Los Angeles has beeN the focus of attention in the international art world recently due to the successful launch of the much-anticipated Frieze LA art fair. Opening just one week prior and around 125 miles away is a curated (by Neville Wakefield, Amanda Hunt, and Matthew Schum) exhibition, now in its second edition, that is just as important, also has big name star power, and is sensitive to California itself in a much more considered way.
Desert X 2019, open now until April 21 (and free to the public), features 19 artists and extends from Palm Springs to the Salton Sea. It includes household names like Sterling Ruby (whose work is pictured above) and Jenny Holzer (whose piece is currently postponed due to environmental concerns for the animal population), with each artist’s work being specific to the location and utilizes technologies such as augmented reality and computer simulations. The works take advantage of the vast open spaces and to the local concerns of certain areas and to the environment as a whole. It is not an exhibition that is for a casual Sunday afternoon view. To get the most out of DX, an entire day (or two) should be set aside, as works are oftentimes spaced far apart. The added bonus of DX is that you get to experience the California desert and go into areas you normally would not ever see. This setting and journey provides enhanced viewing and appreciation of each individual work and is what makes Desert X more than just your average exhibition.
All photographs by Lance Gerber, courtesy of Desert X.