If you have family in town for the holiday this weekend, try dashing over to Patrick Painter gallery in Santa Monica to a film of battling Buddhas or to Chinatown's The Company for an overly enthusiastic paintings show. You don't have to know art to enjoy, either.
5. A New Album Release, 40 Years Late
Bob Dylan doesn't follow art that closely, but he likes Terry Allen. It makes sense. While Allen's assemblage and collage borrow as much from folk as pop and surrealism, they manage to stay defiantly individualistic. I don't know what Dylan thinks of Allen's music, but Allen will be releasing an LP at LACMA on Nov. 29. It's a restored recording of a nearly forgotten performance he did in 1971 at the grand opening of his friend Allen Ruppersberg's temporary hotel/hangout on Sunset Boulevard. Ruppersberg will be at LACMA, too, and, since neither artist romanticizes the past, hearing them talk about it should be offhand and amusing. 5905 Wilshire Blvd.; Tues., Nov. 29, 5 p.m.; free. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.
4. Dinner at the Museum
Despite its aggressive title, artist Liz Glynn's three-part performance series at MOCA, “Loving You is Like Fucking the Dead,” has been tender so far. Each part butts up against the seeming impenetrability of museums in some unusual, romantic way. The first involved a charred palace and waltzes, the second a blindfolded walk through MOCA's collection. The third, called All the Arms We Need, will be a dinner party on Dec. 1. RSVP as soon as you can. 250 S. Grand Ave.; Thurs., Dec. 1, 7 p.m.; email firstname.lastname@example.org to attend. (213) 626-6222, moca.org.
3. Doing the Work
Workspace in Lincoln Heights is right next door to a hardware store and around the corner from a workshop that sold Dreamworks animators an army of vintage chairs. “Water and Power,” Workspace's current show of Marina Pinsky's photographs, fits right in. The images are about craft and labor, each of smart compositions of bricks, light bulbs or other such objects, and they're also well-crafted and labored over. Pinsky printed each photo specifically for this venue, calibrating the light so that, just like their subject matter, the prints themselves would be perfect for that stretch of street. 2601 Pasadena Ave, Unit C; through Dec. 4. workspace2601.com.
2. Everything all at Once
Joe Reihsen's show at The Company feels like obsessive stream of consciousness that must have been spurred by something unremarkable — a swirl, spray-painted circle or Jasper Johns-inspired hatch mark — then spiraled out, onto steel, paper, big canvases and small panels. It's like Reihsen thought about painting what British artist Martin Creed thought when he proposed ringing all England's bells when next year's London Olympics begins: “I don't know which bells are the best ones, so I think it would be better to ring all of them all at once.” 955 Chung King Road; through Dec. 30. (213) 290-0122, thecompanyart.com.
1. Spiritual Warfare
One big, round Buddha splits into two in Jeffrey Wisniewski's new motion-capture film, then the two sides of the deity face off in a drawn-out battle scene. It's six minutes with a Peter Jackson-worthy soundtrack and great momentum. I watched it twice. Organized by Emma Gray, Patrick Painter Inc.; 2525 Michigan Ave., Unit A8; through Jan. 14. (310) 264-5988, patrickpainter.com.