With an opening party hosted by the edgy Norwood Club from Chelsea, Art Market Hamptons is the exuberant and hip fair favored by a young crowd and a slew of contemporary galleries from the neighboring communities on the East End. Sprinkled among the locals are a handful of New York and Miami exhibitors showing blue chip art. But now in its third year, this fair seems to be going through some growing pains, struggling to find its legs. 

Even so, there are still plenty of gems to be found in this nervous sea of flotsam and jetsam. Front and center, Bernard Goldberg Fine Art, specializing in Modern American Masters, boasts a number of outstanding masterpieces. An early Robert Delaunay, La Verseuse, from 1916, depicts a woman pouring from a jug; the whole canvas in Delaunay’s miraculous orbs of color shines as if it is lit from within. 

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“La Verseuse” by Robert Delaunay, (1885-1941) , 1916. Oil on Canvas, 18 1/8 x 25 1/4 inches. Signed and dated.

“La Verseuse” by Robert Delaunay, (1885-1941) , 1916. Oil on Canvas, 18 1/8 x 25 1/4 inches. Signed and dated.

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Charles Burchfield’s Blue Dome of June is so magnificent it made me want to weep. A blue dome of cobalt blue sky framed in golden yellow light looks like the gateway to Elysium.

In his journal, Burchfield wrote, “the dome of heaven seemed to me, when I was a child, as something tangible…I thought of the golden yellow Northwest of childhood, on a Sunday evening, a sacred promised land into which one could step from the edges of the rounded clouds.” Indeed, in Burchfield’s large canvas, that journey seems almost concrete. 

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"Blue Dome of June" by  Charles Burchfield, 1955-1963. Watercolor, charcoal, and white chalk on joined paper mounted on board, 60x50 inches. Stamped with estate stamp and numbered.

"Blue Dome of June" by Charles Burchfield, 1955-1963. Watercolor, charcoal, and white chalk on joined paper mounted on board, 60x50 inches. Stamped with estate stamp and numbered.

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Harry Bertoia, whose career as a furniture designer for Knoll went so well he was able to devote himself exclusively to sculpture, explored ways metal could be manipulated to produce sound. His Zen-like Ellipse Gong has a universal shape and two hole-shaped eyes that give the piece an additional anthropomorphic expression of wonder. 

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"Ellipse Gong" by  Harry Bertoia (1915-1978), c.1970s. Bronze, 32.5 x 38.5 inches.

"Ellipse Gong" by Harry Bertoia (1915-1978), c.1970s. Bronze, 32.5 x 38.5 inches. Photo by Pat Rogers.

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Around the corner, Eric Firestone Gallery has a delightful display of wood sculptures by Mia Fonssagrives-Solow. Instead of carving, Solow painstakingly layers dozens of one inch pieces of wood up to six feet high, then sands them into rounded shapes. Grouped together they form a humorous menagerie of animals and deities. 

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Installation by Mia Fonssagrives-Solow. Photo Pat Rogers.

Installation by Mia Fonssagrives-Solow. Photo Pat Rogers.

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At Aureus Contemporary, William P. Immer works with collage and paint to obscure and alter the faces of history. A famous Franz Halls portrait is hidden behind geometric abstractions. 

Like Duchamp, who notoriously defaced the Mona Lisa with a mustache, and like Llyn Foulkes, who has been savaging postcard portraits with the image of Mickey Mouse since the ’70s, Immer is interested in re-imaging historic works, and in finding a new connection between the art history of the past and today’s world. 

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Artwork by William P. Immer.

Artwork by William P. Immer. Photo by Pat Rogers.

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Artwork by William P. Immer. Photo by Pat Rogers.

Artwork by William P. Immer. Photo by Pat Rogers.

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Artwork by William P. Immer. Photo by Pat Rogers.

Artwork by William P. Immer. Photo by Pat Rogers.

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Next door, Neoteric Fine Art has a subtle and gorgeous smoke painting by Matthew Satz on display. Using smoke, fire and ash as a medium, Satz literally catches the smoke on the canvas with fans, producing haunting and fluid images.

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"Untitled (Smoke Painting)" by Matthew Satz, 2008. Smoke, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches.

"Untitled (Smoke Painting)" by Matthew Satz, 2008. Smoke, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches.

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And Scott Bluedorn’s Hermit’s Rock is an exquisitely rendered illustration of a dream-like fantasy that feels both historic and futuristic. 

