Friday, October 20, 2017

Kinetic Art in Palm Springs

The Palm Springs Art Museum is hosting an eye-opening, mind blowing exhibit called Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art 1954-1969.

The cautionary signage is not exaggerating, and the longer you spend in the exhibit, the more likely you will come away feeling fabulously discombobulated.

There were an array of electrically controlled light sculptures by Gregorio Vardanega, an Argentinian who lived in Paris for the second half of his life.

You can walk through one dark room between suspended plastic spaceships facing psychedelic galaxies on the wall which feels as if one has just taken off on a rocket ship in the 1960s from the futuristic new city of Brasilia.

I am uncertain if the other moving light sculptures were also by Gregorio Vardanega...

...but they were all terrific...

...and surprising...

...looking as if Alexander Calder got to play with plastic and electricity.

The kinetic art movement was based in Paris in the 1950s, which is where many South Americans went to study and live after World War Two...

...including the Venezuelan Jesus Rafael Soto who created the two wonderful sculptural paintings pictured above.

The most startling work was the 1965 Chromosaturation, adapted for this exhibit by the 94-year-old Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez.

You have to put on a pair of plastic covers over your shoes in order not to scuff the perfectly white floors, while walking slowly from one color field to another, and the effect is like nothing I have ever experienced.

Signage explained, "The spectator is invited to enter every room and stay there until the colors seem to fade. At this point, one can discover their own capacity to do and undo color with their own perceptive means, as well as their own emotional resonance."

As we were leaving, a young couple entered and started modeling their way through color, in an ineffable moment of beauty.


Matt said...

Looks fabulous!

Hattie said...

By god, that's wonderful!