John Jonas Gruen, Group Shot (with driftwood) Flying Point Beach, Water Mill, NY, 1959, Photograph. Courtesy of Artspace and the artist. (Back row): Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Roland Pease (Middle row): Grace Hartigan, Stephen Rivers, Larry Rivers, Herbert Machiz, Tibor de Nagy, John Myers (Front row): Mary Abbott, Sondra Lee, Maxine Groffsky, Jane Freilicher, Joe Hazan.
Ghosts of Hamptons Past
by Georgia Fee
For much of The Hamptons crowd, quaint is a weekend word. It goes nicely with ocean breezes, lawn sculpture and country club brights. This playground of the rich and richer is actually a string of villages and hamlets kept purposefully free of retail override. Only the privileged few gain access to this captive audience, mostly antique shops and cashmere boutiques, but a couple of very posh Starbucks have been able to sneak in as well. (Everyone needs their coffee.) Fashion, art, mansions, gardens and leisurely recreation have featured high on the Hamptons must-do list since its discovery as the perfect getaway for the well-heeled and well-born. Alongside the upper crust, the Hamptons have led a parallel life as artist-colony-cum-cool-bohemian-destination. Like pilot fish and shark, the heady mix between these parallel species has created a kind of Hamptons sing-along that has born great works, broken a few lives and resulted in a lot of sunburns.
Being a recent transplant to New York, and as yet not part of the jet set, I have to admit that I knew next to nothing about The Hamptons. I had heard of East Hampton and knew it stood for Beach and Money but that was about the extent of my familiarity. I hadn't grown up with the lure of the North Shore parties, nor did I know so-and-so's cousin who spent the summers there. I couldn't have really said where it was, and have never longed for that weekend invitation. It was simply a rich resort, and for me, "rich" was a vague concept, probably acquired from TV, that loomed so far off in the distance that its absence was not even felt. However, as the temperatures began to rise in Manhattan and spring moved towards summer, I started to hear about surfside escapes that friends were planning. Suddenly I found myself right in the middle of Hamptons mania...
For more on art and life in the Hamptons, click here...
See you in the Hamptons!
--the ArtSlant Team
FAIR WATCH - Massimo Vitali
Massimo Vitali, Ottranto, Red Paddle, Puglia, 2010, chromogenic print with Diasec, 72 x 86 in., edition of 6; Courtesy of ARC Fine Art LLC. At ArtHamptons.
Massimo Vitali's work is no simple day at the beach. More than spectacular beachscapes, Vitali's photographs also blend smart social observation and commentary with a tinge of tongue-in-cheek humor. And they're huge. His photographs will be exhibited at ArtHamptons with ARC Fine Art, from Fairfield, CT. For more on Vitali's photographs, read Robert J. Hughes' review:
...As you look at them, you're dazzled by Vitali's ability to capture the brilliance of the light; the colors are almost washed out – as if you yourself are looking — minus a squint -- at the scene right next to the photographer on a day when the sun burns white in the white-blue sky....(more)
FAIR WATCH - David Kramer
David Kramer, Easy to Please, ink and pencil on paper, 20 x 14 in.; Courtesy of MULHERIN, at artMRKT Hamptons, booth #118.
...There is no skirting the fact that Kramer’s paintings, and especially his drawings, could be the marriage of Raymond Pettibon and Richard Prince. His illustrative technique—complete only what’s necessary for the image—comes out of the former, his wise cracks from the latter...(more)
TALK OF THE TOWN - Pretty People and Platinum VIPs: ArtHamptons Events
by Lori Zimmer
Andrew Burgess, Modernist Beach House, Brazil, 2011, oil on canvas, 25 x 31.5 in. Courtesy of Cynthia Corbett Gallery. At ArtHamptons and Art Southampton.
As the well-off head in droves to the Hamptons for summer magic, the arty set are also gearing up to venture out of the enchanted island of Manhattan for a weekend of beachside art installations, events, and hobnobbing at this year’s ArtHamptons. In preparation for the hip Lower East Side gallery workers mixing with the fat wallets of Southampton, the fair has scheduled a slew of events geared toward both the pop-culture hipsters and cultural elite—albeit in entirely separate events. The Hamptonite shirts have Money & Art, an interactive Jackson Pollock installation and the honoring of seminal West Coast artist Ed Moses, while the skins get one half of Cheech and Chong, Kimora’s ex and a tea dance with Lady Bunny. Yet the fair promises each to mesh the “Hamptons glamorous art aficionados,” “art fair cognoscenti” and “art world luminaries” with lively conversation.
Bridging the gap are Lisa Jack’s photos of Barack Obama that she took when she was a freshman in college—because we all know how much arty types want to talk politics while in the Hamptons. Each of the events seems to be designed to enrage the opposing sector, which could set the stage for a very interesting vibe at this year’s ArtHamptons.
Red Grooms, Jackson in Action, 1997, 3-D lithograph; Courtesy of Marlborough Graphics. On view in The Persistence of Pollock, May 3 – July 28, 2012, at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampton.
Pretty People Paint Pollock invites the platinum and VIPs to get a taste of the bohemian life—and make their own “Pollock.” Cardholders can help contribute to a giant drip painting that will be displayed amidst photos of Pollock at work, as well as the replica paintings from the 2000 biopic, in the lobby for the duration of the fair. Decidedly reducing Pollock’s life’s work to gestural mimicry is enough to make art historians wince, and displaying them next to declared replicas is just salt in their wounds...
Read more about the exciting list of ArtHamptons events here...