Tag Archive | "art"

On View in East Hampton: FAPE Fills American Embassies with Art

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"View Points" by William Wegman, with his dog Penny, 2005.

“View Points” by William Wegman, with his dog Penny, 2005. Part of the FAPE collection now on view at Guild Hall.

By Tessa Raebeck

Art needs no language to be understood; it communicates without spoken word.

This is the idea behind FAPE, the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, which aims to promote unity and open communication across cultures and countries by putting artwork in United States embassies across the world.

Honoring the long connection between American artists and the East End, the first comprehensive exhibition of FAPE’s collection is opening Saturday, June 28, at Guild Hall in East Hampton. It will be on view through July 27.

FAPE started in 1989 with Frank Stella’s donation of enough prints of “The Symphony” to be sent to every American embassy. It has grown to include the work of noted artists such as Chuck Close, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg.

“For the first time, the public will have the rare opportunity to view works commissioned by and donated to FAPE by some of this country’s most iconic artists in a concentrated setting,” said FAPE Chairman Jo Carole Lauder in a press release. “We celebrate these artists’ generosity and the places they hold in the history of American art.”

“Jo Carole Lauder asked me if I wanted to do something and of course I said yes, because it’s a really good thing,” said William Wegman, a FAPE artist known for his books and photos of his pet Weimaraners, the tall and thin gray dogs that were originally bred and used by royalty for hunting. “Also, Jo Carole is a really good supporter of the arts and anything she recommends tends to be worthwhile.”

Mr. Wegman is currently focusing on geometric shapes and sculpture in his photos.

“One of my dogs, Topper, is such a magnificent piece of sculpture and he likes being on top of things,” he explained. “So, I’m accommodating him—I usually do change according to the dogs.”

The first dog he photographed was Man Ray, who became so popular the Village Voice named him “Man of the Year” in 1982. Since then, he’s photographed Fay, her daughter Batty who “was very narcoleptic and could care less,” and an assortment of other Weimaraner personalities.

Batty, he said, “was willing to do anything, but had this sort of whatever attitude, was very comic where Fay was kind of scary and serious.”

“So, when I was casting my first children’s book, Fay became both the Fairy Godmother and the Evil Stepmother and Batty became Cinderella,” he added.

Fay’s firstborn son, Chundo, resembled a prince, but could also be a wolf, as in Mr. Wegman’s well-known 1993 book, “Little Red Riding Hood.”

Chundo, said the artist, was “named after the biggest person I ever met in the south of Chile on a trip I made back in the ’80s.”

After that came Chip, Batty’s son, who was “incredibly handsome and kind of sad looking, so in a lot of my books he became this kind of wistful boyish figure that things happen to.”

Chip’s son Bobbin was “much more scary looking and looked really quite evil, even though he wasn’t. He just had a very severe, humorless face.”

One of Mr. Wegman’s current dogs, Penny, who is featured in the FAPE exhibition, was on the cover of National Geographic. He was asked to create a photo to accompany a February 2012 article on the dog genome.

Penny, who wore dozens of wigs and costumes for the photo shoot, was his best worker, “probably the only dog I never once had to reprimand,” he said.

“She was really remarkable, very still and had this sort of inner quiet to her,” added Mr. Wegman. “Unless there was a thunderstorm and then she disappeared.”

Throughout the exhibition, Guild Hall is hosting panels with the artists, curators and FAPE personnel. Guest Curator Robert Starr, chairman of FAPE’s Professional Fine Arts Committee and dean of the Yale School of Art, is moderating the opening panel on Saturday, June 28, from 3 to 4 p.m.

Panelists include artists Tina Barney, Lynda Benglis, Mr. Close, Joel Shapiro and Carrie Mae Weems. Two additional panels will be held Sunday, July 20, and Sunday, July 27, at 11 a.m.

Lynda Benglis. Untitled (Half Sphere). 2007. Cast bronze. 37.5 x 36 x 17.5 in. Part of the FAPE collection on view at Guild Hall.

Lynda Benglis. Untitled (Half Sphere). 2007. Cast bronze. 37.5 x 36 x 17.5 in. Part of the FAPE collection on view at Guild Hall.

Ms. Benglis first made waves when she burst onto the art scene in the ‘70s. In an ad for Artforum in 1974, she posed naked with a giant fake penis, aiming to mock both artists and feminists who take themselves too seriously, as well as the idea of sexuality. Needless to say, it caused some backlash.

