Sky's the Limit for 2nd Agnes Pelton Retrospective

Agnes Pelton, Challenge, 1940. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (formerly of the Gerald Buck Collection)
"Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist" has just opened at the Phoenix Art Museum. It travels to four cities, including New York (the Whitney)—but not L.A. Closest approach will be the Palm Springs Art Museum, where it runs Aug. 1–Nov. 29, 2020.

Pelton was an artist's artist who achieved only modest fame in her lifetime. A 1995 retrospective organized by the Palm Springs museum revived interest in her art. That show traveled only to smaller museums, among them Pepperdine's Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art.

Since then LACMA, the Huntington, the de Young, Phoenix, Crystal Bridges, the Whitney, and Boston MFA have acquired works by Pelton. The artist is prominently represented in the Gerald Buck collection, set to be the nucleus of a new museum of California modernism at UC Irvine, and Lynda and Stewart Resnick's collection (they've lent to the Phoenix show).

Pelton is believed to have produced a scant hundred of her spiritual abstractions. To those who still hold that an artist doesn't exist until she's shown in New York, the Whitney venue will likely be a revelation. Already ArtNews is suggesting that Pelton may be the next Hilma af Klint. (Actually both Pelton and af Klint were featured in "The Spiritual in Art," a 1986 LACMA show.)
Agnes Pelton, Orbits, 1945. Oakland Museum of California Art