Posts tagged with "Palm Springs Art Museum":

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Pacific Standard Time initiative reveals slate of architecturally-focused exhibitions

The Getty-sponsored initiative, Pacific Standard Time, has released a partial list of the exhibitions associated with next year’s upcoming installment of its Southern California-wide arts extravaganza. Held every two to three years since 2011, the upcoming Pacific Standard Time installment for 2017 will focus squarely on facilitating cross-cultural artistic pollination by showcasing artworks and research from North and South America in the Los Angeles area. Pacific Standard Time is being presented by more than 70 partners located within a California area spanning Santa Barbara to the north, Palm Springs to the east, and San Diego to the south. Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA (PST:LA/LA), as next year’s initiative is known, aims to utilize the Southland area as a staging ground for the provocative presentation of works hailing from regions of the continent that feed into L.A.’s multicultural expanse. According to a promotional Youtube clip for the project, “A single form of artistic expression can be born in one place and reshape an entire region thousands of miles away. That’s the power of Latin American and Latino Art’s influence on Los Angeles,” adding, “It’s time for Southern California to turn a spotlight on its cultural and artistic roots.” Though the exhibitions presented will cover topics as diverse as luxury goods from the pre-Columbian Americas to post-World War II utopias in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela, PST:LA/LA’s program also aims to showcase a variety of architectural- and design-related exhibitions that touch on critical architectural issues and their impact on art. The Getty Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) are doing much of the heavy lifting in this department, with LACMA presenting multiple architecturally-related shows. LACMA’s Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985  will look at the exchange of architectural dialogues between California and Mexico and examine how the Spanish Colonial, Pre-Columbian Revivals, Craftsman, and Modernist architectural movements played a role in defining each locale throughout the 20th century. The museum’s Home—So Different, So Appealing, exhibition—part of a collaboration with Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and organized by the Chicano Studies Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles—aims to present an "alternative narrative of postwar and contemporary art by showcasing the work of Latino-American and Latin American artists from the late 1950s to the present who have used the idea of "home" as a grounding feature in their work." LACMA will also play host to A Universal History of Infamy, a collective exhibition of more than 15 artists and collectives who have developed multi-disciplinary projects while attending residency programs organized by the 18th Street Art Center in Santa Monica, California, including the work of Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa and his A Brief History of Architecture in Guatemala from 2013.  The Getty Research Institute's Urban Transfer(s): Building the Latin American Metropolis from Independence to the Threshold of Modernism will consist of a visual survey of the growth experienced by Latin American cities between the 1920s and today, tracing a narrative arc spanning from the decolonization period of the late 19th century to contemporary urban conditions for the metropolises that now dot the continent. The Palm Springs Art Museum will hold Living Architecture: Lina Bo Bardi and Albert Frey, a comparative look at the work of Brazilian Modernist paragon Lina Bo Bardi and Southern California architect Albert Frey. Bo Bardi translated Frey’s text, Living Architecture for Domus in 1959 and each helmed practices that engaged with Modernism in architecture as well as furniture and urban design. The Craft and Folk Art Museum will show The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility, a collection of work by individuals who grapple with the U.S.-Mexico border wall in their work, featuring work of artists and designers like Teddy Cruz, Adrian Esparza, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, and Ana Serrano. Last but not least, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery will hold Learning from Latin America: Art, Architecture, and Visions of Modernism a collection of work from Brazilian, Cuban, Mexican, and Venezuelan artists who have engaged with the contested legacies of Modern architecture in their work. To explore the growing list of exhibitions, visit the Pacific Standard Time website here.
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Desert X to bring the art fair circuit to Coachella Valley

File under “X.” A new happening is coming to California’s high desert. Slated to open in February 2017, Desert X is “three-month site-specific international contemporary art exhibition,” aka, an arid art event timed to align with Palm Spring’s Modernism Week as well as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Writer and curator Neville Wakefield, known for curating site-specific works, will serve as inaugural artistic director. It’s promised that his knack for engaging alternative spaces will be on view as artists install in non-traditional spaces—one might expect landscape interventions a la High Desert Test Sites in Joshua Tree—as well as more conventional settings such as the Palm Springs Art Museum, a late modern design by architect E. Stewart Williams and A. Quincy Jones’ midcentury Sunnylands Center & Gardens, renovated by Frederick Fisher and Partners in 2012. “The desert has long exercised its fascination over the minds of artists, architects, musicians, writers and other explorers of landscape and soul,” noted Wakefield. He sets a high bar for the commissioned art works, asking that they simultaneously reflect the ideals and politics of the contemporary art world and respond to the desert context. The press release suggests that the pieces will “amplify and cast a gimlet eye on the geographies, ethnic/social and historical/geologic layers that exist in the southern California desert, while also looking to major movements in contemporary art world-wide.” The exact hows and whos of Desert X remain a vast and unknowable mystery, to borrow the evocative language of the press materials. “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,” explained Susan Davis, Desert X founder and board president. “We see Desert X as unique in shining a spotlight on the rich preexisting architectural, natural and cultural legacies of the area, while offering the public a way to explore, activate and interrogate current, timely and historic issues through contemporary, creative practices.” However, Desert X’s board is well connected to the regional, national, and international arts organizations, including major arts institutions, such as Whitney Museum of American Art, the Park Avenue Armory Conservancy, the New Museum, the Hammer Museum, the Serpentine Galleries, and Creative Time. The truth is out there: Wakefield will share his vision and plans for the inaugural exhibition on January 29, 2016 as part of the Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2016.
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Desert Modernism in Palm Springs cleared for National Register of Historic Places

