Five Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week, Including a Clarinet Imitating a Cricket

© Sam Francis Foundation
© Sam Francis Foundation
A detail of Sam Francis' Middle Blue No. 5 (1959-60)

This week, four decades' worth of a prolific abstract expressionist's work appears in Pasadena and a vacant East L.A. lot becomes an exhibition space.

5. Nine-day habitat

Byron Westbrook's brief exhibition "Interval/Habitat" at Human Resources is meant to serve as a stage for the audience members and performers who visit it. This week, the main event in Westbrook's exhibition features L.A. artist-musician-composers: Casey Anderson, who works with instruments, text and other people's voices, performs with an ensemble, as does artist Erin Schneider. Percussionist Ted Byrnes plays with composer Ulrich Krieger and artist Wyatt Nash. 410 Cottage Home St.; Thurs., Aug. 22, 7 p.m. (213) 290-4752;

4. Two by two

Katrina Umber's current show at Charlie James Gallery is called "And" because every photograph is paired or superimposed on another. Those in her Included Middle series include that black strip that appears between frames on a strip of negatives; you see two sequential images on either side of it. There's a spot of afternoon light on a hardwood floor shown twice, the shadows slightly different in each, and there's a dog on a couch next to the image of a weathered, decorated leather jacket in a closet. Paired in this way, the images become more brief stories than captured moments. 975 Chung King Road; through Aug. 31. (213) 687-0844,

3. Disaster photos

Painter Christopher Wool took a series of photographs of his New York studio in 1997 called Incident on 9th Street. There are shattered windows, torn papers, paintings scattered, cardboard boxes half open and leaning against walls. The floors and walls look grimy. Wool shot these images for his insurance company after a fire, though if you didn't know that, you might imagine something grislier took place. They appear in Patrick Painter's current show, "Destruction to Utopia." 2525 Michigan Ave., Unit A8; through Aug. 31. (310) 264-5988,

2. Bank painter

Late in the 1950s, when David Rockefeller decided Chase Manhattan Bank should have an art program, Sam Francis was one of the first painters the bank enlisted. The abstract expressionist, who had just started to establish himself, painted in primary colors. The shapes he rendered look like water depicted in stained glass -- fluid and segmented at the same time and, like almost everything in Francis' oeuvre, more buoyant then brooding. A study for the mural appears in Pasadena Museum of California Art's current Sam Francis show, as does work from every other phase of the artist's long career. 490 E. Union St., Pasadena; through Jan. 5. (626) 568-3665,

1. Imitating insects

There's one yard in Highland Park right now where a single cricket chirps loud and clear -- it sounds like it's coming from above and at first you don't notice it as specific; then, as it continues, you start to realize it's unusually intentional and constant. It's a clarinet, it turns out, playing the part of a cricket as part of artist Mungo Thomson's contribution to "Vacant Lot," the exhibition artist Isaac Resnikoff organized on an empty lot near the top of a hill. Through Sept. 22.; email for address and appointment.

See also:

Theater to See in L.A. This Week

See Art While Waiting for the Bus

Catherine Wagley on Twitter:

Public Spectacle, L.A. Weekly's arts & culture blog, on Twitter:

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Human Resources

410 Cottage Home St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012


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