Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Palm Springs Art Museum 1: Sculptures Staring Back
The Palm Springs Art Museum opens the doors to the public for free every Thursday from four to eight in the evening during the weekly Villagefest street fair a block away.
It's a populist gesture that is paying dividends because the museum seems to be thriving, with new donations of both money and extraordinary family collections increasing every year. (Above is "Shovel Man," a 1974 piece by James Surls.)
The core of the major modern sculptural collection that is being amassed at the museum comes from Gwendolyn Weiner, the heiress to a Texas oil fortune. She's donated and lent a number of Henry Moore sculptures, such as the 1939 "Stringed Instrument" above...
...along with dozens of other 20th century masterpieces, including the 1962 William Turnbull mixed media piece above.
The museum also rotates the displays of their sculptures from inside the four-story building to outside sculpture gardens where they tend to look completely different. Above is another Weiner donation, the 1955 "Woman of Herero Tribe" by Gerhard Marcks.
A Robert Arneson piece that seemed a bit aggressive inside looks happy standing in the garden...
...and so does the Betty Gold 1982 "Monumental Holistic XIV" above.
Some of the hypperreal sculptures were unsettling, such as the 1990 John De Andrea piece above.
A very funny Duane Hanson sculpture above of two middle-aged American tourists sitting on a bench in shorts has been installed in different locations around the museum over the years.
Last Thursday the piece was stationed in the entrance lobby of the museum, and it was more amusing than usual watching tourists who looked exactly like the sculptured figures standing in front of them, wondering if they should be offended.