Out Of The Bottle

Sneer, if you wish, at the name of Palm Springs Desert Museum’s latest exhibition, but The True Artist is an Amazing Luminous Fountain lives up to its name. It’s a bright show of nonconformist, contemporary San Francisco Bay Area works selected from di Rosa Preserve in Napa. The moniker repeats Bruce Nauman’s 1966 installation of cutout letters arranged along the perimeter of a doorframe — a wacky, Willy Wonka-ish welcome to a wild, West Coast show.

That’s not to say the exhibition lacks serious, quality works. On the contrary, the 44 paintings, sculptures, and ceramic pieces represent a Who’s Who in Northern California art. Some pieces, such as Robert Arneson’s glazed ceramic War head Stockpile, have pointed antiwar and counterculture themes. Others, like Joan Brown’s Dancers in a City #4, parlay marks of a movement — in this case, the Abstract Expressionists’ brushwork — into a free-spirited, figurative style that’s unmistakably Bay Area.

Manuel Neri’s Coming in Last Thursday offers a compelling example of the master sculptor’s raw, textured female figures with his signature enamel brushstroke gestures, while Roy DeForest’s charming, cartoonish painting of his dog, Fred, draws attention to the area’s Funk movement.

The works’ common denominator is Rene di Rosa, who collected them with his late wife, Veronica, since the mid-1960s. Today, di Rosa Preserve: Art and Nature — a 217-acre park, vineyard, and museum — exhibits more than 2,000 works by about 800 Northern California artists. For the first time since it opened in 1997, the preserve began touring a selection of (mostly) outstanding works from the collection. The modest Peter Voulkos plate hardly stacks up to the iconic ceramicist’s piece in Palm Springs Desert Museum’s collection; but as a whole, the di Rosa exhibition tells a colorful, irreverent story of one region’s distinct perspective on life over the last 50 years.

The True Artist is an Amazing Luminous Fountain opens June 21 and continues through Aug. 14 at Palm Springs Desert Museum, with a lecture June 18 at 5:30 p.m. in the Annenberg Theater. Call (760) 325-0189. For information about di Rosa Preserve: Art and Nature, call (707) 226-5991 or point your Web browser to

Edit Module
Palm Springs Life
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Palm Springs International ShortFest Picks Online Selections

The 2015 Palm Springs International ShortFest & Short Film Market has chosen the first 13 films to represent the ShortFest Online Film Festival.

Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival Brings Vintage Movies to Camelot Theatre Screens

When Alan Rode took over the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in 2008, he made sure it remained true to has remained true to its namesake by paying tribute to black and white vintage films.

Jon Polito Will Appear for "Miller's Crossing" Screening at Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival

Miller's Crossing will return to the big screen as the opener to the 16th Annual Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival on May 14, and with it will be actor Jon Polito, who gained his first role in a Coen Brothers-directed film.

Songs From the Heart

After decades of singing backup for such legends as Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick, Marvin Gaye, The Righteous Brothers, and Tom Jones, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love — now 73 — is busier than ever.

Jane Lynch, The von Trapps, Igudesman & Joo Lead Picks for McCallum's 2015-16 Season

Mitch Gershenfeld’s successful track record in booking shows audiences love led him to establish “Mitch’s Picks” to showcase artists the public may not be familiar with appearing at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 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.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) 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.