Editor's Letter

In Season About L.A. Art, Palm Springs Shines.



Steven Biller

Early in his tenure as executive director of Palm Springs Art Museum, Steve Nash spoke of renovating the interior, pursuing more compelling and important exhibitions, and sharpening its collection strategy in a way that would serve the community and brighten the desert institution’s star among the “constellation of museums in Southern California.”

Since taking command in 2007, Nash probably has lost countless hours of sleep to acheive these goals. He also spearheads the museum’s expansion into two satellite locations and instigated its involvement in the Getty Foundation-supported Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980. Each of more than 60 museums and institutions and dozens of galleries in the unprecedented collaborative project explore a different theme or movement, such as Light and Space and Chicano art, to demonstrate and celebrate the innovation and influence of artists working in Southern California.

The museum’s exhibition, Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography 1945-1982, transcends the idealized backyard swimming pool to reveal how imagery of scantily clad celebrities and seductive architecture and design helped shape American culture, says curator Daniell Cornell in “Breaking the Surface.”

Also in this edition, we introduce three artists who live outside the desert and make poignant work about the desert (“Burning Off Water”), a former New York dealer who runs an artist’s foundation from a condo in Rancho Mirage (“Clinton Would Have Loved This”), and a local artist who builds on layers of narrative content (“The Storied Past”). Plus, we present a fresh look at old desert paintings by Hudson River School artist Lockwood de Forest (“Palm Springs on the Hudson”).

In “Give Your Regards to Broadway,” we preview the productions that make this the season of the Great White Way in the Coachella Valley.

We hope you will use our comprehensive calendar all season and follow the arts scene in Palm Springs Life and at www.palmspringslife.com.

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