Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Diebenkorn in Palm Springs
The huge Diebenkorn in Berkeley exhibit which was at the deYoung Museum this summer has moved on to the Palm Springs Art Museum. The kicker is that instead of having to pay a $25 admission fee as in San Francisco, the Diebenkorn exhibit comes gratis with Palm Springs Art Museum admission, which also happens to be free every Thursday evening and second Sunday of the month. The gorgeously installed show stands across from a similarly comprehensive exhibit of the early 19th century painter George Catlin documenting the buffalo herds of the Great Plains and the Indians who lived off of them before both animals and native Americans were virtually wiped out.
Though photography was not allowed at the Diebenkorn and Catlin exhibits, you could wander downstairs to an exhibit by the Western Art Council where Meg Wallis' 2011 Salton Sea 39 was a perfect Diebenkorn stand-in.
David Farnsworth above, a member of the Council, was manning the gallery on the last day of their juried exhibit and fundraiser, where the proceeds are split 50-50 between the artists and an Education Fund for the museum.
His 2012 ceramic, Passage, won an award this year, but I particularly like the drawings on his website, which are like a sunny Edward Gorey if that is not a complete oxymoron.
Favorites from the permanent collection move around a lot at the museum, particularly the 78-year-old musician/artist Llyn Foulkes' The Last Outpost from 1983, which is currently in a lovely spot. Check out Foulkes' website to be introduced to a proper legend, who has mostly given up art these days at the peak of his reputation because he has stated the art market is just a bunch of billionaire real estate developers who are antithetical to everything he believes in, and he's gone back to music.
The Palm Springs Art Museum seems to collect great single works from some of the best contemporary West Coast and Latin American artists, and yet another example is the soon-to-be-purchased photography collage by the Brooklynite/Brazilian Vic Muniz.
It's called Pictures of Magazine 2: After Breakfast, After Elin Danielson Gambogi.
There was a small exhibit of photos by the recently deceased British/Hong Kong/Australian photographer Lewis Morley (1925-2013) who is infamous for his Christine Keeler photograph at the height of the Profumo scandal in Britain, and who is also very famous for his capturing of that moment when drab 1950s Britain turned into Swinging England. The photos above are of Susannah York being a disgruntled model and Charlotte Rampling being quite the opposite in the early 1960s.
The downstairs museum cafe also features a rotating exhibit of celebrity pics by the late Palm Springs photographer Bill Anderson. They are invariably fascinating, as you can see from the two closeups above of William Holden with his wife on the right, and none other than a surprisingly hunky Liberace at his Palm Springs estate in the 1950s.