Today, Ms. Benglis splits her time between several art studios from India to New Mexico, working on different projects at each and returning to her home in East Hampton for grounding.

“This is my thinking place and my home,” she said Friday, sitting with her dachshund Pi surrounded by a green jungle of trees on her back deck in the Northwest Woods.

“Their mission,” she said of FAPE, “is to get arts into the public sphere—particularly for peaceful means—to encourage a kind of communication with other countries and embassies and make things more relaxed.”

“We’re a small world now and art is nonviolent, nonpolitical,” she said, adding, “The art’s really about communication and that’s why we have an embassy project, that’s why we have FAPE.”

The opening reception of FAPE’s exhibition is Saturday, June 28, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Guild Hall, located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton. For more information, call (631) 324-0806 or visit guildhall.org.

“Some of the Best Poets on Long Island” at the Wolffer Estate

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Poet Tyler Armstrong. Photo by Michael Heller.

Poet Tyler Armstrong. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Tessa Raebeck

Following the success of his first poetry reading at Wölffer, Tyler Armstrong of East Hampton will be sharing his poetry at the vineyard again Tuesday, June 17.

“I am really pleased to be a major part of the resurgence of poetry as a prominent art form in the area, and I think this reading series can bring a lot to the movement,” Mr. Armstrong said.

Mr. Armstrong’s poetry attracted the attention of Ed Stever, the Poet Laureate of Suffolk County, who has signed on to read his own works at Tuesday’s reading, along with a variety of local readers of all ages. With what Mr. Armstrong calls “some of the best poets on Long Island,” the evening also features the work of Amy Cammel, Tom Olezczsuk, Molly Weiss, Malik Solomon and Emma Macwhinnie.

As part of its Locals Nights every Tuesday, Wölffer offers half-price glasses of wine from 6 to 8 p.m. in the main winery, 3312 Montauk Highway in Sagaponack. Food and half-price wine are available for purchase from 4 to 8 p.m. Entry is $10 per person. For more information, call (631) 537-5106 or visit wolffer.com.

A Tribal War Dancer, a Beekeeper, a Slew of Artists and More at PechaKucha at the Parrish Art Museum

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Michael Halsband's photograph of Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat #143 New York City, July 10, 1985. Mr. Halsband is one of 10 presenters from various fields who will present at PechaKucha Night Hamptons at the Parrish Art Museum Friday, June 13. Image courtesy of Michael Halsband.

Michael Halsband’s photograph of Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat #143 New York City, July 10, 1985. Mr. Halsband is one of 10 presenters from various fields who will present at PechaKucha Night Hamptons at the Parrish Art Museum Friday, June 13. Image courtesy of Michael Halsband.

By Tessa Raebeck

When Michael Halsband announced, “I’m into photography,” to his parents at age 10, they promised to buy him a camera if he was still into it in a year. A few years later, he had gained admission to the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, photographed the likes of Andy Warhol, David Byrne and Klaus Nomi (the latter for his senior thesis)—and earned that camera. A year after graduating, he was photographing Keith Richards for the cover of Rolling Stone.

Mr. Halsband will be one of 10 presenters at the eighth edition of PechaKucha Night Hamptons at the Parrish Art Museum this Friday, June 13. The program, now in its third year, introduces the community to some of its most intriguing members through rapid-fire presentations about living creatively on the East End. Each speaker shows 20 slides for 20 seconds, sharing a life of creativity in six minutes and 40 seconds.

Organized at the Parrish by Curator of Special Projects Andrea Grover, who recently won a major award given for innovation, PechaKucha presentations began in Tokyo—PechaKucha means “chit-chat” in Japanese—in 2003 and are now given all over the world in over 700 cities.

Friday’s presenters include May Castleberry, who edits and produces hand-bound books for the Library Council of the Museum of Modern Art; artist Mirella Cheeseman, creator of the food and culture blog Santosha; painter Sabra Moon Elliot; Mr. Halsband; artist and educator John Messinger of East Hampton; Greenport oyster farmer Michael Osinski; Shinnecock Indian Nation member James Keith Phillips, who is a writer, celebrated Eastern war dancer and licensed clinical social worker; mixed-media artist and award-winning photographer Bastienne Schmidt; Ezra Thompson, a featured artist at the 2013 “Artists Choose Artists” exhibition at the Parrish; and beekeeper Mary Woltz, founder and owner of Bees’ Needs.

