December 17, 2011
DISPATCH – November 26, 2011 (Saturday, 9:35 p.m.)
How do galleries give thanks? They fill their walls with art by gallery artists and hold special openings. At least, this is how three galleries choose to celebrate Thanksgiving. A fourth gallery expressed gratitude by exhibiting art celebrating romantic love made by the enraptured couple. All of the exhibitions remain on view through this weekend or beyond.
The final flurry of art openings on Thanksgiving weekend seemed the perfect excuse to pick up a camera and create the final Visual Diary of 2011. Following are snapshots of art noticed and artists supporting other artists.
My first stop was the Silas Marder Gallery in Bridgehampton. The gallery was holding a “Holiday Salon” to express thanks to supporters for the past seven years. The reception coincided with the Marder Garden Center and Nursery’s 38th Open House. The event traditionally kicks off the holiday season.
The “Holiday Salon” also opened the group exhibition, “America.” The exhibition features paintings, sculpture, mixed media works and “time-based media.” In the second story loft, the installation “Architecture of a Bomb” was held over for the occasion. (See separate Hamptons Art Hub story).
“Architecture of a Bomb” is a collaboration by sculptors Ben Butler and Michael Rosch. The pair of artists–who had never met before–were given one week and $40 to create a site-specific work from objects found on the grounds of Marder’s.
Exhibiting artists in “America” include Dever, Mica I. Marder, Charles Ly, Dennis Lawrence, Alexander Cheves, Christine Gray, Tony Ingrisano, John Morse, Robert Olsen and others.
Fine furniture designer Nico Yektai has ”Leaning Dovetails” in the exhibition. The piece enhances and accentuates dovetail joinery to conjure nature and the landscape, he said. The joinery’s jutting shapes conjures Taconic forces, Yektai said. The echoing ripples transforms the level table surface (and the method for joining wood pieces together) into an interesting implied landscape.
Nearby, a painting by Aurora Robson caught my eye. I was unfamiliar with the artist and inquired to gallery manager Alana Leland. The artist uses recycled plants in her paintings and incorporates “free form organic forms” in her compositions, Leland said. Robson lives in Canada after relocating from Brooklyn, said Leland.
A few feet away was a video installation by Tucker Marder. The artist visited four museums in New York City, deposited toys in plain view and filmed reactions to the plastic additions among the fine art, Leland said. The gallery installation was a looping 28-minute video. A row of toys appearing in the film lay at the foot of the projection.
The next stop was the Arthur T. Kalaher Fine Art Gallery in Southampton. The gallery opened a solo show of artwork made by romantic partners and artists Andrew Hart Adler and Carolyn Beegan. Adler is an abstract painter and a former Willem de Kooning assistant. Beegan is a painter and digital artist.
To celebrate their happiness, the couple collaborated on a series of abstracted figurative self-portraits and narrative works capturing their worldwide travels. The art begins with a photograph. A multi-step process weaving digital technology and painting is used to create original paintings.
A few steps away was the opening of “Thanksgiving Collective 2011″ at the Tripoli Gallery of Contemporary Art. The annual show gives viewers the chance to see what gallery artists have been up to and get to know some new artists. The exhibition includes art by Michael Chiarello, Eric Freeman, Felix Bonilla Gerena, Melanie J. Moczarski, John Ross Rist and Darius Yektai.
Paintings by Rist immediately jumped out at me. A mix of figurative painting, graffiti, abstract expressionism, street art and historic allusions, Rist’s compositions are eye-catching and filled with motion. When not making paintings, Rist works on his clothing designs. Since graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, he’s launched the surf-skate clothing company, Brain-Stain.
The painting, “Dutchess” is part of the “Splatter Head Series” where Rist defaces representatives of historic imperialism in a protest against corruption and horror, explained Rist. The face of each portrait of a 16th to 18th century figure is shattered, spray-paint style, to channel anti-establishment sentiments.
Sculptor Michael Chiarello’s work was also persuasive. The most meaningful is the floor sculpture, “Where Do I Go From Here?,” he said. The artwork combines his prior style of sleek painted steel with his new direction of using raw and weathered materials, said Chiarello.
Darius Yektai exhibited an abstract painting with plenty of mystery that grabbed my attention. The title held no clues. When queried, Yektai didn’t give up the artwork’s secrets.
The final stop of the night took me to Sara Nightingale Gallery in Water Mill for the opening of “Tweakers.” The exhibition title is based on a Malcolm Gladwell quote describing a tweaker as someone who “inherits things as they are” and moves it closer toward perfection, according to Sara Nightingale.
The show featured art by Roisin Bateman, Sara Genn, the painting team of Yong Jo Ji & Anna Anatasova, Eric Dever, Brian O’Leary, Joseph Stabilito, Barry Underwood and Gus Yero. The artwork burst with color or presented elaborate textures couched in subdue palettes.
Roisin Batemen’s paintings were bright expressions of abstraction designed to satisfy the Ireland-born artist’s longing for color, she said. Her paintings conjure the possibilities when life is explored. Grounded in nature, her work typically includes all four elements (water, air, earth and fire) represented in color.
Another artist whose work caught my attention was Brian O’Leary. His paintings were intriguing and subtle. A look at the artwork label revealed he works with oil and tar to make his art.
A back corner of the gallery contained artwork in black:
Silas Marder Gallery: “America” and “Architecture of a Bomb” remains on view through Dec 18. The gallery is located at 120 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton. www.silasmarder.com
Arthur T. Kalaher Fine Art Gallery: “Andrew Hart Adler / Carolyn Beegan: For 4 Hands” is on view through Dec 17. The gallery is located at 28E Jobs Lane, Southampton. www.arthurtkalaherfineart.com
Tripoli Gallery of Contemporary Art: The 7th Annual “Thanksgiving Collective 2011″ remains on view through Jan 24, 2012. The gallery is located at 30A Jobs Lane, Southampton. www.tripoligallery.com
Sara Nightingale Gallery: Selections from “Tweakers” remains on view through December. The gallery is located at 688 Montauk Highway, Water Mill. www.saranightingale.com
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