DISPATCH - NOV 7, 2013

WATER MILL, NY-

There's no question the Parrish Art Museum is riding high. This weekend marks the first year of residency in its new world-class building in Water Mill, NY. Over the last year, attendance has doubled, programs have expanded in range and depth, and donations of artwork and funds have risen. With so much to celebrate, it's no surprise that it will take an entire weekend to properly present all the Parrish now has to offer.

To mark the occasion, the museum is hosting events, artist talks, and exhibition tours all weekend long. It also unveils its artist juried biennial, "Artists Choose Artists" and an almost completely new art landscape featuring seven newly installed permanent galleries spanning over 7,000 square feet.

In other words...if you don't recognize the museum, don't be surprised.

Museum members get the first peek tonight at a Members Opening held from 5 to 8 p.m. The public is welcomed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday to view the art and partake of the festivities. These include exhibiting artists talks, live music, family programming, a looping screening that accompanies "Artists Choose Artists" plus a second invitation-only opening on Saturday.

The most dramatic change may also be the most subtle. All of the exhibitions in the permanent galleries have been reinstalled with new selections from the museum's collection. Presented in seven separate themed shows, the permanent galleries present around 85 artworks--nearly all exhibited for the first time in the new building. Frequent visitors may recall only four artworks from the last year plus an additional two that made guest appearances for a few months over the last year, according to Parrish.

The new permanent galleries feature a star line-up of artists who made art on the East End. Each exhibition presents a specific focus on connection between either the exhibiting artists or the artworks.

"Making Connections", located in the introductory gallery, features large-scale contemporary works by Jennifer Bartlett, Ross Bleckner, John Chamberlain, Roy Lichtenstein, and Donald Sultan, among others.

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"Amagansett Diptych #1" by Jennifer Bartlett, 2007-8. Oil on two canvases, 108 x 216 overall. Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY. Promised Gift of Michael Forman and Jennifer Rice.

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Three other gallery spaces explore distinct themes and variations.

"Changing Views" features landscape paintings that extend the traditional definition of the genre to include the cityscape and the built environment. Works by Rackstraw Downes, Howard Kanovitz, John Marin, Fairfield Porter, John Sloan and others are part of the exhibition.

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"Hill, Main Street, Gloucester" by John Sloan, 1916. Oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 39 7/8 inches. Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY. Littlejohn Collection, 1961.3.208. © 2013 Delaware Art Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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"Portraits in Context" looks at the work of William Merritt Chase and his contemporaries. Chase’s family, friends, students, and colleagues were his most frequent sitters. The studies on view reveal an "...intimate and perceptive examples of the genre," according to the Parrish.

"Esteban Vicente: In the Company of Friends" highlights the ways the artist’s career mirrored the arc of the 20th century. The exhibition includes drawings and prints by Vicente’s colleagues, students, and friends including James Brooks, Chuck Close, Mercedes Matter, Robert Motherwell, and Dorothea Rockburne.

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"Untitled # 18" by Esteban Vicente, 1958. Charcoal on paper, 39 3/8 x 50 1/4 inches. Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York. Museum purchase with funds provided by Paul F. Walter, 1989.1.

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The Museum’s central spine gallery features three themes.

"Poets and Painters" reveals the rich relationship between artists and poets of the East End. Collaborative works including pairings by Robert Dash and James Schuyler, Michael Goldberg and Bill Berkson, and Larry Rivers and John Ashbery. Visual tributes to Frank O’Hara poems by artist friends are also presented. So are as screen prints by Vicente as homage to poets of Spain’s Golden Age.

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"Untitled" by Michael Goldberg with autograph lines by Bill Berkson, 1965. Mixed Media collage on paper, 32 x 34 1/2 inches. Gift of James and Katherine Goodman, 2003.12.11.

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The Artist in the Studiopresents historic photographs of William Merritt Chase, Roy Lichtenstein, Esteban Vicente, and others. Sculptor drawings feature the work of Dennis Oppenheim (American, 1938–2007), Stephen Antonakos, John Newman, and Mark di Suvero.