After his Keith Richards cover shoot, Mr. Halsband was asked by Mick Jagger to join the group as the tour photographer for the Rolling Stones’ 1981-82 “Tattoo You” North American tour. Several years later, he created his most iconic photograph, a portrait of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat wearing boxing gloves. He spent the next decades making album covers, photographing fashion and portraits, and working on international ad campaigns.

As of Monday, Mr. Halsband had not pinned down his strategy in fitting a portfolio onto 20 slides that spans more than three decades and the stories that would naturally come from going on tour with the Rolling Stones, directing a Li’l Bow Wow television commercial or creating a series of pin-up photograph and portraits of strippers and sex industry workers.

Raised in New York City but having grown to love the East End, Mr. Halsband is also a filmmaker and surfer. He founded Surf Movie Night in East Hampton and juries the Atlantic Vibrations film program at the Parrish, which premiered last summer. On Friday, however, he will focus on the hobby he found when he was 10: photography.

“I’ve taken on such a big monster by just even trying to encapsulate my life into six minutes and 40 seconds, so I feel like I would be cheating people if I started showing any film,” he said, adding he would give “background stories of the images and how I came to take them, the adventures I had.”

The portfolios and areas of expertise of the presenters are as varied as the roster itself. Mixed media artist Bastienne Schmidt works with photography, drawing and painting in her Bridgehampton studio.

Ms. Schmidt’s presentation will focus on “the sense of personal space that we create,” she said Monday, adding she will speak of her latest book and accompanying exhibition, “Topography of Quiet,” opening June 28 at Ille Arts in Amagansett.

“I grew up in Greece, Italy, Germany and the United States, so for me it’s always a very important concept to really be in a place and to be inspired by it. And to take something with me from that place, but also to create topology to compare things and structures, because every place is so different,” she said.

The rapid-fire format of the PechaKucha presentations, Ms. Schmidt added, “really makes you revisit how you want to present something, because it’s not necessarily about, ‘Oh, I want to show my 15 most beautiful paintings. It’s more like, you take the audience onto a journey.”

“It’s a great way to introduce somebody from the community, to know what they’re really about and it makes you curious to know more,” she added.

There is much to learn about each of the 10 presenters Friday. Beekeeper Mary Woltz calls “the girls,” her bees, the hardest working members of the food chain.

“Powwow season is in full swing,” tribal dancer James Keith Phillips said in an email Monday. A member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, which has one of the 10 great powwows held in the United States, according to USA Today, Mr. Phillips is also a writer and social worker.

Artist John Messinger grew up in East Hampton and was the Watermill Center’s 20th annual International Artist in Residence. His recent works include “Facebook Makes Us Lonely” and “Learning to Meditate.”

To answer the first question he ever heard, his father’s panicked, “Is he breathing?” when he was born in a Volvo in Midtown Manhattan traffic, Mr. Messinger went on a trip exploring the country, resulting in “Learning to Meditate.”

“Throughout the course of my trip, I learned, and have been relearning each day since, that meditation, like art, will never provide me with the whole picture,” Mr. Messinger said on his website. “Notions of truth, like our views of self, are too big, too mercurial, too slippery to hold. Instead, our thoughts, like images, must be accepted as fragments, that when considered and held together in light, can sometimes offer us an alternate perspective.”

Perhaps those fragments will be in 20-second intervals Friday.

PechaKucha Night Hamptons, Vol. 8 at the Parrish Art Museum is Friday, June 13, at 6 p.m. For more information, visit parrishart.org or call (631) 283-2118.

For Anti-Poaching Efforts, a Benefit for Elephants and Rhinos in Southampton

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Image by artist Lucy Cookson, courtesy Artists for Elephants.

Image by artist Lucy Cookson, courtesy Artists for Elephants.

By Tessa Raebeck

An art show to benefit the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), “Artists for Elephants and Rhinos” opens Saturday, June 14 at the Dora Frost Studio in Southampton.

“Wildlife crime is sweeping the planet,” organizers Dora Frost and Carolyn Chichester wrote in an email. “The illegal trafficking of wildlife is now one of the world’s largest criminal industries, with repeated links to terrorism networks. It is an industry now worth close to $20 billion a year, ranking it fourth behind drugs, weapons, and human trafficking as a global criminal activity.”

