Artists & Writers Celebrity Softball Game

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Willem de Kooning at bat – Photo via Artists&Writers Softball Game

This Saturday, August 16th, marks the 66th anniversary of one of East Hampton’s most cherished traditions, the annual Artist’s and Writer’s Celebrity Softball Game. Every year the community comes together to celebrate its wealth of artistic minds and to support the local organizations that the town relies on. This year the beneficiaries include The Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, East End Hospice and The Retreat domestic violence  agency.

Since its inception in 1948, the scope and popularity of the game have grown dramatically. What was once a casual pastime among friends has now become something of a charitable phenomenon. In the 50’s and 60’s, high-profile artists Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Joan Mitchell participated to raise money for a number of causes including the support of anti-war protests. Since then, the game has become a platform for celebrities of every trade to speak out about issues both local and global while raising money for noble causes. In the past, team players have included Alec Baldwin, Christie Brinkley, Lori Singer, B. Smith, Bill Clinton, Jay McInerny, Dustin Hoffman, Kurt Vonnegut, George Plimpton, John Irving, Roy Scheider, and many more. This year is sure to be a hit, with many veteran players returning to the field and some exciting new faces as well.

Batting practice begins at noon at Herrick Park in East Hampton, followed by a 2pm game.There will be hot dogs, beer, and certainly some heavy hitters. Suggested donation is $10, children under 12 get in for free. A pre-game party and auction will be held at LTV Studio on Friday, August 15, 2014 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. You can purchase tickets HERE.  Special auction items will be available HERE

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A Guide to the Artistic Giants of The East End

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​The view from Pollock and Krasner’s house in East Hampton


We all know of The Hamptons as a place to which Manhattanites escape the city heat in the summer months, but the natural beauty and isolation of Long Island’s East End has also historically provided refuge to more than just the Wall Street set, playing home to a very different group of urban escapists. 
Throughout the twentieth century, it served as a haven for some of New York’s best and most hermetic artists. While some may already know the stories of Jackson Pollock’s relationship to the area, fewer know of the other equally influential talent who found their homes in The Hamptons. Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Roy Lichtenstein, John Chamberlain, Kurt Vonnegut and, for a time, Mark Rothko each found solace and inspiration in the quiet woods and salty waters—something about the confluence of fantastic natural beauty and the solitude it offers is magnetically attractive to those artists who rely on an isolated process of expression to create their work.

Next time you find yourself planning a trip to East Hampton or Montauk, it might be worthwhile to consider exploring some of these better kept secrets of Hamptons life. Shelter Island, the small plot of land sandwiched between the north and south forks, is one such location. Besides its famous ‘Sunset Beach’ restaurant, this small island isn’t very well known by the weekend crowds who often bypass some of its greatest natural treasures. Accessible only by ferry from Sag Harbor and Greenport, Shelter Island is where metal artist John Chamberlain made his studio/home. Chamberlain, who died in 2011, was making work in this studio until the end of his life. His work hangs in some of the most prestigious museums in the world including the MoMa and the Met. Similarly to the bay front sections of East Hampton, much of the island’s waterfront and forestry is protected by The Nature Conservancy, so development is greatly limited. This allows not only for the fish and birds to proliferate, but for local fishing economies and cultures to survive as well.

studioInside Pollock’s Studio (photo taken from Museum)

qFront view of Pollock and Krasner’s studio​​

Jackson Pollock’s distinctive style, which became emblematic of the abstract expressionist movement, was developed in the woods of East Hampton. The house where he and parter Lee Krasner lived and worked has been protected as a historical landmark and public museum. His paint-splattered studio and beautiful wood-frame house on 830 Springs Fireplace Rd. in East Hampton are open for viewing Thursday through Sunday throughout the summer. Before their deaths, Pollock, Krasner, and Rothko would often spend summers working together.

Just a stones throw away is the the home of  Willem de Kooning, another iconic artistic who found comfort in the dense scrub-oak forest of the northwest woods. His studio, which has been maintained exactly as it was when the artist died, appears to have been frozen in time. Brushes lay covered in paint on the table, surrounded on all sides by giant half-painted canvases. His unfinished paintings stand like monoliths around the large white room awaiting completion.

door​​The Door of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner’s Studio

A pattern that can be found amongst these artists is that, in their search to remove themselves from social milieu, they landed in the most secluded of the most secluded spots in the area. From Shelter Island to Sagaponack, they built their homes in locations far removed from the traditional Hamptons hubs. Off the beaten track, the pockets of countryside to which the artists flocked are, to this day, some of the most breathtaking and under-appreciated parts of the landscape.

