Patricia by Patricia

Patricia by Patricia
Patricia by Patricia

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Desert X: a close by way to see large scale art

For the past 35 years I have been visiting the Palm Springs area to visit and care for my mother. I was always happy to see exhibitions at the Palm Springs Museum and the large group of sales galleries. Although she is gone now I was really happy that the Inaugural Desert X project was launched.  I was able to visit a few of the many major installations in various media by a variety of artists. It ran from Feb 25 and I was able to visit it the last week of April 30th.

There were 16 different exhibits by both established and emerging artists. It covered area from Desert Hots Springs and Coachella west to the city of Palm Springs and just east of the tram. This entire project was curated by Neville Wakfield.

The website https://www.desertx.org/  is a bit confusing, but once I was able to find the right page and scan all the way down to the map. Then I discovered a place to click to get driving instructions to each of the site. Even with a smart phone, it is a bit of a treasure hunt. And it every site we visited was full of people. That was so impressive as the event was free and so attracted a wide range of people.

There were all sorts of subjects, but we concentrated on the a few that were reflective and merged the sky and earth into the work. It seems so appropriate for a city surrounded by mountains. A favorite was Doug Aikens who pulled off a ranch-style house covered inside and out entirely with mirrors located on Racquet Club Road west of North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. 

Mother lived around the corner from Sunnylands conference center and gardens which is part of the Anneburg Estate and which has hosted many many world leaders. It is pure mid century and the plantings are sculptural in their design. I had never been there before and it just goes to show that seeing art can open up whole new worlds for the visitor. This was the venue for the Lita Albuquerque installation and  I was able to see many areas that I had never noticed before because of this project. 


Will there be a second Desert X? This first one attracted tens of thousands of visitors and Susan Davis, the founder and board president of Desert X said it could return in 2019. They just need to fund raise but with all the good PR, and the wealth of the community, we have high hopes. 


Doug Aiken: so many fabulous opportunities for photos







Philip K. Smith gave us a whole ring of reflective post and some seem to disappear into the sky, others into the sand. 

Jennifer Boland created a series of billboards that looks like continuations of the landscape

Claudia Comte presented mind bending lines.


No I did not get to see this light sculpture by Tavares Strachan spelling" I  AM "from the sky, but the slots in the ground that were illuminated could be seen on high. 

The Lita Albuquerque women in blue set in a circle of crushed marble was only a memory of the dancers in the performance art that Ms. Albuquerque arranged at Sunnylands. 

You had to descend into a bomb shelter to see this President Kennedy statue by Will Boone.

Robert Pruit displayedlocal  garage sale "stuff" in the museum.

Sharon Guirguis was inspired by pignon structures from the middle east deserts

Richard Prince papered the inside and outside of this remote home with images and objects. 


Jeffrey Gibson  has used the blade of a wind turbine that generated energy in this work. These white blades are seen all over the desert around this area and they I have always found them to look like kinetic sculpture. 

Armando Lerma painted the whole side of a building and this is a detail was a favorite part. 

Gabriel Kuri gave us a sand ashtray on a large scale called the Donation Box. Some coins were also found in the sand. 

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