The Palm Springs Art Museum is one of my favorite desert delights. Not only does this esteemed institution have an amazing and expansive permanent collection of outstanding art, but it’s on the “circuit” to host some of the most interesting and thought-provoking traveling shows in the world. You may remember my raves about the museum’s “Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography, 1945-1982,” which was my all-time favorite exhibit. That is, until now…
The brand new “Antibodies: The Works of Fernando and Humberto Campana 1989 – 2009” has taken over that honor. The Sao Paolo, Brazil-born and -raised artist brothers have been a dream furniture design team since 1989. They call their creative process “a flirt with materials,” as they often use non-traditional resources and found objects in ways that will evoke wonder and delight. The show is full of one-of-a-kind pieces, prototypes, experiments, and art that also includes film and photographs as well as personal “treasures” and found objects that the brothers have collected.
As you may know, I’m seldom left speechless, but this show shut me up good as I perused the pieces which are displayed in one of the most interesting (and vertigo-inducing) ways I’ve ever seen. More than 60 items are displayed on various slanted platforms that highlight just how fragile and surprising life—and art—can be. The Campanas have drawn inspiration from the Brazilian slums, where residents often see the world differently than the middle and upper classes, and where re-using found items isn’t just “quirky and fun” but often a necessity of daily living. A settee made of multiple stuffed animals will amaze. And a three-way children’s chair made of plastic and rattan will stop you in your tracks. Some of their designs are now produced for actual use in small series by trained craftsmen in the brother’s design studio in Sao Paulo, including their Plastico Bolha easy chair made of bubble wrap and the Vermelha armchair, containing more than 600 yards of rope.
The exhibit is officially open from November 10, 2012 through February 24, 2013. This is one you definitely will not want to miss. And if it has the same effect on you that it has on me, it may literally leave you speechless. www.psmuseum.com