Last month, M Modern gallery in Palm Springs celebrated Modernism Week with openings for two new art exhibitions. The Contemporary Idol featured work from “20 artists interpret(ing) primitive art in the modern habitat.”
A tiki art show at M Modern just wouldn’t be complete without a contribution from Shag. Naturally it had a little red “sold” dot next to it.
Derek Yaniger and Doug Horne were more familiar faces from The Book of Tiki 10th Anniversary exhibition at M Modern from awhile back, which is not surprising since author Sven Kirsten also curated this show.
The home decor aspect of the exhibition’s theme was emphasized by these tiki lamps courtesy of Jim “Polynesiac” DePompei. I especially liked the Andres Bumatay-style one on the left.
This “Twin Tangaroa Trio” is by Lake Surfer, whose carvings have appeared in Trader Vic’s Chicago and the Foundation Tiki Bar in Milwaukee. As there’s a lack of palm trees in his present homeland Wisconsin, he uses hardwoods like oak and maple, which give his work a distinctive look.
The pièces de résistance were undoubtedly the two intricate wood collages (“Face to Face” on left) from Leroy Schmaltz, “godfather of all tiki carvers” and co-founder of Oceanic Arts. It was also very appropriate for Ken Pleasant to be represented (“Irony” on right) since he carries on the aesthetic of Witco, the company that popularized primitive-style furniture in the 1960s. (See: Tiki Modern)
Dawn Frasier‘s paintings have such a beautiful, ethereal quality to them. “The Mystical Order of Mu” was part of this group show, but she also had a few other pieces on display.
The other new exhibition was called Modern Moods, a solo show from Bosko Hrnjak. I already dig his straightforward mid-century modern settings, but this one (“Sector 9”) gave it a fun sci-fi twist with a crash-landed spaceship and the sly suggestion of a future government cover-up.