Some of the Highlights from the Hamptons November 2013: Parrish Art Museum, The Drawing Room and Peter Marcelle Gallery
Photos and comments by Hanne H7L
This past weekend in the Hamptons offered up a veritable smörgåsbord of art to see, starting at the Parrish Art Museum’s Artists Choose Artist exhibition. A juried exhibition pairing established artists of the East End with a multitude of multi-generational artists of the area, there was no shortage of art to astound smattering the walls everywhere you turned. I must say that the highlight for me was without a doubt the juxtaposition of
Laurie Anderson’s colossal charcoal drawing “Lolabelle in the Bardo” depicting her dog and the bare feet and coffee mug-baring hand of who is no doubt meant to be her late husband Lou Reed with the artists’ work of her choosing. The mixed media piece by Elizabeth Dow “Memory of a Perfect Day,” striking in its unconventional vertical panoramic dimensions served as an all too timely inclusion in coincidental tribute as well. By extension, Mary McCormick’s “Dream in a Blue Room” depicting a foreboding vision from a dream of six floating coffins for the six members of her nuclear family proved an ominous and oddly synchronic inclusion in itself.
In commemoration of the Parrish’s one year in their new space, highlights from their permanent collection abounded as well. Apropos of local artists, of particular note to me was Jennifer Bartlett’s “Amagansett Diptych #1,” its textural qualities evocative of the late work of Gerhard Richter or Chuck Close in their deconstruction of a photographic aesthetic sensibility. An amusing juxtaposition to see on the wall was the pairing of an uncharacteristically intimate Jackson Pollock piece complemented by a Lee Krasner of similar dimensions (the Pollock of course displayed above the Krasner!).
Moving on to The Drawing Room I encountered some lovely pieces of clay sculpture by Toni Ross, inspired by ancient “soul houses” she encountered throughout museums in Cairo. The small ceramic cubes present a tidy yet rough hewn package that bring to mind questions about the function of our dwellings to house our corporeal forms, challenging us to consider both the practicalities and impracticalities of what are ultimate a series of simple boxes. Some have windows and doors while others present themselves as hermetically sealed with no defined entrance nor exit. Small and intimate yet wholly unsentimental, these are serious objects to contend with.
Last but certainly not least I paid a visit to a rather curious show at Peter Marcelle Gallery by Jim Gemake, “Art of the Discarded Objects.” Though found objects are all too commonplace in mixed media sculpture in this day and age, Gemake’s aesthetic is absolutely timeless and his choice of materials does not pigeonhole him into the pitfalls of pop art and consumerist critiques. The patina of his materials complements but does not override his method of presentation. They are indeed lovely pieces to look at, and clever to boot.