The Palm Springs Fine Art Fair takes place Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 11 through 14, at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros. It costs $20 for a day pass; a VIP pass for all days is $75. For more information, visit www.palmspringsfineartfair.com.
1. Go See Photographer of the Year Ralph Gibson (pictured; photo by Andrea Blanche)
Ralph Gibson studied photography in the U.S. Navy in the 1950s; he also spent two years at the San Francisco Institute of Art. He worked as an assistant to photographer Dorothea Lange and later with filmmaker Robert Frank. His photographic art is known for incorporating fragments of eroticism along with undertones of the mysterious, giving narrative meaning though context and surreal juxtaposition. He will receive his award at noon, Friday, Feb. 12; a discussion of his work will follow. See his photo “MJ, Sardinia,” at the top.
Above: Billie Holiday, New York City, 1949, gelatin silver print © Herman Leonard Photography, LLC, courtesy Etherton Gallery
2. Learn About Esteemed Jazz Photographer Herman Leonard
At noon, Saturday, Feb. 13, the Etherton Gallery booth (No. 304) will be the site of a talk and book-signing featuring regarding Herman Leonard (1923-2010) by his daughter Shana Leonard, and her husband, Steven Smith. Called the “the greatest jazz photographer in the history of the genre” by President Bill Clinton, Herman Leonard fell in love with photography at the age of 9 and earned a degree in photography from Ohio University before joining the Army during World War II. He worked with master portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh before moving to Greenwich Village, where he often traded stills for admission to the jazz clubs of ’50s. Following an exhibition in New Orleans in 1991, Leonard moved to the city and immersed himself in the city’s vibrant jazz scene. Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina destroyed more than 8,000 gelatin prints by Leonard. He produced three books of his jazz photos, including his final book in 2006, Jazz, Giants and Journeys: The Photography of Herman Leonard. In the foreword to the book, Quincy Jones wrote, “When people think of jazz, their mental picture is likely one of Herman’s.”
3. Meet Artist of the Year Larry Bell
Larry Bell will receive his 2016 Palm Springs Fine Art Fair Artist of the Year award at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13. Bell is most often associated with the Light and Space group of artists, mostly from the West Coast, whose pieces are mainly perceptual experiences that stem from the interaction of the viewer and the art itself. While Bell’s early works were mostly Abstract Expressionist paintings, he began moving into the realm of more three-dimensional forms by incorporating shards of mirror and glass into angular geometric compositions, and later into shadow or “ghost boxes.” His most recognizable pieces are his cube sculptures on transparent pedestals that he began constructing in the 1960s.
Below: “AAAAA 108,” 2007, mixed media on paper 47 ¼ x 32 inches. Photo Courtesy Frank Lloyd Gallery FBL042.