TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT March 2020

DIVINE REALITY

Agnes Pelton, Winter, 1933, oil on canvas, 30 × 28". Crocker Art Museum.

AGNES PELTON was fifty years old when she left New York for the village of Cathedral City, six miles southeast of Palm Springs in the California desert. By 1932, a conspiracy of sun, sand, and settler-colonial ideology had made the state a mecca for visionaries and seekers, attracted by landscapes seemingly unspoiled by human intervention, temporalities seemingly unburdened by the past. In Pelton’s 1941 painting Future, obscure shadows part to reveal two stone towers. Suggestive of those that marked the town’s entrance, they float just above the horizon and flank a distant lavender hill. Overhead, four little portals arranged in a cruciform pattern perforate the bleached sky. Pelton wrote that the work represented a “kind of Pilgrim’s Progress. Through darkness + oppression, across a stony desert and through a symbolic arch is seen a mountain of vision, above which open by degrees,

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 2020 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.