Here’s Everything You Won’t Want to Miss at Art Palm Springs 2020

As always, there is a lot to see.

George Billis, Caliente Evening (2019). Courtesy of Art Palm Springs.
George Billis, Caliente Evening (2019). Courtesy of Art Palm Springs.

With its swimming pools and golf courses, Palm Springs is like a mid-century mirage in the desert. Filled with iconic architecture, art, and design, the city overflows with visitors every February during Modernism Week, an eleven-day celebration of the city’s unique culture.

Among the leading features of the week is the Art Palm Springs fair, which brings together a unique assortment of over 70 galleries for four days. 

Steadily growing over the years, the event returns in 2020 with some special features. If you happen to be in town, here’s what not to miss.

 

The Opening Party (and Its Illustrious Honorees)

Anthony James. Portal Icosahedron, Courtesy of Melissa Morgan Fine Art.

Anthony James, Portal Icosahedron. Courtesy of Melissa Morgan Fine Art.

This year’s opening night VIP party promises to be quite the event, says fair director Leah Steinhardt. “The honorees embody individualism, the willingness to take risks, and are forward thinking.”

Two of the honorees are artists. Receiving the fair’s Icon Award is Los-Angeles-based painter, sculptor, and printmaker Chuck Arnoldi. “Arnoldi is known for both his use of wood in combination with other media and his more recent free-flowing abstract paintings,” Steinhardt said.

Meanwhile, British artist Anthony James will receive the fair’s first-ever Trailblazer Award for his innovative light sculptures. (His works will also be on view at the Melissa Morgan Fine Art booth).

Artists can’t thrive without patrons, as we all know, and this year’s Patron of the Year Award will go to iconic print collector Jordan Schnitzer.

Schnizter famously purchased his first work at the age of 14, and over the decades has developed a premiere American print collection. “He is a connoisseur and has a relationship with many of the artists he collects,” Steinhardt said. “He has invested in the futures of these artists, some at very early stages in their careers.”

What’s more, the night of drinks and celebrations is for a good cause: a portion of the proceeds from the February 13 VIP reception will go to support Old Town Artisans Studios, an arts organization that provides access to art classes and experiences to residents of the Coachella Valley.

 

An Eye on American Art 

Frank Stella, Les Indes. Courtesy of Caviar 20.

Frank Stella, Les Indes. Courtesy of Caviar 20.

Art Palm Springs draws an international set of exhibitors and collectors, but maintains a focus on celebrating American art.

This year, expect blue-chip works by the likes of by Cy Twombly and Helen Frankenthaler, along with works by contemporary American—and specifically West Coast—artists.

Be sure to look out for Caviar 20’s booth, which will showcase a number of masterworks by Frank Stella. 

 

The Must-See Displays

Hung Liu, Red Flower Rain (2017). Courtesy of Turner Carroll Gallery.

Hung Liu, Red Flower Rain (2017). Courtesy of Turner Carroll Gallery.

Artist Cara Romero’s photo-based works made a big splash when they were shown at the first-ever Desert X.

If you missed them there, now’s your chance as New York’s Gerald Peters gallery will be presenting a selection of these works in the Collector’s Lounge. Meanwhile, Sage Culture, a young gallery from Los Angeles, will be mounting a stunning presentation of nature-inspired ceramics and sculptural works.

Another sure-fire hit will be Turner Carroll Gallery’s installation of works by celebrated artist Hung Liu.

“Liu is recognized as being one of the first Chinese artists to establish an art career in the West,” Steinhardt noted. And to be sure to stop by Art Unified’s booth: the Venice, California, artist-engaged platform is known for their finger-to-the-pulse displays.

Art Palm Springs takes place from February 13–16, 2020, at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs


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