Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist is the first survey of this obscure American painter in over 24 years. Born to American parents in Stuttgart, Germany, Pelton (1881-1961) and her family briefly lived in Basel, Switzerland before returning to the United States in 1888. A graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, she began experimenting with abstraction in the early 1900s in New York, eventually exhibiting in the Armory Show of 1913 at the invitation of Walt Kuhn. Intentionally moving away from the “mainstream” arts community, Pelton eventually settled in Cathedral City, California. She painted conventional desert landscapes to make a living, but it was her abstract studies of earth and light, biomorphic compositions of delicate veils, shimmering stars, and atmospheric horizon lines, that distinguished her work.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.