Heather James Fine Art Palm Desert opens its 2015-2016 season featuring Picasso | Calder, an exhibition of fine artwork by Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder. In addition, an excellent lineup of contemporary art by Max Pellegrini and Kaoru Mansour will be on exhibit.
Picasso | Calder will include artworks from a range of mediums, to highlight these artists’ inventive and prolific careers. Pablo Picasso had astonishing powers of invention, continually innovating and refreshing his work and experimenting with one style after another. He is one of the greatest, most radical and most influential artists of the 20th century.
More than any other artist, Picasso defined Modern Art of the 20th century by his establishment and development of one of its major movements, Cubism. Picasso also experimented, and eventually mastered, a number of mediums, including painting, the primary modes of printmaking, ceramic, and sculpture. Picasso will include a number of prints and an important collection of ceramics.
Alexander Calder was a prolific American artist who infused his artwork with wit and whimsy inspired by his early fascination with the circus. His childhood hobby of crafting objects from found materials evolved into his invention of mobiles, and kinetic sculptures composed of wires counterbalanced with thin metal fins that are set in motion by random air currents to create natural movement.
In addition to these sculptures, he created stabiles, or static sculptures, paintings, gouaches, drawings, prints, jewelry, and tapestries. Calder features several artworks from private collections that have never been exhibited, including a five-foot wide standing mobile constructed circa 1940.
For the better part of 50 years, the Turin, Italy based artist Max Pellegrini used photography and painting, and a visual vocabulary of trippy landscapes, beautiful people, and meaningful symbols to compose his stories. Pellegrini’s work embodies the culture of the 20th century, drawing on the ideas of the Masters and giving them new context and relevance.
His psychedelic works often reference Italian music, literature, fashion, and iconography, from the Renaissance to Postmodernism. Pellegrini’s paintings are a flashback in classic and pop culture — a trip in time with poignant narratives embedded in symbolic references.
Los Angeles artist Kaoru Mansour creates paintings out of botanical collage elements on wooden panels and canvas. Delicately colored organic forms are covered with twenty to thirty different layers of acrylic, which gives her work a rich and highly textured appearance.
Mansour’s paintings explore the relationship between man and nature, through traditional sonaemono, Japanese offerings of sweets, vegetables, or fruits to shrines and temples for their ancestors. Sonaemono are never meant for human consumption. However, when small birds nibble at the treats, it is a sign of being at one with nature. The birds represent nature, but they also have human-like qualities.
Photography by Timothy Thompkins