The Hamptons art fairs are now over and it’s time to get back to touring our local museums and galleries in earnest. The East End (and beyond) is loaded with exceptional art and exhibitions, so we’ve selected five (plus a bonus show west of the Canal) to get you started. Don’t stop here, of course, because there are many more great shows, including some right nextdoor to those listed here.
Look back at our previous “Must-See East End Art Shows,” as many featured exhibitions are still on display, and then set your own course with a visit to our online Events Calendar.
1. Robert Motherwell: The East Hampton Years, 1944-1952 at Guild Hall (illustrated above)
Abstract Expressionist legend Robert Motherwell claimed he did his “best work” during the eight years (1944-52) he painted in East Hampton, and Guild Hall’s latest show intends to show us why. In this spirit, the museum calls attention to the artist’s early work and explores the contributions that Motherwell made to the Abstract Expressionist movement in the context of our East End artist’s community. While in East Hampton, Motherwell lived and worked in a house and studio designed by Pierre Chareau, the inimitable Fresh architect. This is the first time a show devoted to the paintings he made during those remarkable years has been mounted. Focusing on sixteen important works from major museums and three private collections this exhibition promises to surprise even those who think they know this pioneering American abstractionist’s art well.
Open from Saturday, August 9–Monday, October 13, Robert Motherwell: The East Hampton Years, 1944-1952 is located at Guild Hall in East Hampton (158 Main Street). An opening reception will take place on Saturday, August 9 from 4–6 p.m. Call 631-324-0806 or visit guildhall.org.
2. Warhol at Wölffer at Wölffer Estate Vineyard
Wölffer Estate Vineyard and Christie’s have partnered to present this special exhibition of iconic works by Andy Warhol (1928–1987) at the winery, in honor of what would have been the artist’s 86th birthday this month. Christie’s enjoys a multi-year, multi-platform partnership with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and works from the collection have been obtained directly from the artist’s private holdings, lending each piece an impeccable provenance.
Following a special invitation-only opening reception on Thursday, August 7, the Warhols will be on view and available at Wölffer Estate in Sagaponack (139 Sagg Road) during a tight four-day schedule, including Friday, August 8 and Saturday, August 9 from 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Sunday, August 10 from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and Monday, August 11 from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Call 631-537-5106 or visit wolffer.com for more info.
3. My Hero II at The Design Studio
With My Hero II, Riverdale gallery Elisa Contemporary Art presents a celebration of comic book heroes and heroines in contemporary art. Featuring work by Texas wood artist Mitch McGee, California paper constructionist Don Morris, Hawaiian hyper-realist duo Peter and Madeline Powell, and local mixed media artist Oliver Peterson, the show is unified by its superhero theme, but the each artist comes with a very different approach. McGee captures Batman and Wonder Woman in cut, layered and stained birch wood, while the Powells paint retro-inspired superhero lunch boxes in such detail they are virtually indistinguishable from photographs. Working with paper, Morris creates a wavy gyre on canvas out of old comic book pages, and Peterson combines a vast array of scraps, fabric and clippings in a collage layered with juxtapositions and hidden meanings each viewer must decode through a subjective eye.
On display now through September 8, My Hero II is at The Design Studio in Bridgehampton (2393 Main Street). An opening reception with Water Mill artist Oliver Peterson is scheduled for Saturday, August 9 from 4–7 p.m. Call 212-729-4974 or visit elisacontemporaryart.com.
4. Colin Christian Cosplay at Vered Gallery
Cosplay, Vered Gallery‘s exhibition of new works by renowned figurative sculptor Colin Christian, is the artist’s first solo show in the United States in three years. Short for “costume play” (fans dressing up as their favorite characters from video games, films, comic books, and animation, among other genres), cosplay is the inspiration for Christian’s newest series of work. To that end, Christian enthusiastically tackles the monumental task of re-imagining some of the most iconic characters from film, literature and pop culture in his striking, and often titillating, fiberglass and silicone sculptures.
Open from Friday, August 8–September 8, Cosplay is located at Vered Gallery in East Hampton (68 Park Place). A cocktail reception for the artist will take place at the gallery on Friday, August 8 from 9–11 p.m. Call 631-324-3303 or visit veredart.com.
5. Jonathan Cramer: Drawing, Sculpture, Painting at Southampton Arts Center
Featuring new works by Jonathan Cramer, this exhibition at Southampton Arts Center covers a wide breadth of the New York artist’s work, on view both indoors and out. Cramer’s metal “Shape Matrix” sculptures play with dimension, changing forms depending on the viewer’s perspective, while his large-scale abstract paintings command absolute attention from anyone in the room. The body of work spans a variety of media and takes inspiration from the natural world and the beauty of pure form as much as it is about the very materials from which the pieces are made. This is an energetic and worthy show right in the heart of Southampton Village.
On view through August 17, Jonathan Cramer: Drawing, Sculpture, Painting is at the Southampton Arts Center (25 Jobs Lane) in Southampton. Weekend gallery hours are Friday and Saturday noon–8 p.m. and Sunday noon–5 p.m. Call 631-283-0967 or visit southamptoncenter.org.
BONUS SHOW – WEST OF THE CANAL
6. Kenneth Ian Husband Passenger at Circa Something Fine Art
If you happen to be heading west this weekend, check out the subject of this week’s Work on Monday column, Kenneth Ian Husband, who says goodbye to Long Island in this final solo show before he uproots and moves to Pennsylvania. A broad selection of Husband’s work is on display, including his series of abstract “flow art” paintings and some more narrative works, but the main attraction is Husband’s outdoor shed studio, which has been torn down from his former back yard and rebuilt inside the Circa Something gallery. Husband and fellow artist and best friend Eddie Rehm shared the studio for the last four years, creating prolific amounts of work while Husband awaited the crucial assistance and insurance payout that would allow him to move back into his family home, which had been rendered un-habitable by Superstorm Sandy for two of those years. The artist and his father lived in an RV on their property just outside of the damaged house. Passenger tells his story in a truly experiential and visceral way.
On view from Friday, August 8–September 15, Passenger is located at Circa Something Fine Art in Bellport (117A South Country Road). An opening reception is planned for Friday, August 8 from 6–9 p.m. Call the gallery at 631-803-6706 for info, or visit simpleken13.deviantart.com to see more of Husband’s work.