As if the Palm Springs area wasn’t magical enough, it’s now dotted with contemporary art from the likes of Richard Prince, Doug Aitken, Jennifer Bolande and Will Boone for the three-month-long Desert X exhibition.
Curator Neville Wakefield, who’s worked on Gstaad’s Elevation 1049, MoMA PS1 and Frieze Projects says, “The desert has long exercised its fascination over the minds of artists, architects, musicians, writers and other explorers of landscape and soul. From the theological cast of the Biblical desert wilderness to the secular observations of Joan Didion’s Holy Water, it is a place of scarcity, of stark contrasts, crude survival, mystery and transformation.”
Wakefield’s hope for Desert X is that it will “harness and combine the matchless spectacle of the geologic epic, the radical abstraction of the surroundings and the singular incursions of man into the seemingly barren landscape.” The standout moments from the show include Jennifer Bolande’s giant billboards that advertise the mountainous backdrops they obscure, Phillip K. Smith III’s op art wavy wall and Doug Aitken’s mirrored Mirage house.
The exhibition’s founder and board president, Susan Davis says, “The landscape of harsh desert, high mountains, lush golf courses and a vanishing sea, holds a rich history and maintains mythical proportions in the narrative of the American West—one that includes ancient Indian tribes, prospectors, pioneers, and cowboys.” Their hope is that having contemporary art in the mix will allow people to see the region afresh.