Burning Off Water

Three contemporary artists explore the desert from near and afar



Jesse Reding Fleming at his Los Angeles studio.

JAY JORGENSEN

The desert has long exerted a powerful magnetism on artists. By 1900, painters seeking a fresh source of inspiration and a healthier climate came to the Palm Springs area to work en plein air and contribute a chapter to the story of early California Impressionism. John Frost, Alson Skinner Clark, John W. Hilton, and Agnes Pelton painted desert landcapes deep into the 1940s.

Today, several contemporary artists — including Ed Ruscha, Jack Pierson, Andrea Zittel, Claudia Parducci, and Thom Merrick — seek the High Desert expanses and solitude of Joshua Tree, Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley, Morongo Valley, and Wonder Valley.

In the 1970s, earthworks artists such as Michael Heizer and Robert Smithson ventured into American West landscapes to pioneer monumental, site-specific art that interacted directly with the primal forces of nature. Today, High Desert Test Sites, founded in 2002 by Zittel and a small group of artists and gallerists, hosts experimental, locally oriented events and installations free of the confines of galleries and museums.

But the desert is perhaps nowhere more seductive or inspiring than in the mind. Three contemporary artists — Nicole Antebi, Jesse Reding Fleming, and Jeff Lipschutz — make art wherein the desert plays a prominent role, yet none of them resides in the desert, nor must they be in the desert to make this work.

Jesse Reding Fleming »»

Nicole Antebi »»

Jeff Lipschutz »»


 

Art + Culture

Related Articles

"Top Rock" Commands Stage at Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs

"Top Rock" brings a brash, rockin' musical tribute to the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs on Friday and Saturday nights through September.

Palm Springs Horoscope - August 2014

Just persevere through these tough times, and know that the hard way will become the right road in 2015.

Palm Springs Horoscope - July 2014

Entering Leo on July 16, Jupiter ramps up the social calendar. There will be more summer parties than last year — expect an overbooked schedule.

Star Power

The Palm Springs Walk of Stars honors philanthropic superhero Lynda Carter for shattering stereotypes and blazing new paths for generations of women.

Golden Eye

Capitol Records music video producer and desert resident Danny Lockwood lends his Midas touch to top artists.

Promotions + Contests

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couple’s getaway
90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Each month, a first place winner will be selected to win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!And, each month, three additional runners up will be selected to win a wonderful Palm Springs area Dining certificate!
2013/14 Best of the Best

2013/14 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.