Given that Palm Springs is a destination for sun-soaked desert modernism, it’s surprising to learn that a number of structures by the area’s best-known architects are not protected. That changed earlier this month when the California State Historical Resources Commission voted to nominate ten buildings by Albert Frey, including Palm Springs City Hall and the iconic Frey House II, as well as the Town & Country Center in Palm Springs designed by Paul R. Williams and A. Quincy Jones for the National Register of Historic Places. The vote was a milestone in preservation efforts in Palm Springs, a city that’s recently seen parts of its architectural history bulldozed for new developments. Recently midcentury modern Spa Resort Casino complex, noted for its concrete-vaulted entry colonnade and designed by William Cody, Donald Wexler, Richard Harrison, and Phillip Koenig, was demolished in the face of preservationist opposition. The Desert Sun reported that the National Register placements are moving forward despite opposition by two owners: The Mount San Jacinto Winter Park Authority, which oversees Frey’s Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, and Town & Country Center owners Wessman Development. The Tramway owners cite potential development restrictions down the line as their challenge to the nomination. John Wessman’s objections stem from a larger architectural and urban issue: the redevelopment of central Palm Springs and the fact that the Palm Springs City Council city rejected a Historic Site Preservation Board recommendation to list the Town & Country Center as a Class I Historic Site. As The Desert Sun noted:
Wessman argues that the building is a poor example of mid-century architecture and is problematic to lease due to its awkward layout, low ceilings and other deficiencies. The building also stands in the way of a proposed new street for the area that would form an east-west axis connecting the Palm Springs Art Museum with other areas like the Palm Springs Convention Center.
Writing for AN in 2011, Tom Stoelker reported that the museum's relationship to the Town & Country Center is "tricky."

There is the opportunity to connect the museum to tourists and residents, expand within the new complex, and gain visibility—literally—from blocks away. On the other hand, they’ll likely incur the wrath of Palm Spring’s vigilant preservationist community. “We are very interested in working with the city and Wessman, but we are by no means endorsing the destruction of Town and Country,” said museum spokesperson Bob Bogard. “The museum is very interested in an east-west corridor.”

The complete list of nominated Frey buildings are: Kocher-Samson Building (1934), Frey and A. Lawrence Kocher Sieroty House (1946) Loewy House (1946-47) Carey-Pirozzi House (1946) Palm Springs City Hall (1952) Fire Station #1 (1957), Frey and Robson Chambers Frey House II (1964) Tramway Valley Station (1963) Tramway Gas Station and Visitors Center (1965) North Shore Yacht Club (1959)
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Modernism Week: Sneak Inside Palm Springs’ Future Architecture and Design Center

Another weekend, another Modernism Week. One of our favorites: a look inside the Palm Springs Art Museum's future Architecture and Design Center, located inside E. Stewart Williams' sleek Santa Fe Federal Savings & Loan (1960). The International Style building is being renovated by Marmol Radziner, who also worked on Richard Neutra's nearby Kaufmann House. The museum has already raised more than $4 million to buy and renovate the building, and is now just $1 million shy of what's needed to get work underway. The organizers hope to break ground in the next few months and open the center by fall 2014. But for now, its interior is still lots of quirky fun, including a chance to walk inside the old bank vaults, check out the old drive through teller, and explore the old kitchens and mechanical systems.
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Modernism Week Surprise: Palm Springs Preparing Architecture Center

Last weekend at Palm Springs Modernism Week we stumbled upon a treasure for architecture fans. The Palm Springs Art Museum is renovating E. Stewart Williams' 1960 Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan building, turning it into the future home of the Edward Harris Center for Architecture and Design. Williams' International Style bank, featuring floating slabs, floor to ceiling glazing, and ultra thin columns, will contain exhibit space, public program areas, offices, an archival study center and a museum store (located in the former bank vault). On its lower level it will contain a 2,700 square foot area for the museum's collection. The center is scheduled to open in Fall 2013, says the museum. We can't wait! Historic pictures and renderings of the future space after the jump.