Tag Archive | "Water Mill"

Artists as Babysitters: Gabrielle Selz Unveils Memoir on New York City Art Scene of the Sixties

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By Tessa Raebeck

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Gabrielle Selz.

Gabrielle Selz of Southampton will release her new memoir. “Unstill Life” at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill Friday.

The writer recounts her childhood growing up in the 60’s and 70’s in New York City, among art and artists during the peak of Abstract Expressionism. Ms. Selz’s father, Peter Selz, became the chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art shortly after her birth.

The family home was filled with artists like Mark Rothko and Willem De Kooning, and Ms. Selz recounts both the excitement and the ruin of the day.

Starting Friday, May 2 at 6 p.m., the evening includes a short film screening, a reading from “Unstill Life,” a book signing with Ms. Selz and a question and answer session with special guest Peter Selz.

For tickets and more information, visit parrishart.org/programs/662 or call 283-2118.

Lichtenstein Sculptures Settle In at Parrish

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Heller_Lichtenstein Sculpture Installation 4-17-14_5529_LR

By Stephen J. Kotz

Two security guards who usually patrol the galleries of the new Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill were pressed into service directing traffic at the museum’s entrance on Montauk Highway Thursday afternoon, as workers prepared a concrete slab for the placement of one of Roy Lichtenstein’s Tokyo Brushstroke sculptures while a small band of onlookers stood by.

It was a slow process, as could be expected, to move a pair of towering aluminum sculptures, the larger of which weighs more than six tons, the other two-and-a-half tons, into proper position, where, for the foreseeable future, they will be seen by the thousands of drivers who pass the museum every day.

“We are very pleased that we are able to offer the community a significant work by an artist of his stature,” said Terrie Sultan, the museum’s director, who braved the unseasonably cold weather to answer questions for those waiting for workers to finish drilling holes to place large anchor bolts deep in the concrete pads.

“They will be here for a long, long time,” she said of the sculptures, which are on an open-ended loan to the museum from the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation in cooperation with the collectors Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman and the Fuhrman Family Foundation.

Ms. Sultan said it was far too early to speculate if more sculptures by other artists will be added to the vast lawn in front of the museum, a barn-like building of poured concrete that was designed by the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. “We have only been here 18 months,” Ms. Sultan said. “The landscaping hasn’t even come in yet.”

She added that bringing in such sculptures is a costly and complicated process, never mind the fact that “scale is a major factor because the building is quite definitive in its presence.”

But Ms. Sultan said she was convinced the Lichtenstein sculptures, which are mostly painted in the primary colors of blue, red, and yellow, would become a “cultural beacon” that would help draw visitors to the museum’s new home.

The museum director called Mr. Lichtenstein “one of the most important American artists of the 20th century.”

“He was one of the major forbearers of the Pop Art movement,” she continued. “He was incredibly innovative in how he made art. He definitely changed the way we looked at the intersection of art and culture.”

Mr. Lichtenstein, who was born and raised in New York City, is best known for his comic-strip inspired paintings including “Whaam!,” which depicts an American jet fighter blowing up an enemy plane, and “Drowning Girl, in which a thought bubble above the subject’s head says, “I don’t care! I’d rather sink—than call Brad for help!”

He and his wife, Dorothy, who remains on the museum’s board, began coming to Southampton in the 1960s, moving there full-time in 1970 and beginning a long relationship with the Parrish. In 1982, the museum presented a show of many of the artist’s early works, and Ms. Lichtenstein was a major donor to the museum’s capital plan, according to Ms. Sultan.

Mr. Lichtenstein came to sculpture later in his career, according to Ms. Sultan, who said it was “a natural progression” for the artist to want to experiment in a three-dimensional medium.

Tokyo Brushstrokes I and II were created in 1994, just three years before Mr. Lichtenstein’s death in 1997 at the age of 83.

The pieces are part of a larger series of “Brushstrokes” that on display in cultural centers across the world, including Paris and Madrid, as well as the Hirschorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Sultan said that it is common practice for an artist to retain the rights to an artist’s proof of large-scale pieces like those from the Brushstroke series, which Mr. Lichtenstein did. In 2007, his estate exercised the right to execute the artist’s proof. The pieces were in storage in Rhode Island until they were installed last week, while the original remains on display in Tokyo.

“They really look great. They are just beautiful,” Ms. Sultan said of recently installed pieces on Monday. They offer a great contrast to the horizontal of the nature of the building.”

