The East End art scene is literally overflowing with awesomeness right now. We have so many smartly curated shows featuring top-notch talent, that it’s hard to walk anywhere without bumping into a great exhibition—whether work is on view at traditional galleries and museums, or alternative spaces, such as restaurants, stores or even artists’ personal studios. Given this First-World problem, we offer these 10 must-see shows to help narrow your focus and find the work you’re looking for in the hunt for art shows on July 4 weekend.
If you’re still hungry for more, look back at our previous “Must-See East End Art Shows” (many featured exhibitions are still up) and then set your own course with a visit to our online Events Calendar.
1. Art on the Edge 2014 at Vered Gallery (illustrated above)
The only exhibition of its kind in the Hamptons, Vered Gallery‘s annual survey of new contemporary art, Art on the Edge 2014, features some of the most provocative new painters, sculptors and photographers working in their respective mediums today. The inestimable list of talent on display includes local artists and those working on the world stage, such as Peter Buchman, Ray Caesar, Colin Christian, Tim Conlon, Sam Wolfe Connelly, Michael Cuffe, Gentleman’s Game, Jessica Hess, Jason Shelowitz, Mark Jenkins, Elektra KB, Steven Klein, Mary Larsen, Jessica Lichtenstein, Francesco Lo Castro, Adam Miller, Ashley Maxwell, Taylor Pilote and Swoon. Celebrating its fifth year, this important exhibition presents a panoply of relevant international artists making cutting-edge work today. This is the show to see for those who come to view, just as much as it is for savvy collectors ready to buy.
Art on the Edge 2014 opens with a cocktail reception for the artists at Vered Gallery in East Hampton (68 Park Place) on Saturday, July 5 from 9–11 p.m. The exhibition continues through Monday, August 4. Call 631-324-3303 or visit veredcontemporary.com.
2. Charles Wildbank at Nammos and Jedediah Hawkins
Jamesport painter Charles Wildbank is opening solo exhibitions—one on each of the Twin Forks—over July 4 weekend. Both shows feature new works by the wildly popular artist. Wildbank, who is deaf, explores the emotion of sound as he perceives it visually in nature and as evidenced in the faces of East End residents. These photorealistic paintings are impeccable representations of Wildbank’s various subjects, as seen through the artist’s unique point of view.
Wildbank will celebrate his solo show, Listen, at Jedediah Hawkins Inn & Restaurant & Speakeasy in Jamesport (400 South Jamesport Avenue) with an opening reception on Friday, July 4, from noon–8 p.m. Then, on Saturday, July 5, the artist will join diners and art lovers for the opening of his new Summer Dream exhibition at Nammos in Southampton (136 Main Street), on view through July 20. Both shows feature new works by the wildly popular artist. Call Jedediah Hawkins at 631-722-2900 or visit jedediahhawkinsinn.com. Call Nammos at 631-287-5500 to RSVP.
3. Bob Dylan – The Drawn Blank Series at Mark Borghi
A dedicated visual artist for more than four decades, Bob Dylan did not publicly show his work until 2007. Now, Mark Borghi Fine Art exhibits The Drawn Blank Series, an expressive series of Dylan’s portraits, interiors, landscapes, still life, nudes and street scenes created during legendary musician’s travels. Just as Dylan’s songs are constantly reinvigorated and rediscovered through his live performances, these paintings revisit extraordinary images and scenes captured in all their immediacy by the artist.
On view through July 18, Bob Dylan – The Drawn Blank Series is located at Mark Borghi Fine Art in Bridgehampton (2426 Main Street). An opening reception is planned for Thursday, July 3 from 6–9 p.m. Call 631-537-7245 to RSVP and visit borghi.org for more info.
4. Positivilly Marvillainous at Eric Firestone Gallery
A collection of the pop and the painterly, the artists in Eric Firestone Gallery’s Positivilly Marvillainous embrace a rough-around-the-edges aesthetic, or ethos, that’s sorely missing in much of today’s most vaunted contemporary art. The brilliant roster includes artists such as Bäst, Ellen Berkenblit, Mike Bidlo, Rosson Crow, Ted Gahl, George Herriman, Chris Johanson, Ray Johnson, Sean Landers, Austin Lee, Dan McCarthy, Joyce Pensato, Dave Sayre, Kenny Scharf, David Shrigley and Devin Troy Strother—all tipping their hats to George Herriman’s historically overlooked, unpretentious and universally accessible Krazy Kat (from the comic strip that ran in American newspapers from 1913 until 1944). The work on view celebrates tensions between line and shade, humor and drama, human and animal, collage and décollage, marvelous and villainous.
An opening reception for Positivilly Marvillainous (on view through July 27) is scheduled for Saturday, July 5 from 6–9 p.m. at Eric Firestone Gallery in East Hampton (4 Newtown Lane). Call 631-604-2386 or visit ericfirestonegallery.com.
