I became aware of Noah Purifoy's work thanks to a 2016 exhibit at the Wexner. I was so excited when I realized we are less than an hour from his former studio and collection of outdoor sculptures. When he was in his early 70's, he moved from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree and spent the last fifteen years of his life creating assemblage sculptures and installations that cover 10 acres of the high desert. His works are created from found objects he collected. Thankfully, the Noah Purifoy Foundation was created to preserve and maintain this outdoor museum as an art space open to the public and promote public recognition and appreciation of his work and values.
I can be a little obsessive at times, but not at all in a creative way. Perhaps that's why I am fascinated by how much drive and focus are evident in the work of artists and the amazing results that come from that degree of obsession. This man was in the final years of his life, working in a harsh environment with a huge collection of often large and cumbersome objects. Purifoy was an activist, arts educator, and advocate. Walking through and around these installations, I could almost see him working in solitude, completely focused on his work, having so much to create in the time he had left. Here is a small taste of what is there. These don't begin to represent the number of bowling balls, TV's, washing machines, water heaters, toilets, clothing, and less identifiable objects he worked with.
And Joshua trees at the Joshua Tree National Park.
Our last stop was the Aerial Tram. On our way through the valley, we passed a number of wind and solar farms. Massive moving sculpture in the desert.
The tram goes up Mount San Jacinto to about 8,000 feet. The climate changed from 80 degree desert to 50 degree alpine on the 10 minute trip. Enjoy the ride!
Ann, Doug, Moose, Darla, Sunny, and with gratitude, Winnie and Chinny.