I was pleasantly surprised by artMKRT Hamptons 2013. Normally, art fairs feel like carnivals, especially on the East End. They stand in so much contrast to the surroundings here—the sublimity of our mostly natural world with its amazing light. Jam packed with shiny babbles that distract but usually offer no real value, I have sometimes felt like taking a shower after attending some art fair editions in the past.

This fair had a very different vibe. It was organized wisely and the spaces let you breathe a little. Most importantly, the majority of booths actually had something real to offer. I was also intrigued that the strongest works were abstract paintings, collages and photos. It was if this fair was an antidote to my previous art fair experiences or to other venues where bombast still rules.

Those few booths in artMRKT Hamptons that still displayed bombast, where pop culture and its explicit content aims to instantly gratify a largely frivolous audience, fell very flat as if they didn't know that ship had sailed. The subtle dignity of the serious abstract art in this fair showed that perhaps we are entering into a post post-modern age in which there is a lot of soul searching going on and artists are returning to forms and ideas that have survived and lasted through all the sturm und drang of the era of bombast. They are taking those tested values and forms and moving ahead with them, as a kind reformation.

It feels like a return to earth and the vibe of this new art is very akin to the new farm movement out here. (Check out the film Growing Farmers). There seems to be a generational return, a grass roots return, to progressing old values into our time among a new generation. All the glitter, plastic and frills are no match for rich soil and organic growth: in art, in farming and in the search for deeper cultural values.

These are my picks of some the art I was impressed by:

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Detail of "The MacDowell Series 1" by Melissa Meyer, 2012. Watercolor on paper, 38 x 24 7/8 inches. Exhibited with Lennon Weinberg, New York, NY.

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"Canto" by Ron Gorchov, 2013. Watercolor on handmade paper, 12 x 14.5 inches. Exhibited with Leslie Heller Workspace, New York, NY.

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"Edge of the Pond" by Robert Harms, 2007. 48 x 48 inches. Exhibited with Garvey Rita Art & Antique, West Hartford, CT.

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"Tangled Bands" by Sol Lewitt, 2001. Gouache on paper, 29.5 x 22.5 inches. Exhibited with Garvey Rita Art & Antique, West Hartford, CT.

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"Inch by Inch" by Josette Urso, 2012. Oil on canvas, 30 x 24 inches. Exhibited with Kathryn Markel FIne Art, Bridgehampton & New York, NY.

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"Spark" by Lynn McCarty, 2013. Oil on aluminum, 27 x 20 inches. Exhibited with Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, NY.

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"T-16" by Conrad Marca-Relli, 1965. Oil an canvas collage, 17 x 14 inches. Exhibited with Alpha Gallery, Boston, MA.

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"Blossoms 4" by Lenore Lim, 2010. Lithograph, 44 x 30 inches. Exhibited with Tallybeck Contemporary, New York, NY.

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"TWZW-27" by Eric Dever. Oil on canvas, 72 x 72 inches. Exhibited with Sarah Nightingale Gallery, Water Mill, NY.

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"Untitled 1" from Book Series by Ross Watts. Paper, steel, and lucite, 9 x 10 x 2 inches. Exhibited with Sarah Nightingale Gallery, Water Mill, NY.

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Artwork by Jorge Fick. Exhibited with Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NY.

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"Tableaux Taxophilite" by Gregory Johnston, 2013. Automotive enamel on aluminum, 36 inches diameter. Exhibited with Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NY.

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"Makeup Dirt" by Julian Lorber. Exhibited with Mindy Solomon Gallery, St. Petersburg, FL.

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"Blue Trap" by Chase Westfall, 2012. Oil on linen, 24 x 24 inches. Exhibited with 101/Exhibit, West Hollywood, CA.

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"Break Boundary 8" by Janee Mateer. Archival pigments on ultra smooth fine art paper. Exhibited with Jordan Faye Contemporary, Baltimore, MD.

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"Espoo" by Lat Naylor, 2012. Oil stitching & wax on copper on reclaimed wood, 66 x 42 x 1.5 inches. Exhibited with Jordan Fay Contemporary, Baltimore, MD.

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Artwork by Darius Yektai. Exhibited with Tripoli Gallery, Southampton, NY.

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Park Slope Food Coop X by Graham Collins, 2013. Spray enamel on canvas, reclaimed wood, glass, window tint, 72 x 48 inches.

Park Slope Food Coop X by Graham Collins, 2013. Spray enamel on canvas, reclaimed wood, glass, window tint, 72 x 48 inches.

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"Brim" by Dani Jakob, 2013. Salt crystal and pigment on canvas. Exhibited with Looc Art, Bedford, NY.

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BASIC FACTS: ArtMRKT Hamptons will remain open through July 14, 2013 on the grounds of The Bridgehampton Historical Society, 2368 Montauk Hwy, Bridgehampton, NY 11932. Parking is free. www.art-mrkt.com/hamptons.

RELATED: "Critic's Picks: artMRKT Hamptons 2013"  by Esperanza Leon. Published July 13, 2013.

"Art Review: Outdoor Installations at the Hamptons Art Fairs" by Gabrielle Selz. Published July 14, 2013.

"In Pictures: Outdoor Installations at the Hamptons Art Fairs" by Pat Rogers. Published July 14, 2013.

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© 2013 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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  • joe pintauro

    Great work. I like several, especially the Julian Dorber and the Eric Dever painting.

  • Phyllis Herfield

    Thank you for sending this selection

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