The first ever Desert X art exhibition is set to take place in Palm Springs and the surrounding desert from February to April 2017. Desert X will offer artists a variety of non-traditional as well as institutional venues in which to display their art, with locations including the Palm Springs Art Museum and Sunnylands Center & Gardens. A wide variety of different contemporary artists are set to exhibit throughout the two-month period, and their artwork will shed light on the geographical, historic, social and ethnic landscape of the California desert, whilst examining many of the major movements in contemporary art.
The site-specific exhibition, will bring a new, diverse and international audience to Palm Springs, and will be completely free and open to the public. The launch coincides with Modernism Week 2017, the annual celebration of mid-century modern design, architecture, art, fashion and culture in the city, with the exhibition continuing through the 2017 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and The Stagecoach Festival, making Desert X ideal for music and art lovers already visiting the city, or art aficionados looking to discover new international events.
The exhibition is designed specifically to engage local communities, visitors, organisations and students through works that respond to the environmental, social and cultural conditions of the area. Taking inspiration from similar art biennials in Istanbul, Sharjah, Cartagena, and Gstaad, the organisers hope to inspire, energise and reignite curiosity in the desert, which has long been a source of inspiration for artists and architects, whilst using it to provide new context and perspective through which international trends in contemporary art can be experienced.
Susan Davis, Desert X founder and board president explains, “The landscape of harsh desert, high mountains, lush golf courses and a vanishing sea, holds a rich history and maintains mythical proportions in the narrative of the American West—one that includes ancient Indian tribes, prospectors, pioneers, and cowboys. We see Desert X as unique in shining a spotlight on the rich preexisting architectural, natural and cultural legacies of the area, while offering the public a way to explore, activate and interrogate current, timely and historic issues through contemporary, creative practices.”.
Mary Jo Ginther, Director of Tourism at the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism says, “Desert X is a fantastic addition to the excellent calendar of art and design celebrations in Palm Springs. This exhibition will engage with and celebrate the dynamic social landscape here, as well as our beautiful surroundings, which is fantastic!”.
Palm Springs' extensive history of art and design has historically been expressed through its stunning architecture, and visitors to Desert X can see this for themselves by staying at one of the many beautiful Mid-Century Modern hotels in the city or even renting an iconic celebrity home such as those once owned by Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor or Bing Crosby.