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Essential Arts and Culture: A visual artist for the Internet age, and how far we've come from the hi-fi

I'm Kelly Scott, the arts and culture editor of the L.A. Times, and our critics and writers had much to say last week on happenings near and far.

Frances Stark's show to remember

Times art critic Christopher Knight calls "UH-OH: Frances Stark 1991-2015" at the UCLA Hammer Museum one of the best solo shows of 2015. He considers her the "visual poet laureate of the Internet age." The exhibition's title, Knight writes, "says a lot: She's going to venture out onto a limb, just to see what happens; be prepared."

An installation view view of "UH-OH: Frances Stark, 1991-2015" at the UCLA Hammer Museum. (Brian Forrest / Hammer Museum)

High praise for high-res

The journey from LPs to high-res streaming has been long, disappointing and quite expensive. But Mark Swed has seen the future, and it cost about $1.41 — for a Glenn Gould recording from 1962 that gives him goose bumps. High res (and "higher res" and "still higher res") can be astonishing, and it's getting easier to find digital audio players. Let Mark walk you through the new landscape of listening.

(Dan Page / For The Times)

The name is Thom — Wayne Thom

Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne calls attention to an architectural photographer whose work is often overshadowed by the famous Julius Shulman photos of Mid-Century Modern houses. Wayne Thom's work is focused on the '70s and '80s, and largely on corporate buildings. That was the heyday of the mirrored glass tower, and Hawthorne says it's about time that these buildings, and Thom's photos of them, got some attention. They do in "Matter, Light and Form" at the WUHO Gallery in Hollywood.

Arthur Erickson's Law Courts building at Robson Square in Vancouver, Canada, as photographed by Wayne Thom in 1979. (Wayne Thom / WUHO Gallery)

More stars than in the heavens

There are movie stars and there are arts stars, and their paths most often cross at art museum galas. The Hammer had Emma Stone and Martin Short, MOCA had Albert Brooks and Marisa Tomei, and last week, LACMA had Reese Witherspoon and Leonardo DiCaprio. You may not have been able to get into LACMA's annual Art + Film gala, but reporter Jessica Gelt did. Honorees were film director Alejandro G. Iñárritu and artist James Turrell.

Art-world stars and Hollywood celebrities came together for the fifth annual Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Art + Film Gala, co-chaired by Leonardo DiCaprio and Eva Chow. (Jessica Gelt / Los Angeles Times)

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He never runs out of stories to tell

A new Athol Fugard play opened in Los Angeles last week, and theater critic Charles McNulty found it "a small but resonant addition to a distinguished corpus" by the South African playwright. Apartheid as a government policy may have ended in 1994, but that didn't stop Fugard's decades-long examination of the human beings who lived on both sides of the divide. "Rather than lose his subject when his nation changed, Fugard gained new territory for excavation," McNulty writes.

From left, Gilbert Glenn Brown and Suanne Spoke in a scene from "Athol Fugard's The Painted Rocks" at Revolver Creek at the Fountain. (Ed Krieger)

In short

Ludovic Morlot, conducting the L.A. Phil, and Zubin Mehta, conducting the Israel Philharmonic, were visiting dignitaries this week (watch for Mark Swed's review of Morlot directing John Luther Adams' "Become Ocean" next week). ... L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti follows Hamlet's direction and "speaks the speech" for a theater company fundraiser. ... The Wilshire Boulevard Temple will benefit from the sale of a Cy Twombly painting for $70 million. ... Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland took in two Hammer Museum exhibitions.

Coming up

Sunday, Nov. 22, marks the last performances of "Hopscotch," the Industry’s much-talked-about "mobile opera." ... John Patrick Shanley's play "Outside Mullingar" opens at the Geffen Playhouse.

Follow me on Twitter at @kscottLATarts.

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