Summer Art Exhibitions Have Begun at East End Galleries

Nathan Slate Joseph’s “Essential 1;”Nelson De La Nuez’s “High Maintenance,” Images: Courtesy Keyes Art Gallery; Courtesy White Room Gallery
Nathan Slate Joseph’s “Essential 1;”Nelson De La Nuez’s “High Maintenance,” Images: Courtesy Keyes Art Gallery; White Room Gallery

Art galleries across the East End have started to reopen doors, slowly, as COVID-19 restrictions progressively lift. While gatherings over 50 are still not currently permitted, galleries are adapting to the new normal brought on by the pandemic. Here are a few current and upcoming exhibits across the East End.

Halsey McKay Gallery in East Hampton presents the show Unnamable. It includes dynamic new work by artist Joseph Hart, who presents painting, drawing and collage, automatic mark making and abstraction. The show will also serve as a fundraiser for foundations like Red Hook Art Project and National Bail Out.

“We are in the midst of one of the largest (and re-energized) global social movements in history,” said Hart. “Acknowledging the murder of George Floyd and so many others by police, and the uprisings against state-sanctioned violence, racism and anti-Blackness cannot be set aside here… I’d also like to underscore the echoing and needful fact that Black lives, Black art and Black joy matter.”

The gallery will also present ceramic paintings by artist Jennie Jieun Lee. The show marks Lee’s first solo show with the gallery. Both exhibits are on view through July 19.

BCK Fine Arts Gallery in Montauk presents Locales, a show running through July 27. The exhibit had been planned prior to COVID-19 and will now make its debut. It features two artists—Paton Miller and Janet Sawyer—who present very different approaches to what they have observed for decades on the East End.

Keyes Art Gallery in Sag Harbor presents Nathan Slate Joseph’s Rice & Beans & Toilet Paper. Joseph started this series two years ago and the themes are now more relevant than ever.

“My approach has always been organic in terms of color, material, everything. I use what is available and inexpensive; what’s inclusive, not exclusive; and what marries the outdoor with the indoor,” said Joseph. “These works are about basic needs, and I guess you can say we are all experiencing a shift in consciousness in which those essentials are being redefined and revalued.”

The White Room Gallery in Bridgehampton presents Surf’s Up which opens on July 15 and runs through August 9. The show features artists Nelson De La Nuez, Keith Ramsdell and Dinesh Boaz.

“‘Surf’s up’ is a surfing term from the ’60s that means the swell has picked up and the waves are going to be powerful. It is imbued with optimism and joy. In curating this exhibit we wanted to translate those feelings into art with aerial photographs of people from around the world soaking up the sun in the pre-COVID-19 snapshot of humanity and engaging vintage pop pieces that elicit memories of simpler times in America,” said a statement from gallery co-owners Andrea McCafferty and Kat O’Neill.

MM Fine Art in Southampton presents Ben Aronson’s Manhattan to Montauk. The show runs through July 26. “Celebrating Long Island and its art history, Aronson’s work is characterized by gestural, energetic brushstrokes, and is heavily influenced by Abstract Expressionism, though rendered with a high degree of realism,” stated an email from the gallery.

The gallery also presents works by Susan Grossman. The artist’s expansive landscapes are “deliberately unspecific allowing for the viewers’ own interpretation.”

Tripoli Gallery in Wainscott presents Alone Gallery—an eight-week program, conceived by gallery owner Tripoli Patterson, along with friends Max Levai and Bob Rubin and California-based design agency The concept is designed to adapt to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Alone Gallery is currently showing works by Tomás Sánchez through July 26. To visit the exhibitions guests must register online. Each guest is designated a 30-minute time slot. The space will hold five short spotlight exhibitions, ending the series on August 10.

“As tough as these last few months may have been, I have noticed many instances where people are focusing more on what’s right in front of them, being more attentive to their immediate existences,” said Patterson. “Alone Gallery is about that. I have noticed our visitors not taking their appointments, or seeing art in person for granted.”

The world-renowned leading contemporary art gallery, Pace Gallery—which holds locations in Manhattan, Palo Alto, London, Geneva, Hong Kong and Seoul—has opened with a temporary exhibition space in East Hampton through mid-October.

The gallery began by showing never-before-seen drawings by Yoshitomo Nara in its inaugural exhibition, running through July 19. Nara, an internationally renowned Japanese artist, will have a show titled After all I’m cosmic dust. This intimate exhibit aims to provide “insight into drawing as the center of Nara’s creative world, featuring never-before-exhibited drawings and personal items related to his process and inspiration,” according to a press release from the gallery.

Some art viewing experiences will remain virtual. ShowHamptons is launching Hamptons Virtual Art Fair, a 3D virtual art fair using a cutting-edge VR interface. The platform aims to provide a way for galleries and nonprofits to connect with collectors and art enthusiasts in the midst of COVID-19. The fair will take place over Labor Day weekend, September 2 to 7, with a Sneak Peek VIP preview on July 23 to 26.

“Anyone who travels here during the summer for the arts knows what a loss the shutdown is,” said executive director Rick Friedman. “Through HVAF, I am excited to be able to offer a selection of important post-war and contemporary artworks from top local and international dealers to digital visitors from around the world.”

Eric Fischl's "Young Dancers Dancing," on view in Southampton Arts Center's "SAC Public Art Project"
Eric Fischl’s “Young Dancers Dancing,” on view in Southampton Arts Center’s “Public Art Project”

Taking The Art Outside

LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton presents Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze. This sculpture series by the world-renowned Chinese artist opened to the public on Wednesday, July 8, marking the first major installation in the outdoor sculpture garden since reopening.

Good to Know.FYI and Jess Hodin Levy have curated an outdoor exhibition titled INFINITE SEED, taking place at Bhumi Farms in East Hampton. It’s a group show featuring artworks that explore “collective healing through the interconnectedness of the earthly and the cosmic space,” according to a press release.

Perfect for social distancing, with a backdrop of farmland and open sky, the show is outdoors and visible from the road. The exhibit aims to offer opportunities for deep connections. Themes are some that many have experienced during recent isolation—spirituality, nature, introspection and connection to one another.

A viewer is urged to “explore the metaphysical” as the show “provides opportunities to re-engage with one another, post-isolation, stimulating communal healing as we begin to reconvene.”

Participating artists include Lia Chavez, Hayden Dunham, Fitzhugh Karol, Joiri Minaya, Mark Wilson, Nick van Woert and Manuela Viera-Gallo. There are also new commissions by Miya Ando and Alex Valls. The exhibit will be on view through July.

Southampton Arts Center presents Public Art Project with outdoor sculptures and art installations. Artists include Eric Fischl, Saskia Friedrich, Alice Hope, Bryan Hunt, Laurie Lambrecht and Steve Miller. The show will remain on view through September.

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