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"Hermits Rock" by Scott Bluedorn, 2014. Archival Digital Giclee Print on Paper, 36 x 48 inches. Edition 1 of 3.

"Hermits Rock" by Scott Bluedorn, 2014. Archival Digital Giclee Print on Paper, 36 x 48 inches. Edition 1 of 3.

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At Lyon’s Weir Gallery, James Austin Murray’s heavily textured black canvases look like huge remnants of vinyl records. Built using gesso and glue, Murray applies, scrapes and sands layer-upon-layer of paint to form his deeply grooved and shaped canvases. Monochromatic and minimal, his black surfaces do not absorb light so much as reflect it. 

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"Untitled II" by James Austin Murray, 2014. Oil on shaped canvas, 48 x 60 inches.

"Untitled II" by James Austin Murray, 2014. Oil on shaped canvas, 48 x 60 inches.

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In the center of the fair, Vered Gallery is represented by a host of blue chip artists, from a subtle painting by Ashile Gorkey and a delightful drawing by Willem de Kooning, to a kromekote enigmatic double portrait by Eric Fischl. But it’s the Colin Christan fiberglass cartoon statue at Vered Contemporary that catches the eye. Maybe not for the right reasons, Riot Girl is an arresting image. Lit up in blue neon, the piece demands attention. With large eyes and huge, mound shaped breasts, she’s a human-scale Barbarella doll of the future. 

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Artwork by Willem de Kooning. Photo by Pat Rogers.

Artwork by Willem de Kooning. Photo by Pat Rogers.

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"RIOT GIRL" by Colin Christan.

"RIOT GIRL" by Colin Christan. Photo by Pat Rogers.

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At Jayne H. Baum Gallery, three artists are pushing the borders of fabricated images, experimenting with reinventing books in the form of excavated history and seductive object.

Montreal based artist Guy Laramée’s book sculptures stretch books into labyrinths and Romantic panoramas. “I want to shift our focus from what we think, to THAT we think.” Laramée says. 

Titled, Adieu, Laramée has transformed an Encyclopedia Britannica into a mountainous landscape. Depicting the terrain from his memories of his travels in Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, Laramée has created a deeply moving homage to the worlds revealed inside these iconic volumes.  

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Adieu / Guy Laramée from Colossal on Vimeo.

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Doug Beube’s work explores the book itself, piercing through the text; Beube gouges and excavates as if he were exploring an archeological site. Beyond the Wall is a tribute to the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Cut from German-English Dictionaries, the two sides are now unified. 

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"Beyond The Wall" by Doug Beube, 2009. Altered German to English dictionary, altered road map, collage, mirror, glass, water color, steel, 10 x 11 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches.

"Beyond The Wall" by Doug Beube, 2009. Altered German to English dictionary, altered road map, collage, mirror, glass, water color, steel, 10 x 11 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches.

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Beube has tunneled a hole through the center of the sculpture; inside the viewer sees a web of intersecting roads depicted like a map of red veins.   

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Detail of "Beyond The Wall" by Doug Beube, 2009. Altered German to English dictionary, altered road map, collage, mirror, glass, water color, steel, 10 x 11 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches.

Detail of "Beyond The Wall" by Doug Beube, 2009. Altered German to English dictionary, altered road map, collage, mirror, glass, water color, steel, 10 x 11 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches.

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Andrew Hayes, Beube’s onetime student, bends books into organic forms and combines them with metal to create seductive objects. Hayes’s work blends an elegant contrast of materials, cold metal clasping and releasing the flexible pages to form contained, sensual shapes. 

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"Replace" by Andrew Hayes, 2014. Steel and book pages, 19 x 6 x 4 inches. Initials stamped on bracket.

"Replace" by Andrew Hayes, 2014. Steel and book pages, 19 x 6 x 4 inches. Initials stamped on bracket.

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Like a young colt, Art Market Hamptons seems a bit unsteady, but strong, vital, and full of promise. The Burchfield alone is worth the price of admission. But then, so are many other treasures, and that’s half the fun: finding the treasures.  

BASIC INFO: Art Market Hamptons is presented from July 10 – 13, 2014 on the Bridgehampton Historical Society grounds, 2368 Montauk Hwy, Bridgehampton, NY 11932. www.artmarkethamptons.com.

RELATED: “Hamptons Art at the Art Fairs – Art Market Hamptons” by Pat Rogers. Published July 8, 2014.

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  • Sue Kibly

    Wonderfully written. !!!
    I wish to visit the exhibition !!

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