Wols, the pseudonym of Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze (1913–1951), was an early-twentieth-century German painter and photographer who helped lead the Tachisme movement, often considered the European counterpart of American abstract expressionism. Despite his importance, Wols has never received the recognition of contemporaries like Otto Dix, an oversight that this retrospective seeks to correct.
Sep 13–Jan 12. Wed–Sun 11–7. Free. The Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross St. 713-525-9400. menil.org
Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto (Houston Symphony)
Born in Russia, pianist Kirill Gerstein came to the United States at age 14 to study at the Berklee College of Music—the youngest student to ever attend the prestigious conservatory. The program consists of Tchaikovsky’s rousing Piano Concerto No. 1 and two symphonic poems: Debussy’s languid Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, and Italian composer Ottorino Respighi’s spirited Pines of Rome. Peter Oundjian conducts.
Sep 12–15. Thu & Sat at 8; Sun at 2:30. $25–124. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. 713-224-7575. houstonsymphony.org
Open Screen: Stop & Go 3D
This program of short films features stop-motion animation by 27 contemporary artists chosen by curator Sarah Klein following a world-wide call for submissions. This is the third installment of the ongoing Stop & Go series that Klein founded in 2008. If the films inspire you to make your own stop-motion epic, here’s your chance: Klein is currently looking for submissions for her fourth installment.
Sep 13 at 8. Free. Aurora Picture Show, 2442 Bartlett St. 713-868-2101. aurorapictureshow.org
Le Joli Mei (The Lovely Month of May)
In the spring of 1962, in the aftermath of the disastrous Algerian War, French documentary filmmaker Chris Marker took to the streets to ask ordinary Parisians about their attitudes toward racism, colonialism, and other topical subjects. The resulting film is a snapshot of French society at the beginning of one of the country’s most tumultuous decades.
Sep 13 & 14 at 6; Sep 15 at 5. $9; students & seniors $7. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St. 713-639-7300. mfah.org/films
Four Premieres (Houston Ballet)
The Houston Ballet opens its season with works by two veteran choreographers (Christopher Bruce and James Kudelka) and two young choreographers with Houston roots (Garrett Smith and Melissa Hough). With the exception of Bruce’s 1984 masterpiece Intimate Pages, all the works are world premieres.
Sep 5–15. $19–160. Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave, 713-227-2787. houstonballet.org