Next time you find yourself overwhelmed by the incessant sociality of the city, or just want to get some fresh air, come explore the neighborhood of the East End. Take a walk along the beaches of Sagaponack, the preserved marshland of Shelter Island, or through the magical woods of Eastern East Hampton. Who knows, you might just feel inspired.

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All photos by Cornelia Channing

‘Positivilly Marvillainous’ at The Eric Firestone Gallery

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This month, one of East Hampton’s premier art galleries is presenting an attention-piquing collection of more than fifteen modern and contemporary artists. The exhibition, which will be showing at the Eric Firestone gallery through July 27, is a playful and poignant repurposing of the cartoon clichés and comic book exaggerations of early twentieth century pop-culture. The gallery emphasizes the influence of these dime-store aesthetics on the artists in ‘Positivilly Marvillainous,’ stating that they “embrace tensions, arising from cartoonist George Herriman’s formal qualities in character portrayal, including those between line and shade, humor and drama, human and animal, collage and décollage, marvelous and villainous.”

The iconography present in these artists’ work urges the viewer to further explore how they relate and respond to some of the most archetypal tropes and images in our social lexicon. ‘Positivilly Marvillainous’  is a step in the direction of proving that stylistic simplicity can often belie profound dramatic honesty. If you’re in the area (and even if you’re not), stop by the Eric Firestone Gallery on Newtown Lane in the heart of East Hampton town and see for yourself the clever joyfulness of this collection.

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Joyce Pensato, Short Order Cook, 2012, Enamel on linen

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Works by BAST, Sean Landers , and others

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Large yellow piece by David Sayre, from his collection “How to Kill a Marvin Gaye Song”

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On display at the Eric Firestone Gallery: work by Dave Sayre and others

Sydney Albertini Opening in Amagansett

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This Saturday, July 19th at the Jackson Carriage house at 129 Main Street (corner of Windmill Lane) in Amagansett, artist Sydney Albertini will be having an exhibition of her work. Blurring the line between fashion and fine art, Albertini combines seriousness and conceptual vision with a playful and bold style. The artist’s unique design sense incorporates a variety of patterns, textiles, and forms to create elaborate two and three dimensional pieces.

The artist’s clothing line “SydneyToWear” is almost an extension of her other work—like the women she designs for have danced off the canvas and into reality. Every piece has such a distinct identity that the work almost becomes a performance, like the artist has given birth to characters rather than simply designs. Her early experience with photography, performance art, and fresco painting at the Atelier de Sèvre in Paris and then at Parsons is evident in her expressive style. Not only visual, her work is tactile, textural, and sensory. The clothes beg to be interacted with, looked at, discussed. Like the gaudy tail feathers on a male peacock, the beautiful colors and odd shapes in Albertini’s designs are made to grab your attention and to entrance you with their strange beauty.

This show will include a selection of Albertini’s headdresses, garment pieces that conceal and transform the wearer. These faceless and rather amorphous head coverings appear to be inspired by the natural world with elements of anthropomorphic (as well as alien) characteristics.

Now based in East Hampton, this local East End artist will be opening her exhibition “That Left Eye Twitch of Yours Really Turns Me On” to the public on July 19th with a reception from 6-8pm.

Picture 2Images via Sydney Albertini’s website

 

 

