This week, an artist repurposes the brashly colored restaurant fliers that arrive at his doorstep, while another installs a line of glowing columns at LACMA.
5. Back-seat band
The promo video for “Well Played,” the two-day performance art event that artist Gracie DeVito is staging at ltd. Los Angeles, shows a mariachi band playing in the back seat of a car. It's a little rough-and-tumble but in a charming way, which is probably how the event will be, given its lineup: unrefined but incisive Harry Dodge, ritualistic iconoclast Jesus Benavente and insatiable experimenter Alex Becerra, among others. 7561 W. Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; Saturday, April 12, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday, April 13, 3-6 p.m. (323) 378-6842, ltdlosangeles.com.
4. Precisely out-there
Looking at Sharon Ellis' paintings, on view at Christopher Grimes, is sort of like wandering through a Topanga Canyon gift shop where every object has been made by an impossibly precise master craftsman. You have hippie colors and new age-y patterns, bursts of stars and sunsets all rendered so deliberately that you can't help but take their strung-out, saturated vibe seriously. 916 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica; through May 3. (310) 587-3373, cgrimes.com.
3. Alien vessels
Artist Helen Pashgian graduated from Pomona College in 1956, nine years before ambitious James Turrell graduated there. But after taking a detour, studying on the East Coast briefly with plans to do museum work, Pashgian started experimenting with plastics, resin and Fiberglas in SoCal around the same time Turrell did. Now her first solo museum show is up at LACMA at the same time as Turrell's sprawling retrospective of light spaces and perceptual tricks. Hers is like an alternative to his, not immersive, not deceptive, but still mysterious. Her line of stately acrylic columns have impossible-to-identify objects embedded in them and look as if they've arrived from another planet, or the set of a Kubrick film about another planet. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; through June 29. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org.
2. Wolf on tour
“How can you get people excited or even just to pay attention to something incomprehensibly vast?” Deke Weaver asked at the end of a 2011 TedX talk. Earlier, he'd described a polar bear punching a whale and then rolling it out of the water, and shown footage of himself in an elephant costume. He had worn the costume in a performance that's part of his “Unreliable Bestiary” project. He plans to focus on as many animals as there are letters in the alphabet, and he's now touring a one-man performance called Wolf, which will stop at Pieter in L.A. It's loosely based on something he orchestrated last fall in Illinois, when he took busloads of people out into the woods, where rangers taught them to howl and led them on searches for wolves. 420 W. Avenue 33, Unit 10, Cypress Park; Thurs., April 17, 8:30 p.m. pieterpasd.com.
1. Fast-food gardens
London-based Tariq Alvi has stacked multiple versions of the same image on the floor of “Deep, East, Real,” his show at Michael Benevento, each in different sizes: poster, business card and flier size. It's hard to tell whether the blown-out red shapes shown in the center are flowers or pepperoni discs, but it's clear that green leaves surround those bunches of red. For all of the prints in this show, the ones on the floor and the walls, Alvi superimposed nature photographs that he'd taken in his neighborhood over fliers that arrived through his mail slot. The ink and colors, kitschiness and realism bleed together in a way that makes these “extra value” and “lunch special” ads feel more as they do when you encounter them out in the world, stuck in a bush or lying on asphalt. 7578 Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; through May 10. (323) 874-6400, beneventolosangeles.com.
Catherine Wagley on Twitter:
Public Spectacle, L.A. Weekly's arts & culture blog, on Facebook and Twitter:
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.