By PAUL LASTER, July 2021
Traveling Out East on a sunny Saturday for the preview of the exhibition “Tomashi Jackson: The Land Claim” at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, independent curator Renée Riccardo and I stopped in Southampton to see a compelling group of current shows at Hauser & Wirth, Sélavy, Phillips and the Southampton Arts Center and explore the newly opened Peter Marino Art Foundation and Christie’s Southampton.
Christie’s teamed up with the international design gallery Carpenters Workshop to present “Out East” as its first exhibition in a former auto repair shop that was built in an Art Deco style in 1951. The 5,600 square-foot art glass-front building provided the perfect setting for standout artworks by Abstract Expressionist painters, Pop Art icons and current artists related to the East End—including Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein and Eric Fischl—paired with dynamically designed avant-garde furnishings by Wendell Castle, Vincent Dubourg and Atelier Van Lieshout.
Fischl, who recently co-founded with his wife and fellow artist April Gornik The Church, an arts organization in a former church in Sag Harbor, also curated the spirited group show WHIMSY, presenting such artists as Mel Kendrick, Alice Aycock, David Salle and Larry Rivers in the surrounding gardens of the Southampton Arts Center. Meanwhile, in the center’s galleries the exhibition EARTH - ARTISTS AS ACTIVISTS, curated by former SAC Artistic Director Amy Kirwin, who recently joined East Hampton’s Guild Hall as Chief Creative Officer, featured artworks in a variety of media and styles by more than 30 contemporary artists engaged in environmental conservation and activism.
Next door to SAC, architect Peter Marino recently transformed the former Rogers Memorial Library into the new home for the Peter Marino Art Foundation, which features an 8,000 square-foot exhibition space for his collection of classical, modern and contemporary art and design objects. Imaginative portraits of Marino by Francesco Clemente, Wim Delvoye and Erwin Wurm are mixed with important paintings and sculptures by Georg Baselitz, Johan Creten, Anselm Kiefer, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Tom Sachs and Andy Warhol. Unfortunately, there was no photography allowed indoors, but the guided tour of the collection made it worth the $20 (by appointment) entrance fee.
Across the street from the foundation on Jobs Lane, Sélavy, a jewel-box of a space dynamically displayed with a combination of art and design gems, was offering the exhibition “BLACK | WHITE | IN BETWEEN.” Arresting bronze sculptures by François Xavier Lalanne and Alexander Archipenko shared spaces with paintings and works on paper by George Braque and Pablo Picasso, and a stunning side cabinet by Paul Evans held sculptures and objects by John Born, Kyohei Fujita and Archipenko, which was just a sampling of the show-stopping art and design objects on view.
Crossing Jobs Lane once again, the recently opened Lex Weill Gallery had works by Jordan Casteel juxtaposed with pieces by Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst, while Hauser & Wirth was highlighting new paintings and sculptures by Henry Taylor. Taylor brought issues of inequality to the home turf of the wealthy community with works based on archival photography of country clubs and horse races dating back to the 1920s that reference the role of Blacks as caddies and jockeys in the predominantly white and racially exclusionary games. A colorful group of small abstract sculptures by Phyllida Barlow caught the eye in a back gallery, while a painting by George Condo and an early photomontage by Cindy Sherman stood out in the second-floor offices and viewing rooms.
Before heading to the Parrish Art Museum, we dropped into Phillips for the exquisite exhibition “Milton Avery: A Sense of Place,” curated by the artist’s grandson, Sean Cavanaugh, and art advisor Waqas Wajahat. Focusing on the different locations that served as the artist’s inspiration, including a number of sublime seaside locales, the show featured some 50 paintings and works on paper spanning three decades of Avery’s career, with a number of works coming directly from the Milton Avery Trust.
At the Parrish, patrons of the museum and friends of the artist gathered to celebrate Tomashi Jackson’s new body of work focused on the historic and contemporary lived experiences of Indigenous, Black and Latinx families on the East End of Long Island. Featuring a multi-channel sound work composed from interviews, a mural-size photographic installation, seven large-scale paintings made with research imagery and a study room with archival photos used by the artist in her paintings and drawn portraits of the interviewees by catalogue contributor Martha Schnee, the meaningful show sheds light on local problems of gentrification, which have sadly been plowed under for generations. WM
Paul Laster is a writer, editor, curator, artist and lecturer. He’s a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific and Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art and writer for Time Out New York, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Galerie Magazine, Sculpture, Art & Object, Cultured, Architectural Digest, Garage, Surface, Ocula, Observer, ArtPulse, Conceptual Fine Arts and Glasstire. He was the founding editor of Artkrush, started The Daily Beast’s art section, and was art editor of Russell Simmons’ OneWorld Magazine, as well as a curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, now MoMA PS1.
view all articles from this author