmed in American Sign Language, actors signing to one another while a live musician plays and written captions (for those of us viewers who need a translation) run along a screen at the bottom of the stage. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sat.-Sun., Nov. 19-20, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.  (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.

Big walls, strong girls
Artist Tanja Schlander wore long red braids that, with help of wires, stuck out from her head the day she tried to dislodge a portion of the wall separating Israel and the West Bank. She was meant to look like Pippi Longstocking, the fearless, unruly girl from the Swedish children's books, and her friend, Israeli artist Rona Yefman, filmed her as she gripped and pushed at the concrete. Palestinian onlookers cheered her on.  For nearly five hours on Saturday, video art from Israel will play at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel. Some of the work deals explicitly with politics and violence (such as Avi Mograbi's work about the Hebron Massacre, in which 29 Palestinians died); some is more sensual. 901 E. Third St., downtown; Sat., Nov. 19, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. RSVP required. (213) 943-1620, hauserwirthschimmel.com.

Nail gun aggressor
"Concrete Islands," the exhibition that curators Douglas Fogle and Hanneke Skerath organized at Kayne Griffin Corcoran, does, true to its title, contain some austerely deployed construction material. Jean-Luc Moulène's Piggy (2016), made of bone and concrete, is a cross between a squished carcass and industrial debris. For his Untitled (2016), Michael E. Smith attached a nail gun to a pillow case and hung both on the wall. The contraption looks like a ghostly arm ready to shoot out its ammunition at will. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire; through Jan. 7. (310) 586-6886, kaynegriffincorcoran.com.

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