Blair Seagram Archival Print 13 inches x 19 inches  "School of Fish, Mangroves, Bonaire" Bonaire, Dutch Islands, 2014

Blair Seagram
Archival Print
13 inches x 19 inches
“School of Fish, Mangroves, Bonaire”
Bonaire, Dutch Islands, 2014

“High Target Species such as elephant and rhino are being hunted to extinction. These animals are the most difficult to protect, as poachers go to the most extreme lengths to kill them. If we can safeguard these animals, then entire ecosystems are protected,” they added.

The International Anti-Poaching Foundation trains, equips, manages and supports anti-poaching rangers to defend these targeted species. Ms. Chichester spent time observing the anti-poaching effort this past winter with IAPF rangers and Founder and CEO Damien Mander in Zimbabwe.

You can watch two 60 Minutes segments on IAPF and Damien Mander here and here.

The participating artists include: Dora Frost, Blair Seagram, Dalton Portella, Kimberly Goff, Judith Witlin, Sander Witlin, Lucy Cookson, Dinah Maxwell Smith, Alice Ryan, Allan Ryan, John Rist and Trevor Boteler.

The benefit is invitation only at the Dora Frost Studio, 15 Windmill Lane in Southampton on Saturday, June 14, from 5 to 8 p.m. The show will run at the gallery through Tuesday, June 17.

Bridgehampton Local Jake Patterson Making a Name for Himself in the Art World—and the Rap World, too

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A still shot of Bridgehampton native and up-and-coming performance artist Yung Jake, from his latest music video, "Look."

A still shot of Bridgehampton native and up-and-coming performance artist Yung Jake, from his latest music video, “Look.”

By Genevieve Kotz

Yung Jake, an up-and-coming artist/rapper from Bridgehampton, having recently had an exhibition of his work at Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles, is quickly gaining recognition for his contributions to both the art and rap music worlds.

Yung Jake, also known as Jake Patterson from Bridgehampton High School’s class of 2008, received his BFA from CalArts in Los Angeles.

At the Steve Turner Gallery, Jake showed “Drawings,” a series of screen installations with a lone computer mouse moving on each screen.

Yung Jake also premiered his iPhone-filmed music video “Look” at the exhibition, which ran until May 31 and was featured in the Huffington Post.

In a similar theme to his visual art, Yung Jake’s music videos are internet-inspired, featuring HTML code, YouTube clips and colorful pixels.

“The young artist speaks and lives in the language of the net, telling stories as complex, multivalent, frivolous and raw as infinite material lurking in your browser,” said the Huffington Post. “Sometimes it feels like Yung Jake wasn’t born on the internet, he is the internet.”

To see more of Yung Jake’s work and videos, visit his website at yungjake.tumblr.com.

Landscape Pleasures Offers an Insider’s Look at Southampton’s Ever-Changing Gardens

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The garden of Margaret and R. Peter Sullivan is one of the homes featured on the Parrish Art Museum's Landscape Pleasures garden tour this Sunday, June 8. Photo by Doug Young.

The garden of Margaret and R. Peter Sullivan is one of the homes featured on the Parrish Art Museum’s Landscape Pleasures garden tour this Sunday, June 8. Photo by Doug Young.

By Tessa Raebeck

Like a piece of artwork or a writer’s manuscript, a garden is never truly finished. As with all art, gardens can always evolve, changing with the seasons and naturally growing out of plans and designs, developing over time in a never-ending evolution.

Gardening is the art of the Earth, providing the willing and creative with another means of finding beauty in the mundane.

“All I know is, I don’t paint with a trowel or garden with a brush,” the late Robert Dash said in a video by P. Allen Smith Classics filmed in 2011, two years before his death, when asked about the connection between gardening and painting.

“They inform one another in ways that are very mysterious. It’s how the trowel is wielded or how the brush is wielded that informs the canvas or the Earth and there are no rules. And the only way you know how to do something in either of those arts is by doing it,” he added.

Mr. Dash, an artist, writer and gardener who died in September at age 82, “believed very much in gardens taking their time and developing over a period of time,” said Jack deLashmet, co-chair of Landscape Pleasures, which will honor Mr. Dash this year.

