This weekend in the Coachella Valley there is a new gallery opening coming into town that we are really excited about.  Melissa Morgan Fine Art Gallery is showcasing cutting edge artists that caught our eye and have our interest.

Make sure to take some time to read to the exhibition description, look through the photos provided, and see if this is up your alley as well.

If it is… then I shall see you there!

About Melissa Morgan Fine Art

Melissa Morgan Fine Art specializes in cutting-edge international contemporary art in all media, with emphases on California movements, including Light and Space/Finish Fetish, as well as sculpture and Latin American art.

The gallery strives to present museum-quality programs with visionary and distinguished painters and sculptors, as well as artists working in photography, video, and installation art.

It prides itself on the scope of its programs — especially the outstanding emerging and regional artists — and retains a particular emphasis on the relationship between abstraction and figuration, and between painting and sculpture.

Melissa Morgan Fine Art presents an extensive schedule of solo and thematic group exhibitions and interpretative programming, including artist and curator lectures and panel discussions.
The gallery also offers confidential advice and guidance to collectors, corporations, and institutions about identifying, locating, and acquiring works of art.

About the Current Exhibit:


Southern California has long been regarded as the less accomplished sibling in the artworld when compared to its obviously proud brother in New York’s Chelsea, Soho and Williamsburg scenes. The overshadowing of our regional artists has long been a point of debate in the art world – our identity often being swallowed into the more influential galleries and museums in the east coast and internationally. All of this is about to change.

Taking cues from the now internationally recognized heroes of West Coast abstraction, such as Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feidelston, Frederick Hammersly and Tony Delap, rise the new generation of contemporary abstractionists who have quickly become the toast of the regional, New York, and Western European scenes.

Represented in this group show are the mesmerizing works of Andy Moses, Terri Yarbrow and Max Almy, Gisela Colon, Greg Renfrow, Eric Johnson, Jesse Small, Judy Stabile, Steven Knapp, Trudy Montgomery, Nellie King Solomon, and Patti Parsons. From shimmering pearlescent pigments to geometric patterns resurrected from Mid-Century Modernists, from painterly surfaces in ever shifting colors to light sensitive phosphorescents and flames projected on panels, from sublime works of pure abstraction and minimalism to hints of abstracted landscapes, a uniting theme relates these artists to each other. This is art that was born in Southern California. There is a nod to the original “finish fetish” movement of the 60’s with its borrowing of materials and surface from the prevalent car and surf culture of the region; acrylics and pinstripes, thick resins and candy coated surfaces can be seen throughout the body of works. Clearly however this is a movement for the new generation. There is a sense of freshness to the work that looks like it took those 40 odd years to evolve, to fine tune, to reinvent and perfect. This is something that could only have been born from the region and an unintentional counter to the entrenched elitist art scene of New York. In a time when even the well respected conceptual works seem routine and contrived, a return to beauty is welcomed world wide.

Please join us for our public reception of this blockbuster show:

Saturday / February 19th, 2011 /  5:30pm

at Melissa Morgan Fine Art Gallery

73-040 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA

If you have any questions, we can be reached at:

1.760.341.1056 or

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Here are a few artists that we are really looking forward to checking out:

Jesse Small, sculpture

Jesse Small views the chandelier sculptures not as a “series drifting through space with no connection to traditional subdivisions of architecture, but as sculptures drifting through time.”  While the chandeliers are based in traditional 17th-18th century chandeliers, the artist says, “there is a tension between the actual location of each piece, and where it should be according to the axis of architectural space.”  Gone are the strictures of history, and exploding from the ceiling is a panoply of filigreed chandeliers–made of steel as well as plastic–dancing through space regardless of structural considerations.  Inspired by trees in China where the artist spent a year after receiving his MFA, and another six months during 2008, the trees have an angular look, different from Western trees.  These are stylized versions of trees he experienced in Jingdezhen.  Composed of “fins” of sunset colors, hinged around a central axis, the chandeliers range in size from that of a softball to 48 inches in diameter.

Patti Parsons, multi-media (paint + short video)

Patti Parsons’s work, with paint and short video, explores the process of growth. Fixing the mistake, seeing what is there and not there, combining chance with systematic application, and learning/unlearning through repetition are all part of her investigation into how we evolve.

Steven Knapp, light paintings

Stephen Knapp is born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1947, and receives his B.A. from Hamilton College in 1969. His liberal arts education exposes him to many different disciplines and emphasizes the importance of research, establishing a foundation for much of his work.

Gregg Renfrow, luminescent paintings

Northern California based artist Gregg Renfrow uses minimal color to produce luminescent paintings on cast acrylic surfaces. Since his graduation from the San Francisco Art Institute in the mid 1970’s Renfrow has produced subtle light infused paintings. Renfrow creates his illusionistic pieces by pouring thin uninterrupted washes of color onto acrylic supports – allowing each thin layer to set without obvious manipulation. Each completed panel is hung slightly away from the wall allowing light to reflect off of and through the paintings. This precise use of materials results in paintings that appear to float on the wall capturing and encasing light and color.

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