Southampton School District Voters Approve Parrish Art Museum Funding

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Voters in the Southampton School District on April 9 approved a proposition to help fund the Parrish Art Museum’s educational programs and exhibitions. The measure will provide $326,509 in funding—the same amount of money the museum has requested since 2009. The funding accounts for 7 percent of the museum’s annual operating budget.

A total of 178 votes were cast, with 101, or 57 percent of those made in favor of the funding, with 43 percent of voters opposing the proposition.

This is the first year the vote was held at the museum and the first year the proposition was separated from the annual Southampton School District budget vote, which takes place next month.

Following the examples of museums and libraries on the East End of Long Island and across the state, the Parrish chose to move the vote to the museum to enable voters to experience the institution firsthand, and to make clear the proposition is not connected to the school budget.

This is the 42nd year voters have approved requested funding for the museum.

Sara Nightingale Gallery Presents Fourth Edition of #Blinddates/MusicLab

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Ryan Messina on trumpet, Will Jhun on tenor sax and Nick Lyons on alto sax will perform improvisational music together at the Sara Nightingale Gallery Thursday. Photo courtesy Sara Nightingale Gallery.

By Tessa Raebeck

Inspired only by each other and the energy around them, tonight three friends will present an evening of improvisational music at the Sara Nightingale Gallery.

"Drumming Circle" by Gus Yero, acrylic on canvas. Photo courtesy Sara Nightingale Gallery.

“Drumming Circle” by Gus Yero, acrylic on canvas. Photo courtesy Sara Nightingale Gallery.

The show, MusicLab edition #4, is part of the #Blinddates series that pairs two musicians—and strangers—together for a concert. Tonight’s performance gives the evening a new take; the artists are all friends, having met in Brooklyn through a shared connection, pianist Connie Crothers.

Playing his trumpet, Ryan Messina will be joined by saxophonists Will Jhun on tenor sax and Nick Lyons on alto sax. The trio will feed off each other, developing the performance as it goes along.

While listening to the show, guests can view the gallery’s exhibition, including works by Malin Abrahamsson, Bill Armstrong, Eric Dever, Cara Enteles, Glenn Fischer, Brian O’Leary, William Pagano, Ross Watts and Gus Yero.

Refreshments will be served at the event, Thursday, April 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sara Nightingale Gallery, 688 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, call 793-2256 or visit saranightingale.com.

Parrish Art Museum to Install Roy Lichtenstein Sculpture on Montauk Highway

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Rendering: Roy Lichtenstein, "Tokyo Brushstroke I & II." Courtesy Parrish Art Museum.

Rendering: Roy Lichtenstein, “Tokyo Brushstroke I & II.” Courtesy Parrish Art Museum.

By Tessa Raebeck

Beginning Friday, April 18, drivers on Montauk Highway will have some culture added to their commute, as Roy Lichtenstein’s towering sculpture, “Tokyo Brushstroke I & II,” will grace the entrance of the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill.

Completed in 1994, the sculpture is part of a series constructed by Mr. Lichtenstein at the end of the 20th century, just before his death in 1997. Similar works are on view in cities across the world, including Madrid, Paris and Singapore. A long-term loan by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, courtesy of Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman and the Fuhrman Family Foundation, it will be the museum’s first long-term outdoor installation at its new building.

“It’s a symbol of something it isn’t and that is part of the irony I’m interested in,” the late Mr. Lichtenstein said of the work, a colorful sculpture of painted and fabricated aluminum that is taller than the museum itself.

A leading figure of the new art movement of the 1960’s, Mr. Lichtenstein is widely credited as bringing pop art to prominence. Inspired by comic book panels and advertising techniques, his work sets social parody against bright cartoon backdrops. In 1964, he became the first American exhibited at the Tate Gallery in London.

After becoming year-round residents of Southampton in 1970, Mr. Lichtenstein and his wife Dorothy quickly developed a relationship with the Parrish Art Museum. In 1982, the Parrish presented an exhibition of 48 of Mr. Lichtenstein’s paintings, including relatively unknown early works, created from 1951 through the early 1980’s. Ms. Lichtenstein remains a trustee of the museum and many of the Parrish’s programs in its new Herzog & de Meuron-designed building are presented in the Lichtenstein Theatre.

“This awe-inspiring work promises to become a cultural landmark, and a beacon that draws visitors to the Parrish,” Terrie Sultan, Parrish Art Museum Director, said of the sculpture in a press release.

