The title of art historian Betty Ann Brown's new and hotly anticipated (in art-nerd circles, anyway) publication, Afternoons With June: Stories of June Wayne's Art & Life, which she reads from and signs at the Standard tonight, is both accurate as to description and deceptively simple as to contents. June Wayne — painter, feminist, intellectual and witness to history — died last year, but not before cutting a swath through 20th-century art and culture that took her all the way from the WPA movement in Chicago and New York's avant garde in the 1930s to the Los Angeles postwar world of rocket scientists, Hollywood and the rise of West Coast modernism. One of those seminal figures whom everyone knows of but few know much about, Wayne grew up with Saul Bellow, was invited at age 17 by the government of Mexico to show her art, performed in a play by Picasso along with her contemporaries Red Grooms and Louise Bourgeois, founded the iconic artisan Tamarind Lithography Workshop in 1960, discoursed with scientists like Richard Feynman about applying the cosmic scientific method to creativity, and lived to see a huge hometown retrospective of her tapestries at the Chicago Art Institute at age 92. You gotta figure with that kind of life and career, the woman had stories — and, boy, did she ever. Organized in a loosely chronological but analytically thematic structure and based on years of candid interviews, Brown's book weaves Wayne's avalanche of experiences and influential ideas into a double helix of life-story and art-history that's original, inspirational and frequently hilarious. The Standard Hollywood, 8300 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Tues., March 13, 7-11 p.m.; free.

Tue., March 13, 7 p.m., 2012

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