Russell West, 'Happy Hour II', oil on wire on board, 160 x 120 x 10cm; Courtesy of Woolff Gallery, London. At Art Southampton.
The Hamptons: Blue-Chips and Sunshine
by Joel Kuennen
The Hamptons buzz and hum in July. City-folk braving the three hour drive for a weekend respite from an overly ripe Big Apple head determinedly for surf and society. Part of the escapist appeal of the Hamptons lies in the art fairs: ArtHamptons (7/13-15), artMRKT Hamptons (7/19-22), and Art Southampton (7/26-30).
These are small fairs; many galleries represented are appointment-only specialty venues. But the offerings are usually, and this year appears to be no different, well curated and shaped with the collector in mind. This means established names, blue-chip work, and often a more historic or traditional focus. And for entertainment, there are themed events like “Pretty People Paint Pollock”—just to keep it light.
Katherine Desjardins, "MayB", 2007-2012, ink and brush, mixed media on mylar, 17 x 15.5 in.; Courtesy of Kasia Kay Art Projects, Chicago. At ArtHamptons.
ArtHamptons, now in its fifth year, boasts 75 galleries housed in its new location among the rolling fields of Nova’s Ark, a “modern stonehenge” according to the artist behind its construction, Nova Mihai Popa. Polo fields with scheduled matches surround the park and events and talks fill the schedule, including an evening with Cheech Marin who currently holds the largest collection of Chicano art in America. This year is the centennial celebration of Pollock, hence the “Pretty People” affair benefiting the Pollock-Krasner House. And of course lots of strolling and people watching will be on tap as well.
Watch for these highlights while you browse: Danziger Projects (New York) for a solid and exciting mix of photographers; Parker’s Box, a Brooklyn mainstay with a great selection of emerging artists; don’t miss painters Kevin Berlin and Elisa Johns at Kasia Kay Art Projects (Chicago); and a definite stop is Eli Klein (New York and Beijing) for contemporary Chinese works both in the emerging and established markets. Finally, from across the pond, Woolff Gallery (London), one of the bastions of young, contemporary art, will be showing for its fourth year at ArtHamptons (and this year at Art Southampton as well). Nick Woolff is looking to the Hamptons as a bit of a break: “it has a different feeling to a city fair where visitors are often pressed for time. The atmosphere here has a holiday feel, visitors are relaxed.” Yet sales for Woolff have been consistently good all four years, buoyed by “very good, knowledgeable collectors.” Plus, and here Woolff seems most keen, “it is also a great chance for us Londoners to see some sunshine…at last."
For more gallery picks from the Hamptons, click here...
See you in the Hamptons!
--the ArtSlant Team
FAIR WATCH - Tiffany Bozic
Tiffany Bozic, White Chalk, acrylic on maple panel, 45 x 35 in.; Courtesy of Joshua Liner Gallery, New York. At artMRKT Hamptons, booth #115.
Tiffany Bozic's cool-morning-mist palette, delicate hand, and detailed renderings of crustaceans, small mammals, and human forms are as enchanting as they are surreal. Bozic's work will be on view at artMRKT Hamptons with Joshua Liner Gallery from New York. For more on Bozic's drawings, read Natalie Hegert's review of her 2010 solo show:
...Bozic is truly gifted in draftsmanship. Each line is precisely placed, naturalistically, like a Victorian-era botanical guide—making the incongruities all the more resonant...(more)
FAIR WATCH - Francesca Woodman
Francesca Woodman, Untitled, Powdered Mirror, 1977-78, Vintage gelatin silver print, Printed by the artist, Image 5.5 x 5 inches/Sheet 10 x 8 inches; Courtesy of Robert Klein Gallery, Boston. At Art Southampton.
I suspect this high tide of audience interest had less to do with the closing of the show and more to do with the mystery and photographic genius of Woodman’s short and energetic career...With every photograph there is so much consideration and control, along with a freedom of expression and pure experimentation...(more)
BEACH READS - A Hamptons-Inspired Summer Reading List
by Marcus Civin
William Merritt Chase, Idle Hours, 1894, Oil on canvas, 25 x 35 inches; Courtesy Amon Carter Museum Fort Worth Texas.
Let me take you on a beach trip.
I have a reading list for you, a bunch of books that together make for one really epic beach trip. I’m taking you to the Hamptons, not just any beach. For artists in the US, there’s Provincetown, various surfing nooks and crannies, and there’s the mythic, paint-splattered Hamptons. In their book, Hamptons Bohemia: Two Centuries of Artists and Writers on the Beach, Helen Harrison and Constance Denne briefly recall “Artists and Writers Softball,” an annual competition that started probably in 1954 and continued into the 1980’s. Franz Kline played. The Dutchman, Willem de Kooning, was apparently terrible at this American game. I wish I could say: “Remember that summer I struck out Edward Albee and Kurt Vonnegut?” And I wish I could have gone to a bar after. Truman Capote, I imagine would have been there...
Click here for this summer’s Hamptons-inspired reading list, and some related ruminations...