This week, an artist whose work is as eccentrically gripping as his strange life has a show at the Hammer, and a collective installs barbers in their outdoor Pasadena sculpture.
5. Workshop in progress
Moments before "Base Sessions" opened at Human Resources last week, a woman was still on a rolling ladder, drilling screws into the two-by-fours that had been installed along the wall, and a group of people were sitting or lying on felt mats around Stockholm-based artist and choreographer Marten Spangberg, talking about movement. It felt like you'd wandered into a 1970s arthouse film, but one in which the guru-like character knows about YouTube. "Base Sessions," an installation/workshop that is meant to feel in progress, continues through this weekend. Dancer Nick Duran will be rehearsing each night until he performs Saturday. Artist Math Bass hosts a dinner on Thursday. Temra Pavlovic screens video. 410 Cottage Home St., Chinatown; through Oct. 13, 2-10 p.m.; free. (213) 290-4752; humanresourcesla.com.
4. Fortune-telling hairdos
The collective Finishing School, which has staged contemplative protests, workshops and science experiments, found a neon sign that said "Psychic Barber" a year ago. When Side Street Projects invited them to build an onsite installation, they took it as their inspiration. Their sculpture will be staffed with hairstylists who also are purportedly psychic in some way or another -- so you can have your hair done in a way that corresponds with your psyche when "Psychic Barber" debuts this weekend. 730 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena; Fri., Oct. 11, 6-10 p.m. (323) 225-0911, sidestreet.org.
3. Love has a woman's face
Filmmaker-cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa was in his 60s when he started working on the telenovela El amor tiene cara de mujer (Love Has a Woman's Face) with director Tito Davison in 1973. The novela was all silly girls with big '70s hair saying things like "Let's call some boys and have an orgy" and well-dressed people losing control of themselves. One gallery of LACMA's sprawling Figueroa exhibition, which explores the cinematographer's work and legacy, features stills from El amor, and they're so glitzy, campy and visually perfect that you might have to stay and stare for a while. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; through Feb. 2. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org.
2. Not quite like home
The sculptures in Thomas Solomon Gallery's current show, "Objective," fit together perfectly, even though all were made by different artists. Analia Saban's marble countertop mounted on linen hangs across from Ry Rocklen's cardboard-thin aluminum ladder, which bends as if resisting a heavy wind; it's adjacent to Richard Artschwager's Telephone Directory, which looks like a cross between an upright piano and a laminated cabinet. It's like what might happen if a surrealist and minimalist, maybe Rene Magritte and Carl Andre, collaborated on a housewares line: Everything is competently, concisely crafted but strange enough to hold your interest. 27 Bernard St., Chinatown; through Oct. 26. (323) 275-1687, thomassolomongallery.com.
See also: An Arts Festival at LAX. Yes, LAX
1. The moon was not an accident
It's hard to talk about Forrest Bess, the painter who also worked as a fisherman and died in 1977, without talking about his eccentricities, maybe because his paintings' raw realness makes you want to believe Bess lost himself in them. The Bess show that just arrived at the Hammer from Houston uses as wall texts parts of his letters, glorious, sentimental things that talk about how the moon is too beautiful a symbol to exist by accident. They do a better job than any biographical details could of underscoring how unaffected his paintings are. Among the best are the rendering of irregular black sticks penetrating a yellow wall, and the red form, maybe the approximation of a person, in front of an expanse of sage green, with a blobby gray island floating behind. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; through Jan. 5. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.
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