The Hammer Museum in Westwood will honor artist Robert Gober and playwright Tony Kushner at its 11th annual gala, scheduled to take place Oct. 5. Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, are co-chairing this year’s fundraising benefit for the museum, which will also feature an appearance by actress Viola Davis, who will toast Kushner.
Both Gober and Kushner live in New York, but neither is a stranger to Los Angeles. Gober was in the local spotlight in 1997 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, where he presented a large-scale installation at the Geffen Contemporary. More recently, the artist presented a solo show at the Matthew Marks Gallery in January.
Gober’s sculptures -- comprised of materials he constructs -- are often surreal in nature, reconfiguring mundane objects into creations that are strange and dream-like. At the gala, he will be introduced by fellow artist Charles Ray.
Kushner, who this week received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama, is the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of “Angels in America.” He was nominated for an Academy Award this year for his screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.”
The Hammer said the gala’s musical guest performer will be announced at a later date.
Last year, the museum honored artists Barbara Kruger and Cindy Sherman at its gala. Katy Perry was the guest performer.