Desert X Riveting Artwork on Display in the Coachella Valley

A detail from Claudia Comte’s “Curves and Zigzags,” an Op Art sculptural painting. (Lance Gerber / Claudia Comte and Desert X, 2017)

On February 25th through April 30th, the Coachella Valley and its desert landscape serves as the canvas for Desert X, curated exhibitions of site-specific artwork by established and emerging artists whose projects amplify and articulate global and local issues ranging from climate change to tribal culture. The free contemporary art show spans 45 miles of the Coachella Valley, from Whitewater Preserve east to Indio.

Desert X, short for Desert Exhibition of Art, was a featured news story in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and Architectural Digest for its sixteen site specific works of the inaugural event. Artistic director, Neville Wakefield, invited sixteen international artists to search for their own sites in the desert, offering little in the way of curatorial direction to “allow the place itself to become the curator”.

Featured contemporary artists include Doug Aitken, Lita Albuquerque, Jennifer Bolande, Will Boone, Claudia Comte, Jeffrey Gibson, Sherin Guirguis, Norma Jeane, Glenn Kaino, Gabriel Kuri, Armando Lerma, Richard Prince, Rob Pruitt, Julião Sarmento, Phillip K. Smith III and Tavares Strachan.

Phillip K. Smith III, “The Circle of Land and Sky” (detail), mixed media. (Lance Gerber / Desert X, 2017)

A Baum Foundation supported program, Desert X is produced by Desert Biennial to bring the finest international artists to the Coachella Valley to create art, engage viewers, and focus attention on the valley’s environment and natural wonders and socio-political-economic issues.

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