By Tessa Raebeck
Touching art is generally frowned upon, but Bob Dylan encourages it. In his sculpture, “Untitled IV, 2012-2013,” welded iron objects, many of them vintage, are configured into a giant sculpture on the wall, complete with wrenches, wheels and a lever viewers are welcome to crank.
The show was reflective of the weekend it previewed. It questioned what art is, with the musician’s paintings of naked women and city apartments next to crumpled up sculptures by John Chamberlain. It celebrated lesser known artists and multi-faceted, non-conforming talent, featuring a man well known for his music but relatively unknown for his artwork. And it brought in a crowd of local gallery owners, noted personalities and regulars on the East End’s art scene.
“Dylan’s work is a visual extension of his lyrical genius,” said Mike Pintauro, curatorial assistant at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill. “Esoteric and personal, energetic and slightly deranged.”
ArtHamptons, which takes place at NOVA’s Ark on Millstone Road in Bridgehampton, has been one of the East End’s largest fine art fairs for the past six summers and the seventh edition promises to be the most diverse yet, with art of varied mediums, styles and prices from across the world.
“It’s the largest selection ever,” founder and president Rick Friedman said on Monday, July 7.
Organized by Hamptons Expo Group, ArtHamptons will present more than 80 global art galleries, featuring 2,000 works from some 500 artists.
Although there is considerable international involvement, the fair remains dedicated first and foremost to the local creative talent abundant on the East End. The theme this year is “Escape,” reflective of the idyllic calm that can still be found in some corners of the East End—even in the summertime.
“There’s a lot of local galleries from the Hamptons showing a lot of local artists,” Mr. Friedman said. “We always have a touch of our relationship with the Hamptons art movement of the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s.”
“ArtHamptons is a celebration of the arts in the Hamptons,” said Mr. Friedman. “We’re celebrating that we have such an extraordinarily creative community.”
Local galleries such as RJD Gallery, Bridgehampton Fine Art, Tulla Booth Gallery, Monika Olko Gallery and Chase Edwards Gallery will have booths at the fair.
American representational painter Jane Freilicher, who has a home in Water Mill, and avant-garde theater artist Robert Wilson, founder of the Watermill Center, will be honored.
Galleries are coming to Water Mill this weekend from as close as Sag Harbor and as far away as Hiroshima; with 12 countries represented, the show is more international this year than ever in the past.
The Villa del Arte Gallery of Catalonia, which has spaces in Barcelona and Amsterdam, is bringing the work of Fernando Adam, Karenina Fabrizzi and Claudia Meyer, among others. In “Hybrid ML2” by Christiaan Lieverse, mixed media, cowhide and resin are combined on canvas to create a streaked gray woman’s face with sharp eyes that are hard to turn away from.
The French Art Gallery is bringing the work of esteemed French artists such as Nanan and Pierre-Francois Grimaldo from its gallery in Kensington, London, to the East End. Dedicated to exposing the vibrant street art scene in France, the gallery is also bringing innovative artists like Speedy Graphito, a pioneer of the French Street Art movement since the early 1980s.
Envie d’Art Galleries, located in Paris and London, will be on hand with a broad and diverse collection that aims to promote artists on an international scale, with exhibitions in cities like Brussels, Chicago, Milan and, Singapore and now Water Mill.
The 418 Art Gallery from Bucharest, Romania, 308 Arte Contemporaneo of La Habana, Cuba and Art Company MISOOLSIDAE from Seoul, South Korea, will also have booths at the fair.
Several galleries from Korea will be present, which “encourages viewers to experience a not so familiar world in a contemporary setting—opening up the culture to new interpretations while further contextualizing the artists’ ideas,” Mr. Friedman said in a press release.
ArtHamptons is Thursday, July 10, through Sunday, July 13, at the Sculpture Fields of NOVA’s Ark in Bridgehampton, located at 30 Millstone Road in Water Mill. For more information and a complete schedule of events, call (631) 283-5505 or visit arthamptons.com.