Hosted by the Parrish Art Museum, Landscape Pleasures includes three lectures by gardening and landscape design experts on Saturday, June 7, followed by a day of tours of some of Southampton’s most historic and remarkable gardens on Sunday, June 8.

The 2-acre Sagaponack garden of Mr. Dash, the Madoo Conservancy, which is open to the public, is included among the private estates on Sunday’s tour.

Established in 1967, the internationally known organic garden is a testament to Mr. Dash’s belief in the ever-evolving landscape. The grounds offer a tour across history, featuring Tudor, High Renaissance, early Greek, English, French and Asian influences.

Mr. Dash’s horticultural wisdom—and his commitment to the garden as a canvas that is ever changing and organic—will be celebrated and expanded on this weekend.

“We’ve always had excellent speakers,” said Mr. deLashmet of the annual garden tours, who believes this year’s Landscape Pleasures is the best yet. “The theme is the never finished garden, that gardens really evolve—and everybody will have a slight take on that,”

On Saturday, southern landscape design architect Paul Faulkner “Chip” Callaway, “an absolutely entertaining speaker,” according to Mr. deLashmet, will present, reflecting on his experience creating nearly 1,000 gardens, concentrating on period restoration work and designing historically relevant gardens.

Following Mr. Callaway, Martin Filler, the architecture critic for The New York Review of Books, and renowned for his more than 1,000 articles, essays and books on modern architecture,  will celebrate the contributions of Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, the Listerine fortune heiress who was a patron of the arts with a dedicated interest in gardening, landscape design and the history of gardens.

A friend and confidante of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Ms. Mellon redesigned the White House Rose Garden. She died in March at the age of 103.

One of the world’s premiere garden designers, Arne Maynard, is the final speaker Saturday. Known for his large country gardens in Great Britain, the United States and across Europe, Mr. Maynard has the special “ability to identify and draw out the essence of a place, something that gives his gardens a particular quality of harmony,” according to the Parrish website.

Continuing the celebration of the changing nature of gardens, the self-guided tour Sunday features properties with rich histories behind them.

The garden of Perri Peltz and Eric Ruttenberg, an 1892 property originally called “Claverack,” is rarely open to the public.

Although it has evolved, the owners are always mindful of their home’s deep history; the original outhouses, bucolic buildings housing poultry, dairy and the stables, were, in a move that is sadly rare on the East End, married together and allowed to remain.

Designer Tory Burch will open up her home, a 1929 red brick Georgian House and 10-acre garden known as Westerly that is one of Southampton’s grandest estates.

“A great story about both restoring and finding old plants,” according to Mr. deLashmet,  Bernard and Joan Carl, the owners an 8-acre estate called “Little Orchard,” restored original plantings while also bringing in new gardens.

“We did not want to be beholden to the past just for the past’s sake,” Ms. Carl told the Parrish.

The garden of Margaret and R. Peter Sullivan is an American style garden flanked by a new Palladian villa. The landscape offers a modern interpretation on standard ideas of gardening, with fruits and vegetables, an herb garden, and a vase decorated with poetry made by Mr. Dash.

As the late Mr. Dash once said, “Gardening is very much like setting a table—and if you can set a good dinner table, you can be a good gardener.”

A two-day event, Landscape Pleasures begins Saturday, June 7, at 8:30 a.m. at the Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For a full calendar and more information, call (631) 283-2118 or visit parrishart.org.

Rothko on Stage: ‘Red’ to Open at Guild Hall in East Hampton

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Left: Victor Slezak as Mark Rothko and Christian Scheider as his assistant Ken. Photo by Brian Leaver.

Left: Victor Slezak as Mark Rothko and Christian Scheider as his assistant Ken. Photo by Brian Leaver.

By Tessa Raebeck

The job of the artist assistant is to stretch canvases, mix paint, grab coffee and, in many cases, serve as the sounding board and mellowing counterpart to the boss’ eccentricity.

Such is the case in “Red,” a Tony-Award winning two-man play by John Logan centered on the relationship between the renowned postwar American artist Mark Rothko and his young assistant, Ken. Produced by Guild Hall in association with Ellen J. Myers, the play, which premiered in 2009, will open on the John Drew Theatre stage Wednesday, May 21.

