by Paul Laster
Eastern Long Island is the home to America’s most enduring and influential artists’ colony and the thriving communities of the Hamptons are at the heart of it. Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner and Willem de Kooning made the region synonymous with creativity and nowadays such celebrated artists as Eric Fischl, Cindy Sherman and Ross Bleckner continue that tradition.
The sixth edition of ArtHamptons opened last weekend to thousands of visitors hungry for art. With nearly 80 local, national and international exhibitors, the fair pitched a 50,000-square-foot tent on the massive grounds of the Sculpture Field of Nova’s Ark in Bridgehampton.
Amongst the standout booths were Long Island’s own Universal Limited Art Editions, which presented a solo show of prints by Elizabeth Murray; London’s Manifold Editions, which offered limited editions by Damian Hirst, Gary Hume and Anish Kapoor; Shin Gallery, a Lower East Side space run by a 23-year-old entrepreneur with an eye for emerging Korean contemporary art; and the Larry Rivers Foundation, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the East End artist with a display of his fashion oriented paintings and his famous 16-foot Legs sculpture, which visitors walked through to enter the fair.
Another highlight was the Bushwick Bohemia exhibition, which was organized by Ambre Kelly and Andrew Goti, the brains behind the SPRING/BREAK Art Show (a multi-curator exhibition in an old school house building in NoLITA that takes place during the time of the Armory Show.) Playing off the fair’s celebration of a Hamptons Bohemia, Kelly and Goti assembled a group of nine up-and-coming artists, including Sarah Bereza, Andrew Graham and Samuel T. Adams, and the quirky artists collective, Carl Andre’s Wife.
While honoring playwright Edward Albee as Arts Patron of the Year and Saul Leiter and Faith Ringgold for their Life Achievement in the arts, the fair presented talks with artists and scholars; a tea dance, hosted by Lady Bunny; and a Young Collectors Fete, which included promising collectors from the Whitney Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art—where, perhaps, some of the work on view may, ultimately, reside.
Scroll through the images below to view some of the faces in the crowd on opening night.
Paul Laster is a writer, editor, independent curator, artist and lecturer. He is a New York desk editor at ArtAsiaPacific and a contributing editor at Whitehot and artBahrain. He was the founding editor of Artkrush.com and Artspace.com and art editor of Flavorpill.com and Russell Simmons's OneWorld Magazine; started TheDailyBeast.com's art section; and worked as a photojournalist for Artnet.com and Art in America. He is a frequent contributor to Time Out New York, New York Observer, Modern Painters, ArtPulse and ArtInfo.com.view all articles from this author