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Art is alive and well in Palm Springs

Gay and Lesbian San Diego | LGBT WEEKLY

Michael Childers, The Hockney Swimmer, 1978, C-type print, Courtesy of Michael Childers © Michael Childers

We’ve all been to Palm Springs (I am guessing) and I suspect we’ve all been there for just one or two things; the White Party or Dinah Shore, to relax by the pool at a Warm Sands resort or to simply escape the city and find some peace and tranquility out in the desert. But the Coachella Valley is more than this. It is a whole string of cities and home to many active artists and collectors, some of the most amazing architecture in the country and the Palm Springs Art Museum.

The Palm Springs Art Museum is a mid-sized museum that continues to grow in both size (another facility opens in Palm Desert, March 2012 and on Palm Canyon, April 2013) and in terms of its collection, which is comparable to the range and quality of artwork you might expect in any major urban area.

The museum has been collecting art since 1938 so it now boasts a rich and varied permanent collection that includes significant works in studio glass, Native and American art, photography, architecture and design. The museum’s strongest collection features stunning modern and contemporary works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Donald Judd, Henry Moore, Louise Bourgeois, Morris Lewis, Anselm Keifer and Antony Gormley.

Like any other museum the Palm Springs Art Museum showcases an ever-changing selection of work from its permanent collection as well as new shows travelling from elsewhere or in collaboration with other institutions. An exhibition currently on show is Andrew Wyeth in Perspective a rare West Coast exhibit of work by the realist painter strongly associated with the Northeast. If you are a fan of plein aire then you might take a trip in December to see the work of Lockwood de Forest, a little known but extremely prolific artist who painted stunning scenes during the day and night.

Or, you might hold off until January when the museum launches Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography 1945-1982, its biggest show of the season. This comprehensive survey of pool-related imagery is Palm Spring’s contribution to the ongoing Getty-sponsored regional initiative called Pacific Standard Time. This exhibition will showcase many beautiful images of swimming pools in Southern California stretching back into the early twentieth century by a who’s who of artists, drawn to aquamarine and turquoise blue, that includes David Hockney, Michael Childers, Herb Ritts and Lawrence Schiller. You can expect to see some fabulous bathing suits and some equally fabulous bodies!

So, next time you plan a trip to Palm Springs and want a break from the midday sun make sure to add the Palm Springs Art Museum on your list of things to do. psmuseum.org.

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Posted by on Nov 17, 2011. Filed under Entertainment News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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