Directed by Sag Harbor’s Stephen Hamilton, noted for his recent shows at the John Drew Theatre including Martin McDonough’s “The Cripple of Inishmann” and Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanda,” “Red” stars Victor Slezak as Rothko and Christian Scheider as Ken.

Victor Slezak as Mark Rothko. Photo by Brian Leaver.

Victor Slezak as Mark Rothko. Photo by Brian Leaver.

“The discussion that takes place between them, the action between them is a debate about commerce and art, about humanity,” Mr. Hamilton said of the main characters. “It’s about art and humanity, it’s about the importance and meaning of art in our life.”

Of Russian Jewish descent, Rothko, unlike many other artists, rose to prominence during his own lifetime and was at the apex of his career during the play’s two-year span, from 1958 to 1959.

At the time his inventive young assistant Ken comes to work with him, Rothko has just received an unheard of public commission for $35,000, the equivalent of about $2 million in today’s market, from the Four Seasons Restaurant to create murals, now known as the Seagram murals. The entire play takes place in the studio at 222 Bowery in New York City where the murals were created.

Although he himself rejected the term, Rothko was classified alongside his contemporaries Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock as “one of the most famous abstract expressionists in the New York school,” according to Mr. Hamilton.

Pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns were just coming into prominence in the late 1950s, much to the chagrin of Rothko.

“All of these artists are just starting to get recognized and that whole movement—it was a big shift between the expressionists and this time,” said Mr. Hamilton. “And its reaction to that—Mark Rothko is a bigger than life character, whose impressions and whose very deep feeling about the meaning of art in the world comes to stark contrast with what he thinks is the complete sort of obliteration of that psyche.”

“There is no such thing as good painting about nothing,” Rothko once said.

Pop artists were critiquing the art world of Rothko, essentially making fun of its gravity.

“It’s on the theme of seriousness,” said Mr. Scheider, a Sagaponack native and a young up-and-coming actor who plays the role of Ken. “Seriousness in art, seriousness in what you say, seriousness in what you live. Meaning Rothko was very much somebody who felt himself to be an outsider in American culture for a long time—until, of course, he became sort of a pillar of that culture, but that happened later—and so, throughout his whole life he dealt with this—I’m not going to say insecurity, because in fact he had a lot of security in himself—but a doubt as to whether there were people that could look at his paintings. He didn’t know if people were going to be moved by them.”

“So, much of what Ken does in the play is through the course of it, he sort of proves it possible that one can develop an appreciation for an abstract painting as a lay person,” he added. “So in a way he’s kind of a foil, but Ken in his own way is an artist.”

Although Ken is a painter, he’s not making art when he works with Rothko. He’s supporting the artist by grabbing food and cigarettes and doing the busy work. Throughout the play, he complements Rothko’s long-winded monologues with one-word, monosyllabic answers.

“What do you see?” Rothko will often ask.

“Red,” replies Ken.

Rothko will rage, stomping around the room, slinging packets of paint at his assistant, who will, in turn, pick up the packets, toss the artist a cigarette and clean up after his rage.

“Rothko’s right at the height of his powers right now, 1958-59, there’s nobody painting like him. He has achieved his mature style that you recognize from Rothko and yet he knows that that energy, that life force—right around the corner is the diminution of that force. He’s not in the greatest health and he knows that he’s right at the apex of his career, there’s nowhere else to go,” said Mr. Hamilton.

The youthful energy of Ken collides with the threat of dead-end maturity felt by Rothko, setting off their conflict in moments of both humorous dialogue and pure tension.

“One of the central questions in the play is, ‘What do you see?” Mr. Scheider said. “Which, of course, is whatever you see, I mean there’s no right answer… but for Rothko, he was trying to make people weep, which is hard to do with blocks of color, but somehow he managed.”

Mr. Scheider said the mentorship, intentional or not, of Rothko on Ken correlates to his own experience working with Mr. Slezak, a veteran actor who has been performing regularly on stage, films and television for 40 years.

“He’s a seasoned actor and is bringing a kind of gravitas to this role that is really impressive and inspiring because he’s the kind of actor who can live a character,” said Mr. Hamilton, adding, “He can really bring this character to life and same with Christian [Scheider], they’re both doing a fantastic job.”

“For me, as a young actor working with a much more experienced actor, there’s a lot of overlap between the rehearsal process and the play, it’s actually very useful,” said Mr. Scheider. “As a young person, [I am] honored to be given this responsibility.”

