A.i.A. editors suggest a few of the myriad events taking place this week in Los Angeles: Robert Wilson's theatrical take on the obscure Russian novella The Old Woman at UCLA's Royce Hall; a celebration of legendary printmakers Gemini G.E.L. at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; a film about the late sculptor Ruth Asawa at the Norton Simon Museum; and a lecture by artist Brian Bress at Otis College.
Friday, Nov. 14 and Saturday, Nov. 15, 8 p.m.
The Old Woman
Soviet-era writer Daniil Kharms starved to death in a psychiatric ward in Leningrad in 1942 at the age of 36, leaving behind a few masterpieces of surrealist literature, but he wasn't properly translated into English until about 10 years ago. Playwright and artist Robert Wilson has very loosely adapted Kharms's 1939 novella The Old Woman-an absurd, laugh-out-loud existential comedy that should be required reading for Beckett lovers-as a play starring Russian ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov and master actor Willem Dafoe. Tickets will set you back $59-$149.
Royce Hall at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, 340 Royce Dr.
Saturday, Nov. 15, 1 p.m.
Gemini G.E.L.: Its History and Future
Gemini G.E.L. (Graphic Editions Limited) is referred to as a "publisher" only because there's no better term to sum up its multifarious activities. Since 1966, the printing press and artist's workshop has made books with over 60 renowned artists, each of whom draw or carve directly onto the printing elements, which are then expertly hand-printed by Gemini's master craftsmen. Co-founder Sidney Felsen will talk about Gemini's upcoming 50th anniversary with Ruth Fine, former curator of special projects in the modern art department at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Saturday, Nov. 15, 4 p.m.
Ruth Asawa: Of Forms and Growth and Talk with Artist Aiko Cuneo
When San Francisco artist Ruth Asawa died last year, America lost an important sculptor, educator and Asian American voice in art. Though she'll be remembered most for public projects including functioning fountains in places like San Francisco's Union Square and delicate, abstract sculptures made from crochet hooks and wire, the Black Mountain College alum was also a respected lithographer whose prints are the subject of a current show, "Home and Away: The Printed Works of Ruth Asawa," at the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena (through Jan. 19, 2015). The museum will host a screening of Robert Snyder's intimate documentary about the artist, followed by a lecture about her prints by her daughter, Aiko Cuneo, who is also an artist.
Norton Simon Museum, 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Tuesday, Nov. 18, 11:15 a.m.
Visiting Artist Lecture: Brian Bress
Los Angeles artist Brian Bress likes to mash mediums together, earning praise for his self-described "paintings," which are layered on top of flat-screen televisions that display looping video elements with performative actions. Bress's new show, "You Can't Sleep on a Door" (through Jan. 3, 2015), at Culver City gallery Cherry and Martin, is a synthesis of what the artist does best: visually pleasing, hybridized paintings and sculptures. He will take to the lectern to go in depth about his practice and recent works.
Otis College of Art and Design, 9045 Lincoln Blvd., Suite 208