Art in Focus



Picasso, Chagall, and Miró have their richly earned place in Modern Masters Fine Art’s first exhibition
of the season. Flanking their works, however, are photographic portraits of the artists — an effort to connect the gallery’s “Masters Project” with its expanding schedule of contemporary shows.

Hybrid galleries have become more common, partly because auction houses’ hammer prices for important Modern and contemporary works can surpass retail prices, sometimes beyond anybody’s wildest imagination, as we’ve seen recently with Picasso, Gustav Klimt, and sculptor David Smith. With prices soaring, specialty galleries are casting a wider net for collectors by adding emerging and established contemporary artists to their mix.

On El Paseo, Eleonore Austerer and Edenhurst galleries integrate contemporary works with Modern masters and American Impressionism, respectively. The Hart Gallery, which specializes in contemporary European works, has mounted an impressive Picasso exhibition and lecture. And Buschlen Mowatt Galleries has shown Picasso and Henry Moore alongside blue-chip contemporary artists.

Which leads us to Edward Quinn (1920-1997), whose silver gelatin print Pablo Picasso in the mansion ‘La Californie’ in Cannes reflects Modern Masters’ interest in contemporary art. On Nov. 2, it opens On the Earth Plane: Four Views, a group show of photographers.

Quality appears intact, with images by Robert Dawson, Richard D’Amore (look for his 16x16-inch, tri-tone image The Monk), Michael Healy and Palm Springs resident Allen Hicks.    — Steven Biller

Modern Masters Fine Art, 73-200 El Paseo, Palm Desert; 341-1056

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