“Tokyo Brushstroke I & II” will be installed on the front lawn of the Parrish Art Museum, 278 Montauk Highway in Water Mill, on Friday, April 18.

Salon Series Returns to the Parrish Art Museum

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Pianist Assaff Weisman will perform at the Parrish Art Museum Friday.

Pianist Assaff Weisman will perform at the Parrish Art Museum Friday.

By Tessa Raebeck

Back by popular demand, Salon Series, a series of concerts by award winning and internationally acclaimed young Classical pianists, will return to the Parrish Art Museum Friday.

At the first show in the four-concert program, on consecutive Fridays this month, Assaff Weisman, who had his solo debut at age 12, will perform.  A graduate of the Juilliard School, Mr. Weisman was reviewed by the Palm Beach Post as having a “purity of approach” and a style that “is clean and free of posturing, the kind of pianism that allows the listener to admire the architecture of the works under consideration while also appreciating the poetry of the flourishes.”

On Friday at 6 p.m., Mr. Weisman will perform classics such as Beethoven’s “Sonata in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2,” as well as pieces from modern composers, like the French Olivier Messiaen.

The upcoming concerts in the series are Russian pianist Daria Rabotkina on April 11, winner of the 2008 Pro Musicis International Award, Tanya Gabrielian on April 18, and Taiwanese pianist Ching-Yun Ju on April 25.

Tickets for all concerts, which begin at 6 p.m., are $20 for the general public and $10 for Parrish members. For more information, visit parrishart.org or call 283-2118 ext. 142.

Local Winemakers to Share that Delicious Creativity

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Event photo courtesy of Parrish Art Museum.

Event photo courtesy of Parrish Art Museum.

By Tessa Raebeck

Coming off one of the best vintage years Long Island wine has ever seen, three of the region’s leading winemakers will share what inspires them – and allow others to taste that inspiration.

On Friday, the Parrish Art Museum presents “How Do You Bottle Creativity?” a winetasting and interactive conversation with Barbara Shinn, owner/viticulturist at Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck, Kareem Massoud, winemaker at Paumanok Vineyards in Jamesport, and Christopher Tracy, winemaker/partner at Channing Daughters in Bridgehampton.

Long Island’s moderate maritime climate, long growing season, concentration of small growers and proximity to the giant wine market of New York City have enabled the farmers in pursuit of their primary goal: making delicious wine. Long overlooked by connoisseurs and locals alike, Long Island wine is proving itself in tasting tests and on restaurant menus; three of the last four years have seen exceptional vintages across the island.

“It was really a beautiful year and we’re seeing that right now in the barrel,” said Ms. Shinn of the 2013 vintage, which many local winemakers heralded as the best they’ve seen.

“I think the adjective ‘epic’ really applies here,” agreed Mr. Massoud. “It was a truly epic vintage here, it was amazing. I already bottled six wines from 2013 and they’re all delicious. They’re all some of the best we’ve made.”

“Both the science and the hedonistic sides line up in a region like ours to allow for great diversity of varieties and styles of wine, which is somewhat unusual in North America,” explained Mr. Tracy.

Mr. Tracy came to Channing Daughters from a family “that drank wine and food and traveled and exposed me to those things,” and eventually purchased a California vineyard. Having attended school for performing arts and philosophy, he changed direction after exploring the Long Island wine region in the mid-‘90s, returning to wine via “life’s crazy circuitous route.”

A background in art and philosophy may not seem relevant to winemaking, but Mr. Tracy’s love for creativity and appreciation of beauty have enhanced his craft.

“The two things are deliciousness and reflection of our place,” he said of his priorities. “It’s important that we make things that are delicious that people want to drink and enjoy and excite them and their senses. And that it reflects the climate, terra, the place, the culture where we’re growing our grapes and making wine.”

“If we can provide that something that’s actually delicious and actually tells the story of the little piece of land where we exist and where we grow grapes and make wine, that’s pretty awesome,” he added.

The island’s first second generation winemaker, Mr. Massoud learned the trade from his parents, Ursula and Charles, who founded Paumanok Vineyards in 1983 and still own and operate it today. Named after the Native American name for Long Island, Paumanok Vineyards is “very much a family affair,” Mr. Massoud said, with his brothers Nabeel and Salim also working at the vineyard.