Dennis Oppenheim: Splash Buildings”, presented in the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation gallery, presents the last decades of his career. Oppenheim was a trailblazer in the realms of earthworks, body art, and conceptual art. The exhibition presents monumental sculptures that present what he called “a parallel to the mental processing of a raw idea” by presenting a series of sculptures that convey the outcome of an event—in this case, a drop of water splashing upwards. Accompanying the sculptures are the artist’s working drawings for the series. The exhibition represents the Parrish’s first presentation of a major work by Oppenheim. It is set to enter the museum’s permanent collection as a promised gift of the artist's estate.

Porter and Dash: Between House and Studio is “…an exploration of the distance between domestic and creative spaces, a fluid and permeable factor in the creative process of many painters who lived and worked here,” according to the museum. Both Fairfield Porter (American, 1907–1975) and Robert Dash (American, 1931–2013) found the confluence of home and studio life vital to their painting practice. This is demonstrated through the presentation of selections of Porter’s work plus three paintings from the Dash Estate that are promised gifts to the Museum.

One of the reasons the Parrish has a treasure trove of artworks to mount exhibitions is the generosity of artists, collectors and artist estates who have been donating works in increasing amounts. The increase can be attributed, in part, to the new building, according to Terrie Sultan, Director of the Parrish.

“Certainly the fact that the museum now has space to show new work has to be more of an incentive to donors,” she said.

Another reason may arise from the museum staff itself. The Parrish pursues an active acquisition program in order to build the collection that it would like to have.

“We have a running wish list of objects and artists we wish to include in the collection,” said Sultan. “Acquisition is an active, ongoing process. While sometimes we are fortunate enough to have something brilliant and unexpected gifted to the Museum, most of the gifts are a result of long-term relationships with artists, dealers and collectors. We also have an Art Acquisition Committee and a Collector’s Circle.”

Right now, the focus is on the present and celebrating the accomplishments of the last year while presenting the first blush of what the second year promises to hold. Still, this doesn’t mean the plans for the future are not already in motion.

“We’re excited about executing all the events and programs we have planned – especially now that we have had a year to learn about the building,” said Sultan. “There is a point of reference and a history from looking at the past. In addition to the exhibitions opening this weekend, we are very excited about the exhibition schedule for next year which is stunning.”

Worth mentioning is the Jennifer Barlett exhibition, according to Sultan. The show has been in the planning stages for two years and will be presented from April 27, 2014 to July 13, 2014.

“She’s a very important and under-appreciated artist who hasn’t had a major survey of her work," said Sultan. It’s very exciting that it will see the light of day – as will William Glackens, which opens in the summer of 2014.”

BASIC FACTS: The Parrish Art Museum celebrates its one-year anniversary in Water Mill this weekend. Festivities include the unveiling of seven reinstallations of the permanent galleries. The new exhibitions will be on view from Nov. 9, 2013 through Oct. 26, 2014. “Artists Choose Artists” will also be unveiled this weekend. The exhibition will be on view from Nov. 9 to

Other activities this weekend at the Parrish:

On Friday, a Members Opening Reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. to celebrate the one-year anniversary, the reinstallation of the permanent collection and the “Artists Choose Artists” exhibition opening. The Opening can also be attended by those who join the museum on the spot.

On Saturday, a Meet the Artists talk will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. Features artist Elise Ansel, Rossa Cole, Eva Faye, and Carol Hayes. Also, cellist Karlos Rodriguez performs in the galleries from noon to 2 p.m. Docent-led public tours begin at 2 p.m. The Artists Choose Artists video loops continuously from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lichtenstein Theatre.

On Sunday, A Meet the Artists event will take place from 3 to 4 p.m. Features artists Don Christensen, Elizabeth Dow, Brian Gaman, Virva Hinnemo, Kurita Koichiro, Tucker Marder, and Ezra Thompson. Also, cellist Richard Vaudrey performs in the galleries from noon to 2 p.m. Docent-led public tours begin at 2 p.m. The Artists Choose Artists video loops continuously from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lichtenstein Theatre.

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway Water Mill, NY 11976. www.parrishart.org.

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Copyright 2013 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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