An Art Competition in Amagansett

Dan Dubinsky – Ebbing Tide – Pastel

Amagansett’s Crazy Monkey Gallery is a wonder in many ways, being the only cooperative venue in the area. Its staying power is also to be commended during this period of economic problems. The gallery comes up with creative projects as well. Consider the current 8th Annual Art Competition where spectators vote on their favorite works according to particular categories. The participating artists don’t know the voters, but the voters know the artists, including Tina Andrews, Beth Barry, Barbara Bilotta, Sarah Blodgett, Lance Corey, Daniel Dubinsky, Katherine Hammond, Jana Hayden, Jim Hayden, Cathy Hunter, Jane Kaplan, Andrea McCafferty, Diane Marxe, Stephanie Reit, Sheila Ratner, Clare Schoenbeimer, Daniel Schoenbeimer, Cynthia Sobel, Bob Tucker, Ellyn Tucker and Mark Zimmerman.

This critic knows neither the voters nor the artists: The following comments regarding the works in competition do not include the artists’ names.

Most pieces share common traits, although this is probably a coincidence. For example, qualities of texture, line patterns, dimensionality and movement exist in many works, evoking visual interest. First there’s texture created in one abstract piece that looks like sand; we are reminded of the Environmental Art Movement during the 1970s. Horizontal lines are also marked in the sand that are present in other artists’ endeavors. For example, there’s one image of the sky, sun and beach that conveys similar linear configurations. The childlike style delineates such lines in this piece, adding a spirited sensibility.

Texture continues to define more work. Consider the  shape of a magenta abstraction where crinkle-like material makes an effective design. The image is at once flat and layered, creating an interesting kind of texture. While the surface is smooth, there are subtle levels that give depth to the work. We are drawn into the maze of lines and directions.

Another work, recalling an abstract form made of Kleenex, delivers an arresting design that has a subtle sense of depth. Depth is also present in a landscape where the field in the foreground produces dimensionality. Diagonal lines, spread across the same  ground, also create depth. Odd as it may seen, there’s another work that presents the figure of a pink cat. It appears flat and without depth, but at second glance, it looks like a bird’s-eye-view of a field (or map) where dimensionality plays a part.

Finally, movement is present in many of the works. Consider the red, black and white ball of colors that swirls through space, staying in one spot but about to go off the picture plane. A dynamic pattern of lines plays a role in this perception as well. A childlike style also permeates the image—this particular approach is present in several works.

This 8th Annual Art Competition at Amagansett’s Crazy Monkey Gallery, 136 Main Street, will be on view until Feb.24. 631-267-3627,

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