Guild Hall Kicks Off Fall Season

Guild Hall Sara Mejia Kriendler
Syd Solomon’s Night on Bastille Day (George Plimpton’s), 1978

Guild Hall in East Hampton presents a trio of major solo shows opening Saturday, October 20. The exhibits include Syd Solomon’s “Concealed and Revealed” in the Moran Gallery, “Please Send To: Ray Johnson,” selections from the permanent collection in the Woodhouse Gallery, and Sara Mejia Kriendler’s “In Back of Beyond” in the Spiga Gallery. Each artist has lived or currently lives on the East End, and each exhibition will focus on art that has been nurtured and has flourished in the area. The shows run through December 16.

Concealed and Revealed

This exhibit, organized by the estate of Syd Solomon, is the first to examine the artist’s work through his personal archive. The late painter, described himself as an “abstract impressionist” — work that infused impressionism into abstract expressionism. The exhibit’s archives reveal new information about the artist. Solomon worked as a camoufleur (a designer of military camouflage) during WWII. The exhibit explores how this exceptional skill helped mold his painting techniques. After returning from the war with five Bronze Stars, Solomon joined a coterie of artists whose wartime experience undoubtedly transformed their art.

The archives also reveal Solomon’s high school training in technical arts and lettering. This training led to early work in advertising, creating ads for newspapers and magazines. He also worked on signs and promotions for stores, brochures, and political campaigns. The influence of typography becomes a significant factor in his paintings.

These discoveries allow viewers to see Solomon’s achievements in a new and more accurate way. On Sunday, October 21, at 1 PM, there will be a gallery talk with the artist’s son, Mike Solomon, also a renowned abstract expressionist artist. On Sunday, November 3, at noon, there will be a lecture with Gail Levin, Ph.D.

Sara Mejia Kriendler: In Back of Beyond

Kriendler’s solo exhibit was awarded when she received the Top Honors Prize in Guild Hall’s 78th Annual Artist Members Exhibition in 2016. Her work was chosen out of 424 artists to be featured.

The installation of sculptures, curated by Casey Dalene, consists of new works, variations on her current works that were exhibited for the first time at the Museo de Arte de Pereira this past spring. This exhibit investigates her maternal Colombian roots inspired by pre-Colombian gold, the history of the Spanish conquest of the New World, and the legend of El Dorado.

Kriendler’s sculptures show artifacts in gold leaf, terracotta, and plaster. Historical references in material choice and color palette present ideas of consumerism. The pieces are a reminder that the products of today will tell the story of our time.

On Saturday, December 8, at 11:30 AM, there will be a gallery talk with the artist.

Ray Johnson

Taken from Guild Hall’s Permanent Collection and curated by Jess Frost, “Please Send To: Ray Johnson” features more than 30 works by the artist. Most of the works in the exhibit are considered Mail Art, a movement pioneered by Johnson in the 1950s. The famously reclusive artist sent small, mixed-media works to a network of fellow artists, instructing them to add to the original work or forward the materials to another member. The result included cryptic arrangements of notes, doodles, newspaper clippings, and rubber stamped texts.

The artist was always wary of the public eye, although he did have regular exhibitions with Feigen Gallery and a 1970 show of his Mail Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1995, Johnson committed suicide by jumping off the North Haven Bridge in Sag Harbor. Upon the artist’s death, his works became more readily available for public consumption. The work began to be recognized as early examples of Pop art and Conceptual art.

A film screening of How to Draw a Bunny: A Ray Johnson Portrait will be shown on Sunday, November 25, at 4 PM. On Sunday, December 2, at 12:30 PM, there will be a gallery talk with Jess Frost.

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