Palm Springs

Spent five days in Palm Springs for Modernism Week and the Palm Springs Art Fair with the TMA Contemporary Art group.  When we returned to Tucson, Monday, February 19, at 5:30 pm, it was 85°.  Since then it’s been hovering just below 80°.

fairy dusteryellow 001Spring has come; flowers and bushes are abloom, especially fairy dusters with their pink flowers, and the feathery cassia hedge along my driveway.  (I took too many photos on the trip, and haven’t touched my camera this week.  The pink flowers are from the Desert Museum site, the yellow an old photo of mine.)

Thursday, February 13

Bus trip with 22 others from Tucson.  Five-and-a-half hour drive plus an hour in Blythe for lunch (fast food choices), but gained an hour to Pacific Time Zone.   Checked into the Hyatt with my assigned roommate (to avoid that single supplement).

VIP passes (with some fraction of the 10,000 people to attend the fair) to the Palm Springs Art Fair included complimentary wine and “heavy” d’oeuvres, also champagne and tiny delicious d’oeuvres in the VIP lounge at the 245,000 sq ft Palm Springs Convention Center .  Photos here of some of the artwork, from a decorated helicopter (Steve Maloney, Ride-em-Copter, Mixed Media on Vintage Bell Jet OH58 Helicopter1) which blew my mind.  (The chopper includes a Swarovski crystal chandelier and even an iPad loaded with a flight simulator.)

palm springs 179palm springs 182palm springs 180

palm springs 151

To photos of William Wegman’s Weimaraners2.  Decided that I could get a few nice pieces for only $100K.  (Click on any of the photos to see the details.)

Friday, February 14

Palm Springs Art Museum: Got a docent tour of Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years • 1953–1966.  (No photos allowed, so these two from the internet.)

Deeply engaged with the unique setting of the Bay Area, artist Richard Diebenkorn profoundly influenced postwar American art during his years spent working in Berkeley, from 1953 to 1966.

Diebenkorn 1Diebenkorn 2

dog-sculptureHad little time to see all the rest of the museum.  Large dog sculpture by acclaimed Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara donated by Donna MacMillan, who I’ll talk about in the next blog.

Nara’s large fiberglass sculptures are usually glossy white and resemble komainu, mythical lion-like animal statues commonly placed at the entrance to shrines in Japan as guardians.

palm springs 019One of my favorites, a Deborah Butterfield bronze horse – Ryuanji.

 Deborah Butterfield’s sculptural forms are based on her unique subject, horses, constructed in wood, and cast in bronze.

palm springs 031Loved this Old Couple on a Bench by Duane Hanson.

Duane Hanson made startlingly lifelike sculptures of middle America accomplished through a complex process of casting from live models, recreated in bronze [as this is] or fiberglass resin.

Then a tour of the Frey House (owned by the museum and way up a hill).  My photos.

Albert Frey (1903 – 1998) was a prolific American architect who established a style of modern architecture centered on Palm Springs, California, that came to be known as “desert modernism”.

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palm springs 017The house was tiny (800 square feet!), the bedroom here at the end of the living room.  Plus, he was a nudist, and the pool was right out front (above the carport), so there was this cowbell to ring downstairs to announce your arrival.  (He walked up and down the steep stairs for 35 years until he died at 95!)

Note the use of the inexpensive materials: concrete block (staggered, for interest), plywood, Formica (turquoise, behind the bed), corrugated aluminum for the roof and siding (also turquoise).

The entry door and curtains are gold to match the spring-blooming Encilla flowers on the hillside, which house is built into, and a rock too big to move was left (see it to the left of the pillows.)

To be continued.


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