“My orientation as a winemaker, in terms of what inspires me, is not unlike what a chef probably experiences in a restaurant – and that is to just produce the most delicious wine that I can, it’s pretty much that simple,” he said. “It’s always about making the best wine and what does that mean? It means the most delicious.”

His inspiration also stems from the excitement of being a winemaker on Long Island these days, when recognition is rising for the region’s wines.

“Honestly, the quality of the wines in many cases has been there for quite some time already, but more and more people, I think, are beginning to sort of catch on to the reality that world-class wines are being made right in their backyard,” he said.

“We fancy ourselves artists as winemakers,” he added. “We basically have, on Long Island, a very broad palette of colors to choose from…It’s a lot of fun to be able to do all these different varieties and different styles and pair them with the local produce that the East End is so rich with.”

Having earned a master’s degree in fine art, Ms. Shinn also views her craft as an extension of her art, farming using holistic practices and keeping the farm “in tune with the subtleness of nature.”

“When David [Page] and I moved to New York City,” she said of her partner and co-owner at Shinn Estate Vineyards, “I was beginning to question making art and hanging it on a wall. When we brought this land and were deciding to plant a vineyard, I was so inspired by these 20 acres of land that had not been planted in vines yet. And the moment the first vine went into the ground, I was so inspired and this huge creative rush has just stayed with me ever since.”

“Quite frankly,” she added, “my art is now off the wall…it’s in the vineyard and it’s in every bottle of wine that we produce. It’s just incredibly inspiring to me.”

Hosted by the Parrish Business Circle and co-presented with Edible East End and Long Island Wine Council, “How Do You Bottle Creativity?” is Friday, March 21 at 6 p.m. at the Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. $20 for members and $25 for non-members, tickets include a one-year subscription to the Edible title of your choice. Space is limited. To make reservations, call 283-2118 or visit parrishart.org.

Multi-media Artist Jayoung Chung in Residence at the Watermill Center

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"Drawing YOU," 2013 by Jayoung Chung. Photo courtesy of the artist.

“Drawing YOU,” 2013 by Jayoung Chung. Photo courtesy of the artist.

By Tessa Raebeck

“Like the Moon, I am constant. My work, however, keeps changing like the moonshape which is changing all the time,” says Jayoung Chung, the newest artist in residence at the Watermill Center in Water Mill.

Starting her residency this week, Ms. Chung will be at the Watermill Center through April 6 working on her visual and performance art piece “Performing with You,” which incorporates drawing, music and technology into a performance. Primarily a visual artist, Ms. Chung is also a musician, animator, filmmaker and storyteller and most of her work is multi-media. A native of South Korea, she has exhibited her work in both solo and group shows worldwide.

In “Performing with You,” Ms. Chung has embedded 12 strings made of conductive wire, paint and tape within a sheet of paper. The artist creates a multi-dimensional portrait of an individual in the drawing performance. As she draws with charcoal, the instrument touches the stings, generating sounds in real time through a computer program. The act of drawing creates the sounds and the sounds in turn affect digitized, moving images projected on screens. The drawing, words and sounds all interact with one another to create a multi-dimensional portrait.

"Drawing, as composing and performance," 2012 by Jayoung Chung. Courtesy of the artist.

“Drawing, as composing and performance,” 2012 by Jayoung Chung. Photo courtesy of the artist.

During her six weeks in residency at the Watermill Center, Ms. Chung hopes to create and record a series of 40 performance portraits.

“Above all, I want my art to be yours,” the artist explains in her bio, “I want it to be a sweet whisper, a consolation and happiness for you. I want your story to be revealed beautifully through my sensitivities, and approach you as nature’s wonder. For you.”

Southampton Students Show at Creative Partners Exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum

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By Tessa Raebeck

Featuring this year’s work from its longstanding collaboration with the Southampton and Tuckahoe Schools, the Parrish Art Museum will present the Creative Partners Exhibition, on view from Saturday, March 8 through April 14.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is “This Is Us,” a photo-documentary created by the Parrish Art Club, the Southampton High School’s after-school group, taught by Southampton art teacher Gail Altomare with help from Cara Conklin Wingfield, education director at the Parrish. Being shown in the gallery through video projection and also via an interactive website, the film is a digital portrait image-and-text exploration of the community at Southampton High School, including students, teachers and staff. Inspired by the Humans of New York project in New York City, the photo-documentary provides a candid view of the everyday lives of Southampton students through the unique, individual portraits they shaped of the people in their world.

