Palm Springs Fine Art Fair Recap

A visitor photographs works by Tom Betts at the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015; installation view of Dawson Cole Fine Art with works by Tom Betts, Donald Sultan, Richard MacDonald, and John Singer Sargent; photo © codylee.co
A visitor photographs paintings by Tom Betts at the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015; installation view of Dawson Cole Fine Art with works by Tom Betts, Donald Sultan, Richard MacDonald, and John Singer Sargent; photo © codylee.co

We gave an overview of the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair last week. Since then the fair closed, the concurrent events of Modernism Week concluded, and Air Force One returned to Washington after the President’s long weekend in the desert. Here’s our recap of PSFAF.

 

More than 14,000 visitors attended the fourth edition of the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair. There were 66 exhibitors, from 7 countries and 33 cities, representing works by more than 300 artists. The convention center was lively throughout the weekend and galleries reported abundant sales.

 

Tom Betts, Archipelago and Glass, 2015; oil on panel, 36 x 24 inches; image © Tom Betts, courtesy of the artist
Tom Betts, Archipelago and Glass, 2015; oil on panel, 36 x 24 inches; image © Tom Betts, courtesy of the artist

Dawson Cole Fine Art (Palm Desert, Laguna Beach, and Carmel) premiered incredible new paintings by Tom Betts alongside works by Chuck Close, Richard MacDonald, Pablo Picasso, and John Singer Sargent. The oil study by Sargent was said to be the most expensive work at the fair, and a heroic sculpture by Richard MacDonald was highlighted in the VIP lounge. The works by Tom Betts were the fair’s best examples contemporary painting, with unmatched surface and refinement.

 

Michael Wolf, Architecture of Density 75, 2006; chromogenic print face-mounted to acrylic, 57 x 48 inches; installation view at Foster/White Gallery; photo © codylee.co
Michael Wolf, Architecture of Density 75, 2006; chromogenic print face-mounted to acrylic, 57 x 48 inches; installation view at Foster/White Gallery; photo © codylee.co

Foster/White Gallery (Seattle) represented great contemporary photography. Jeffrey Milstein’s images of aircraft transform mechanics into aesthetics, and works by Michael Wolf merge architectural scenes with the technical qualities of Candida Höfer and Andreas Gursky.

 

Alain Richard, The Moon; light box, 68 x 68 inches; image courtesy of Vogelsang Gallery
Alain Richard, The Moon; light box, 68 x 68 inches; image courtesy of Vogelsang Gallery

Vogelsang Gallery (Brussels) featured a magnificent light box installation by Alain Richard, paintings by Marcel Ceuppens, and shiny, challenging photographs by David LaChapelle and Cecile Plaisance.

 

Alberto Vejarano (Chanoir), Master Cha, 2012/2014; acrylic, spray paint, ink on canvas, 47 ¼ x 63 ¾ inches; image courtesy of Art Vitam
Alberto Vejarano (Chanoir), Master Cha, 2012/2014; acrylic, spray paint, ink on canvas, 47 ¼ x 63 ¾ inches; image courtesy of Art Vitam

Art Vitam (Paris and Miami) hosted a solo exhibition for the Parisian street artist Alberto Vejarano (Chanoir), whose work engages with the visual language of the other Parisian graffiti cat, M. Chat.

 

Damien Hirst, Covenant with Diamond Dust, 2013; silkscreen print with glaze and diamond dust, 53 ½ x 53 ½ inches; installation view at Heather James Fine Art; photo © codylee.co
Damien Hirst, Covenant with Diamond Dust, 2013; silkscreen print with glaze and diamond dust, 53 ½ x 53 ½ inches; installation view at Heather James Fine Art; photo © codylee.co

Heather James Fine Art (Palm Desert) had a range of works by blue chip artists including Alexander Calder, Damien Hirst, Massimo Vitali, and Takashi Murakami. Notable artists represented at Heather James and several other galleries included Chuck Close, Sam Francis, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, and others that are now ubiquitous at art fairs.

 

Rachel Lee Hovnanian, Perfect Baby Showroom; installation view at the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015; photo © codylee.co
Rachel Lee Hovnanian, Perfect Baby Showroom; installation view at the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015; photo © codylee.co

Imago Galleries (Palm Desert) commissioned an installation by Rachel Lee Hovnanian. Perfect Baby Showroom invited visitors, with white lab coats and sanitized hands, to select and hold unsettlingly realistic babies. The spectacle raised questions about genetic modification and consumerism, but was also great fun.

 

Overview of Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015; image courtesy of PSFAF
Overview of Palm Springs Fine Art Fair 2015; image courtesy of PSFAF

Events at the fair included an auction of works by Robert Rauschenberg to benefit the Palm Springs Art Museum, a panel on collecting presented by Sotheby’s Institute of Art, as well as tours, lectures, and receptions.

In only four years, the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair has developed a consistent and refined set of galleries representing post-war and contemporary art, and has expanded to be among the largest art fairs on the West Coast. Go ahead and save the date for next year’s PSFAF.

 

Also see our pre-opening overview at codylee.co/palm-springs-fine-art-fair/

 

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