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Visual Arts

02 Mar 2015
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The tale told by Jennifer Karady: In Country, Soldiers’ Stories From Iraq and Afghanistan, a powerful photography exhibit now on display at the Palm Springs Art Museum, has three parts; however, gallery visitors get to see only two. We see the prologue, which lets us know what occurs prior to soldiers being deployed. We see the epilogue, in which we meet members of the military after they return to their homes. What happens in between—the events and their experiences during their tours of duty—is left to the viewer’s imagination. This forces us to create our own narrative; it creates a palpable tension. The exhibition appropriately takes up most of the gallery space on the museum’s lower floor. Karady begins her narrative in the long, narrow Jorgensen Gallery—a confined space that forces visitors to view each image on its own terms. The 17 smaller images, plus some Polaroid pictures, presented in…
17 Feb 2015
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As I stepped onto the back patio of Modernism Week’s Christopher Kennedy Compound on Yosemite Drive in Palm Springs, the view of the nearby golf course and the San Jacinto Mountains was breathtaking. The home and its furnishings weren’t bad, either. Tour guides explain that the home was purchased by Kennedy, with the rooms done by various interior designers, whose credits appear on wall plaques. When I stepped into the living room, the first thing I noticed was strange paintings. One depicted a half-dozen or so people in water—with a few of them looking horrified. Another featured a grinning man who looked like sci-fi author Isaac Asimov. The painting above the sofa? It showed a house in the middle of a flood, of course. (See below.) Moving down the hallway and into the master bedroom, you’ll find a gargantuan walk-in closet. The retro style, including decorative paper on the ceiling,…
06 Feb 2015
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The Fourth Annual Palm Springs Fine Art Fair, one of the season’s most anticipated fine-art events, is returning to the desert. From Thursday evening, Feb. 12, through the late afternoon on Sunday, Feb. 15, the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair will take over the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Presidents Day weekend event has rapidly grown from a small set of exhibitors into a destination event for many in the art world. It’s a great venue to see a full range of modern and contemporary visual art. “As someone who has been to the fair in past years, I’m looking forward to this year’s fair. It is always exciting to have the opportunity to show the artists I represent,” said Peter Blake, of Peter Blake Gallery in Laguna Beach. “Even if I didn’t have a booth, coming to this fair is a given: It is a great opportunity to see…
04 Feb 2015
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When it comes to Modernism Week’s various tours, there’s good news, and there’s bad news. The good news: This year’s 10th-anniversary edition of Modernism Week features more tours than ever before. Mark Davis, the treasurer of Modernism Week’s board of directors (and Modernism Week’s unofficial tour guru), said that more than 20 neighborhood tours are being offered in 2015. That’s up from nine in 2014. The bad news: A lot of these tours are already sold out. In other words, if you’re interested in learning more about the unique and groundbreaking architecture of the Coachella Valley, you’d better head to modernismweek.com and get your tickets now. The speedy ticket sales are a testament to the fact that midcentury modern architecture is as popular as it’s ever been (or, well, at least more popular than it’s been since the actual midcentury modern era of the 1950s and ’60s). “During the sad…
03 Feb 2015
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In Palm Springs, the name “Christopher Kennedy” is essentially synonymous with “modernism.” Therefore, it’s no surprise that the renowned designer is heavily involved with Modernism Week. In fact, the furniture/interior designer has transformed an Indian Canyons neighborhood home, built in 1964, into Modernism Week’s Show House—aka the Christopher Kennedy Compound. During a recent interview with the Independent, Kennedy discussed how he was drawn to the Palm Springs area. “I originally went to school for architecture,” Kennedy said. “I have a five-year degree from Drury University in architecture. I liked the arts approach to architecture, and I guess it was meant to be. “I came to Palm Springs about 11 years ago. I was born in California, so these kinds of things are in my blood—the afternoons in the pool, the drapes blowing in the breeze and the sprawling ranch houses. I guess it was just fate to end up in…
30 Jan 2015
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From Thursday, Feb. 12, through Sunday, Feb. 22, an estimated 45,000 people will descend on the Coachella Valley for Modernism Week, the annual celebration of the architecture and style of the 1950s and 1960s. If you’re a fan of modernism, architecture in general, or the styles made popular when baby boomers were coming of age … great! You probably already have your tickets in hand for various Modernism Week events and tours. But what about those of us—your humble scribe included—who don’t know much about modernism? What should we make of Modernism Week? Why should we care? These are the very questions I asked Chris Mobley (right), the chairman of the Modernism Week board, during a recent interview. Beyond his Modernism Week duties, Mobley is the owner of Just Modern, the amazingly cool furniture store located at 901 N. Palm Canyon Drive, No. 101. For more information on Modernism Week,…