The Creative Partners exhibition will also feature work by the schools’ pre-kindergarten, fourth, fifth and sixth grade students, including relief sculptures reflective of an art history curriculum focused on ancient Egypt and paintings inspired by the master landscapes of the museum’s permanent collection.

For more information, call 283-2118 x121 or visit parrishart.org.

Six-Hour, Multimedia Experience Challenges Conventions of Performance Art at the Watermill Center

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Kenneth Collins, Alaina Ferris and John Sully of the New York City-based performance group Temporary Distortion. Photo by Scott Fetterman.

Kenneth Collins, Alaina Ferris and John Sully of the New York City-based performance group Temporary Distortion. Photo by Scott Fetterman.

By Tessa Raebeck

The same performance could be enjoyed for 15 minutes or six hours—the only necessity is that the audience member has an autonomous, unique experience.

In “My Voice Has An Echo In It,” a new durational performance by the New York City based group Temporary Distortion, the traditional boundaries of performance and art are challenged in a six-hour, installation-based performance with live music, text and video. Temporary Distortion will present its latest work at The Watermill Center on Saturday from 2 to 8 p.m.

The performance comes at the end of the group’s two-week residency at the center, where its members have been developing the project, creating a site-specific installation and adjusting the ever-evolving final product.

Founded in 2002 by Kenneth Collins, Temporary Distortion has shown in venues across the world, including in Australia, the Czech Republic and Japan. According to the group, its  multimedia art “explores the potential tensions found between practices in visual art, theater, cinema and music.” Most recently, its focus has been on long, durational, installation-based performance with live music. Saturday will mark the first time the ensemble will consecutively perform all six hours of the material for “My Voice Has An Echo In It.”

Although the piece will run six hours in its entirety—and performers Alaina Ferris, Scott Fetterman, John Sully and Mr. Collins will perform throughout it—audience members are encouraged to come and go as they please.

“The audience can interface with it for however long they want to,” TJ Witham of The Watermill Center explained. “The audience is 100 percent in control, you can come and sit for the entire six hours if you want or you can experience it, go away and come back.”

The center is hosting a tour at 2 p.m., so that visitors can see the piece has started, take a tour of the building, grounds and art collection, and then reengage with the piece after their tour.

During its residency in Water Mill, the group has installed a corridor on-site in the center’s dining room space, alongside pieces from the art collection. While the performers are inside the enclosed box playing music and reciting text, accompanied by screens flashing text, images and video, the audience will use headphones to hear the material.

At the group’s New York City studio, it has installed a 24-by-6-foot hallway, which completely encloses the performers in a freestanding, soundproof box. Spectators watch the performance through two-way mirrors, so the audience can see inside the box, but the performer can only see his or her reflection. Following this weekend’s premiere, Temporary Distortion is bringing the show on tour through the United States and to France, using similar installations that interact with each building it visits.

“So what they’re presenting on Saturday is almost, in essence, like a dress rehearsal for them,” said Mr. Witham, adding the content of Saturday’s performance is yet undetermined, as the group is “creating it as they go along.”

Unlike traditional performances, the audience at “My Voice Has an Echo in It” is discouraged from trying to follow a progressive storyline or piece together some sort of plot; the intent is for people to engage, disengage and reengage, to create their own experience from what the group provides.

“The fact that an audience member could come at 2 p.m. and stay all the way to 8 p.m. and just listen to the music and hear the performance in the entirety and then someone else could come at 7:30 and be there until 8 and still have their own experience; that is a completely unique performative experience,” said Mr. Witham.

“It has the feeling,” he continued, “it’s connected with both performance and gallery installation, performance art installation—it’s extending the boundaries of what we consider performance and that’s obviously 100 percent at the core of what we do at Watermill and the kind of art what we want to support.”

The Watermill Center is committed to showcasing artists who are “doing what no one else is doing,” in the words of the center’s, Robert Wilson, and Mr. Witham said Temporary Distortion was an obvious choice for the residency program’s selection committee.

Dedicated to pushing the boundaries of theater and performance art, Watermill founder Mr. Wilson is known for his durational work. One of his earliest pieces, “The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin,” was 12 hours long.

“My Voice Has an Echo in It” will premiere Saturday, February 22, at the Watermill Center, 39 Water Mill Towd Road in Water Mill. The performance will run from 2 to 8 p.m. Reservations are free but required and can be made online here. For the 2 p.m. tour of the Watermill Center, reservations can be made here. For more information, visit The Watermill Center.