“Ken, over the course of the play, becomes a better artist by having just been with him.” Mr. Scheider said. “They have very different intentions in their work and yet Rothko instilled in him a kind of fearlessness…to take himself seriously.”

In Rothko’s words: “Art to me is an anecdote of the spirit, and the only means of making concrete the purpose of its varied quickness and stillness.”

“Red” runs from Wednesdays through Sundays from May 21, through June 8 at 8 p.m. at Guild Hall, 158 Main Street in East Hampton. Tickets are $35 for general admission, $33 for members and $10 for students. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 324-4050 or visit guildhall.org.

An “Explosion” of Outdoor Furnishings Comes to East Hampton’s LongHouse Reserve in ‘exteriors’

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Lips loveseat by Colin Selig. Photo courtesy LongHouse Reserve.

Lips love seat by Colin Selig. Photo courtesy LongHouse Reserve.

By Tessa Raebeck

Whether you prefer sitting on leather or repurposed propane tanks, the exteriors exhibit of outdoor furnishings at LongHouse Reserve—the largest exhibit in the foundation’s history—aims to inspire designers and homeowners of every taste.

Opening Saturday, exteriors will display dozens of pieces across the grounds of the 16-acre East Hampton campus from 60 artists and designers both local and international.

“Prices vary widely, so do styles,” said Jack Lenor Larsen, the textile designer, author, collector, owner of LongHouse, founder of the foundation and co-curator of the exhibit. Wendy Van Deusen, Sherri Donghia and Elizabeth Lear are also curating.

R & Company, "Calunga" Chaise, Designer: Hugo Franca. Photo courtesy LongHouse Reserve.

R & Company, “Calunga” Chaise, Designer: Hugo Franca. Photo courtesy LongHouse Reserve.

“We hope viewers will begin to collect art and furnishings for their exteriors—not suites of matching pieces but those which will, above all, personalize their spaces—encouraging users to be more themselves,” Mr. Larsen added.

A number of furnishings, but not all, will be available for purchase after the show and sources such as Design Within Reach, Mecox Gardens and other participants have pieces available in their “great Hamptons showrooms,” Mr. Larsen said.

Globally sourced, the exhibit will display all aspects of outdoor living, with shelters, fabrics, lighting and other furnishings on view.

Local designers like Silas Marder of Springs and Sag Harbor’s Nico Yektai will show pieces, as will international designers and manufacturers from as far away as Colombia, France, Italy and Sweden.

Through exteriors, LongHouse hopes to show all the opportunities for outdoor living, instilling the idea that the backyard, patio or garden can become rooms in and of themselves, natural extensions of the home.

The exhibit is sponsored by Sunbrella, a design firm that encourages customers to channel the style and palette of the nearest indoor room when planning their outdoor space, in order to ensure the transition from indoors to outside is a smooth one, but not be afraid to make bold choices in design.

One such bold choice is the lounger “Fortune Cookie,” shaped like the crescent cookie lying on its side, made by Johnny Swing. The lounger, thick on one side and thin on the other, is made entirely from quarters welded together with stainless steel legs. An attention-grabbing bright red loveseat by California artist Colin Selig is in the shape of lips, with the arm rests making the curve of the mouth. The pouty love seat is made of repurposed propane tanks, but appears comfortable nonetheless.

"Fortune Cookie" by Johnny Swing. Photo courtesy LongHouse Reserve.

“Fortune Cookie” by Johnny Swing. Photo courtesy LongHouse Reserve.

Fitting for the springtime, the furnishings at exteriors allow one to be closer to nature and spend time within it, while still maintaining the comfort and style of the indoors. The outdoor furniture relates to the environment surrounding it, enhancing its natural beauty and allowing the viewer to enjoy nature without disrupting it.

One way the pieces relate to and work with the nature surrounding them is through “fire and water,” Mr. Larsen said. Items like fountains, showers, stoves and outdoor bonfires and fire pits recreate the natural elements without overshadowing them.

The “bench place” on site has up to 20 benches and there will be a dozen sun beds to choose from at the “lap pool.” There will be 12 sites at the exhibit, each with a distinctive style. Two of the rooms, the garden rooms, are under cover.

LongHouse encourages visitors to design their outdoor space at “a fraction of the cost” of furnishing an indoor room—or to splurge.