5. Genieve Figgis: Yes Captain at Harper’s Books
This highly anticipated exhibition of recent work by Irish painter Genieve Figgis is about painting at the intersection between abstraction and portraiture. The artist unites an abiding interest in history with a penchant for the macabre, while displaying humor and anxiety. Her expressive and loosely painted work is at once wrought with emotional intensity and haunted by psychological deviance, rooted in her ethereal caricatures of genteel society—queens, lord, ladies, et al—gone awry.
On view through August 6, Genieve Figgis: Yes Captain begins with an opening reception on Saturday, July 5 from 6–8 p.m. at Harper’s Books in East Hampton (87 Newtown Lane). Call 631-324-1131 or visit harpersbooks.com.
6. Elisa Contemporary Art presents Sweet at The Design Studio
Sweet is a confectionery delight featuring the candy-inspired artwork of Hawaii Hyper-realists Peter and Madeline Powell, and Florida multi-disciplinary artist Paula Brett. A husband and wife team, Peter and Madeline Powell have melded the precision of photorealism with the joys of eating candy—creating a sensational viewing experience. Meanwhile, Florida artist Paula Brett has brought together the sumptuous with the sacred in her new series of limited edition “Candalas”—a series of candy mandalas, which she created and photographed.
This exhibit opens Monday, July 7 and runs through August 4 at The Design Studio in Bridgehampton (2393 Main Street). A free “Sweet Sensations” art workshop for kids 12 years old and younger is scheduled for Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13 from 1–2:30 p.m. Limited Space – RSVP required to [email protected]. Closing Reception on Saturday, July 26 from 4–7 p.m. Visit elisaart.com.
7. The Irrational Portrait Gallery at Southampton Arts Center
A collaborative project by acclaimed Long Island photographer Rick Wenner and artists with the FRESH Art Long Island collective, The Irrational Portrait Gallery features large works by 21 select artists, including East Enders, such as Matt Satz and Colin Goldberg. Wenner photographed each artist and then made large-format prints of the portraits on canvas. Each artist was then given complete freedom to confront, alter and manipulate the image. The results are widely varied, universally stunning and present a thoughtful survey of collaborative expression.
8. Dalton Portella, Shark Room and Yuliya Lanina, Play Me
Sara Nightingale Gallery in Water Mill is exhibiting two artists with separate shows in one location. First, avid surfer and Montauk resident Dalton Portella presents Shark Room, an installation of found objects, surfboard paintings, watercolors and oil paintings depicting sharks as formal architectural objects whose movements inspire the artist’s lines. The shark paintings are an ongoing project for Portella, who seeks to highlight the beauty of these silent, threatened animals. Several works were inspired by a project for the Natural Resources Defense Council, in which old surfboards that would have otherwise ended up in landfills were repurposed as works of art.
Also opening is Play Me, a multimedia presentation by Russian-born American artist Yuliya Lanina featuring paintings, animations and animatronic sculptures of music boxes, each with original characters and accompanying music. Lanina paints and collages fantastical, mostly female characters that come to life through mechanization, animation and music.
Shark Room and Play Me run through July 22 at the Sara Nightingale Gallery (688 Montauk Highway) in Water Mill. Call 631-793-2256 or visit saranightingale.com.
9. Judith Hudson: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Tripoli Gallery
This solo exhibition of humorous, quixotic and even X-rated watercolors by Judith Hudson span the artist’s past two years of work, from 2012–2014. Drawing inspiration from the show’s namesake play and its author William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream highlights the timelessness of the piece, as well as the ridiculous aspects of sex and romance. With all its strange scenes, mixing bondage and sex with fairy tales, fables and cartoonish animals, Hudson’s work is bizarre, thought-provoking yet oddly sweet and charming. This marks Hudson’s first solo exhibition at Tripoli Gallery, and it’s absolutely worth a look.
On view through July 13, Judith Hudson: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is located at Tripoli Gallery (30A Jobs Lane) in Southampton. Call 631-377-3715 or visit tripoligallery.com.
10. A Friendship: Carl Andre at Dan Flavin Institute
In conjunction with the retrospective at Dia:Beacon, Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958–2010, the Dan Flavin Art Institute presents a selection of Carl Andre’s poems, collages, and works on paper that commemorates the longtime friendship and productive dialogue between the artist and Sol LeWitt. This selection of over 200 works and articles of ephemera, A Friendship: Carl Andre’s Works on Paper from the LeWitt Collection, is displayed in vitrines specifically designed by the artist and presented in two rotations. The first part, up now, presents Andre’s correspondences with LeWitt, while the second part (October 24, 2014–March 2, 2015) focuses on Andre’s poetry. The show uses only natural light due to the sensitive nature of the paper, but it works quite nicely once your eyes adjust.
A Friendship: Carl Andre’s Works on Paper from the LeWitt Collection is on view through October 18, 2014 at the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton (Corwith Avenue off Main Street). While you’re there, make sure to go upstairs and see the permanent exhibition of Dan Flavin’s incredible florescent light sculptures.