Grey Area East: A Space to Watch

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This summer, Brooklyn gallery Grey Area has opened a pop-up space in The Hamptons. Functioning within Glenn Horowitz Bookseller in East Hampton, this new little space could be easily missed by one who doesn’t know it’s there. Among those who do know about Grey Area and curator Kyle DeWoody, this new location has sparked instant buzz. Emerging onto the Hamptons scene just in time to catch the summer crowds, this seasonal space will surely make itself known among the art-savvy in no time. In honor of their new location, the gallery is doing something a little different than they would normally, inviting outside curators, designers, and retailers to collaborate with artists on exciting multimedia shows and events.
The first of Grey Area’s four major summer exhibitions opened the weekend of July 5th with much success. ‘Post-Psychedelic Dreams,’ which will be on display at the gallery through July 21st, is a show of work by more than ten different contemporary artists and designers. This collection is truly a throwback to the American free love movement and, with the inclusion of anachronistic furniture and lighting pieces, it really pays tribute to the era’s fascination with modes of experimental design. On display in a glass case at the back of the well-lit ground floor are a number of Glenn Horowitz rare books from the same period. The colorful graphics and hallucinogenic images of the book covers fit seamlessly into the rest of the collection, serving to emphasize the historical relevance of the exhibition as a whole.
Look out for the upcoming shows at Grey Area East.
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Street view of Grey Area East
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Cheryl Ekstrom’s “Marshmallow Sofa” (2007) greets visitors to the gallery
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Ben Weiner, 5 Hour Energy Challenge
Crystals grown from 5 Hour Energy on painted wood base
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Hanging ink prints by Maurice Carlin (2012) above three AMMA Studio stools composed of sand and salt
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The ground floor at Grey Area’s new space with Glenn Horowitz Bookseller in East Hampton Town. On display are some works from the “Post-Psychedelic Dreams” exhibition.
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Holton Rower, 4ae1c, 2014, Acrylic on wood
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Dustin Yellin, 81-6:16 AM, 2014, Acrylic on wood

Keith Sonnier Solo Show at Tripoli Gallery

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Keith Sonnier, the renowned sculptor, will be having a show of some of his most recent work at Tripoli Gallery in Southampton. ‘Elliptical Transmissions’ will be on view at 30A Jobs Lane from July 17 through August 17, 2014, with a public reception on Thursday, July 17th from 6 to 8pm.

Sonnier built a reputation for himself as part of the Process Art movement in the 60s and gained international renown for his architectural neon installations in public spaces. The artist, first using found, industrial, and technological objects to create his work, began incorporating neon lights in the late 60s. This choice has since come to be a defining element of his style.  Sonnier’s interest in transmission and its role in the modern world has been evident throughout his long career. In the last five years, the artist has explored these concepts and forms of communication with even more focus, creating a body of work that complicates the relationship between sending and receiving.

An illustrated catalogue with an essay by British poet Max Blagg will accompany the exhibition and mark Sonnier’s first solo exhibition at Tripoli Gallery.

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Space Slipper, 1992
Corrugated aluminum, paint (two units)
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Propeller Spinner (Antenna Series), 1992
Aluminum and neon
Images via Tripoli Gallery press release

 

Upcoming “Midsummer Night’s Dream” Show at Tripoli Gallery

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(Photo from the Tripoli Gallery press release)

This Saturday, June 21, the Tripoli Gallery in Southampton presents A Midsummer Nights Dream,a exhibition by multimedia artist Judith Hudson. Based in New York, Hudson has seen national success as a photographer, painter, jeweler, and bookmaker. In her first solo show at the Tripoli gallery, Hudson will be exhibiting some of her most recent work—a collection of watercolor paintings on the themes of one of Shakespeares most fantastical plays. 

A mélange of text, flesh, and fur, Hudsons pastel-colored dreamscapes explore the quixotic and timelessness of A Midsummer Nights Dream. She captures and makes intimate the magic of Shakespeares prose, playfully conflating the innocence of make-believe and the tragedy of unrequited love. The chimeric watercolors serve as both an inventive adaptation of and a nostalgic reference to the play. Despite their visible wittiness, the paintings manage to be provocative without being grotesque, funny without being derisive, childlike without being unsophisticated. As the playwright makes the audience aware of the ridiculous aspects of sex and romance, the artist uses humor as empathygiving distance and magic the roles of dissolving heartache and finding comedy in the tangled knot of loves folly. The artists work reflects both her charming sense of humor and flare for depicting erotic absurdity.

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(Photo from the Tripoli Gallery press release)

Judith Hudson studied at the University of Colorado where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts and went on to study at California College of Art, University of California at Berkeley where she received her Master of Fine Arts. In 1982, Hudson was awarded with a National Endowment for the Arts. Her work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at MoMA PS1, The New Museum, Phillips de Pury & Co., Marlborough Gallery, The Drawing Center, and Salomon Contemporary in New York, as well as locally at The Fireplace Project in East Hampton and The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill. 

This show, A Midsummer Nights Dream,will be up at the Tripoli Gallery gallery, located at 30A Jobs Lane in Southampton, through July 13th and is a perfect introduction to the summer art season in The Hamptons.