“There are such blockbuster pieces as a giant leather and steel hammock from Ralph Pucci for a tasteful 1-percenter,” Mr. Larsen said.

Lounge pieces from Brazil, which Mr. Larsen called “heroic,” are carved from heavy hardwood roots. Dozens of Pet Lamps, colorful, woven lampshades, will also be on display. Always unique, Pet Lamps are created by artisans in Colombia, Spain and Chile, complemented by cylindrical adornments made of mechanized iron and colorful textile cables designed by Alvaro Catalán de Ocón. From the American branch of the Italian design company Moroso, two dozen “wildly flamboyant” chairs will adorn one of the LongHouse lawns, Mr. Larsen said.

Likewise wild, the quartet SOUNDWALL will play during the opening reception. An extension of the sonic architecture company of the same name created by artist/musicians John Houshmand and Edward Potokar, the musicians play on inventions that are “sound architecture,” essentially pieces of furniture that function as instruments.

The SOUNDWALL drum wall is a wooden partition with 11 tuned drums of various shapes and styles incorporated into it. A triangular harp coffee table of cherry wood and steel also functions as a three-person stringed electric instrument, and psychedelic “thunder panels” made of aluminum and Mylar serve as a percussion room divider.

The exteriors exhibit opens Saturday, May 17, and runs through October 11. The LongHouse Reserve at 133 Hands Creek Road in East Hampton is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 2 to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 per person. For more information, call 329-3568, or visit longhouse.org.

Art and War: Alexander Russo Shares His Experience as a World War II Combat Artist

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“Combat Artist: A Journal of Love and War” by Alexander Russo cover.

“Combat Artist: A Journal of Love and War” by Alexander Russo cover.

By Tessa Raebeck

Art and combat don’t often go hand in hand, but for Alexander Russo they are forever linked.

Mr. Russo will visit Guild Hall Saturday to sign and read from his book, “Combat Artist: A Journal of Love and War,” a straightforward account of his time spent in the Naval Reserve, serving with Naval Intelligence as a combat artist during World War II.

The first and youngest personnel to volunteer and engage in the Naval landings in Sicily and Normandy, Mr. Russo is now Professor Emeritus at Hood College in Maryland and is the former Dean of the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C.

The graphic results of Mr. Russo’s time spent in combat form part of the navy’s Historical Records of World War II. In the book, the veteran also explores the growth of the artist following the war, in his struggle to continue a career in fine arts.

A reception with the author is Saturday, May 17 at 1:30 p.m., followed by a reading and book signing from 2 to 3 p.m. at Guild Hall, 158 Main Street in East Hampton. For more information, call 324-0806 or visit guildhall.org.

Here Comes the Sun at East End Arts

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"Luncheon Al Fresco," 24 x 36 oil painting by Leo Revi of East Hampton. Photo courtesy East End Arts.

“Luncheon Al Fresco,” 24 x 36 oil painting by Leo Revi of East Hampton.

By Tessa Raebeck

This weekend at the Remsenburg Academy, East End Arts will celebrate the long-awaited arrival of summer with an invitational art show featuring five artists from the East End.

Leo Revi of East Hampton, a self-described painter of light, captures the effects of sunlight in his paintings, drawing inspiration from impressionist painters such as Claude Monet and Winslow Homer.

Also using the area’s unique light quality, Riverhead’s Michael McLaughlin, a research analyst by trade, turned to photography when he found the East End and felt compelled to capture its natural beauty.

Sag Harbor’s Linda Capello, a figurative painter, will also show her work, which focuses on the body’s natural movement.

“What I am drawn to—what I draw—is the lyrical, sensual form; the body as icon of power and grace. I try to capture the body in that split second as movement stops—the turn of the head, flex of the arm, movement for the sake of movement, line for the sake of line,” Ms. Capello said.

A sculptor and mixed media artist out of East Quogue, Jonathan Pearlman transforms everyday objects into a new, imaginative form in his sculptures, with the goal that the viewer will discover the intrinsic beauty in the mundane.

Lucille Berril Paulsen of Water Mill will share her figurative paintings, which aim to create visual personality and capture “the attitude behind the face,” she said in a statement.

Here Comes the Sun will open on Friday, May 16 and run through Sunday, June 1. An artists’ reception is Friday, May 23 from 5 to 7 p.m.