In these works of art depicting land, sea, and sky, we see stirring images of the world around us. Robert Dash, who has painted and gardened on the East End since the 1950s, needs to look no farther than his Sagaponack surroundings to create summative statements about the landscape. Evening Blow captures the feeling of the wind as it daily rolls in off the ocean and up Sagg Main Street past Foster’s Farm. Jane Wilson’s painting has been influenced by her upbringing in the flat wide-open spaces of the Midwest but the East End of Long Island, her part-time home since the mid-1950s has also had a lasting effect. The proximity of the ocean and the resulting mutable weather of the region keep the air in her works alive with possibilities. “My paintings,” she has said, “come out of my efforts to get color to embody the atmosphere we all live in.” In 1998 Tria Giovan began photographing the beach at Sagaponack. The natural beauty of the East End has been an inspiration for her and the images she records are at once documentary and lyrical, reminding us of the strength, beauty, and fragility of our environment and invoking our thoughtful concern.
“There’s an apocryphal tale that Turner lashed himself to a ship’s mast,” notes photographer Clifford Ross, describing the 19th-century painter’s desire to depict roiling seas. When a storm approaches, Ross waits at Georgica Beach, then wades into the water to record the hurricane at full force, tethered only to his assistant back on shore. These photographs have a compelling beauty; Ross has said he would be satisfied if they prompted us to further question the manmade causes of such natural forces.
Every summer since childhood, traveled to his family’s home in Maine on Great Spruce Head Island in Penobscot Bay. An articulate art critic as well as an extraordinary painter, Porter once observed: “There is that elementary principle of organization in any art that nothing gets in anything else’s way and everything is at its own limit of possibilities.” Penobscot Bay with Peak Island and, indeed, all the works from the Parrish’s permanent collection on display in this gallery impart that sense of completeness in their depictions of land, sea, and sky.