As 2014 comes to a close, we combed through our exhibition memories and came up with a list of Top Art Shows in the Hamptons. Presented in no particular order, following are 12 exhibitions that made our list for the best in 2014.

 

1. "Close Up: Contemporary Portraiture" at Southampton Arts Center

Picked by Pat Rogers

Exhibited: August 22 to September 7, 2014.

Why selected: The show promised an ambitious look at the range and current state of contemporary portraiture being made in America and delivered on its promise. The show could have been at home at a museum for its breath and art star line-up and took a careful look at what a portrait could be. Curated by Leila Heller of Leila Heller Gallery of New York City with Kelly Behun of Southampton Cultural Center. 

RELATED"ART REVIEW: A Strong 'Close-Up' Look at Portraiture at Southampton Arts Center" by James Croak. Published August 31, 2014.

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"Sartorial Anarchy #6" by Ike Ude, 2013. Pigment on satin paper, 54 x 36.1 inches. Edition of 3, 3 AP.

"Sartorial Anarchy #6" by Ike Ude, 2013. Pigment on satin paper, 54 x 36.1 inches. Edition of 3, 3 AP.

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2. "#NSFW: Bodies" at Vered Gallery

Picked by Pat Rogers

Exhibited: February 15 to April 7, 2014

Why selected: The exhibition blew me away with its range of historic and contemporary art that focus on nudes and figurative art. Comfortably straddling edgy contemporary with edgy historic, I appreciated the stories behind the art just as much as the work itself. A favorite was historic photography by R.F, an anonymous photographer who portrayed himself dressed as a woman while striking a pose in hotels across America (or so the story goes). His face (and identity) was cloaked in every one of the images by ink scribbles that erased his face.

RELATED: "ART REVIEW: '#NSFW: Bodies' Explores What It Means To Be Human" by Gabrielle Selz. Published March 29, 2014.

"NSFW: Bodies" at Vered Gallery" by Scott Bluedorn. Published on Tumblr on March 26, 2014.

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"Winter" by Ray Caesar, 2013. Archival chromogenic print mounted on Dibond. 48 x 56 inches.

"Winter" by Ray Caesar, 2013. Archival chromogenic print mounted on Dibond. 48 x 56 inches.

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3. "Judith Hudson, A Midsummer Night's Dream" at Tripoli Gallery

Picked by Janet Goleas

Exhibited: June 21 to July 13, 2014.

Why selected: "Hudson pulled a rabbit out of her hat with this show -- an impish art caper that traversed the poetry of Shakespeare's magical comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream. The works were exuberant and joyful, charting a new path for Hudson that marries the narrative with her effervescent and painterly approach."

RELATED: "ART REVIEW: A 'Midsummer Night’s Dream' of an Exhibition" by Janet Goleas. Published July 8, 2014.

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"A Midsummer Night's Dream Series: 'In the night imagining some fear'" by Judith Hudson, 2014. Watercolor on handmade paper, 14 x 14 inches.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream Series: 'In the night imagining some fear'" by Judith Hudson, 2014. Watercolor on handmade paper, 14 x 14 inches.

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4. "Robert Motherwell: The East Hampton Years" at Guild Hall

Picked by Gabrielle Selz

Exhibited: August 9 to October 13, 2014

Why selected: "A historic look at Motherwell's formative and transformative years painting on the East End."

RELATED: "ART REVIEW: At Guild Hall, Motherwell’s Process of Evolution Revealed" by Gabrielle Selz. Published August 25, 2014.

“'Robert Motherwell: The East Hampton Years, 1944-1952' at Guild Hall" by Pat Rogers. Published August 7, 2014.

"ARTWORK STORIES: Motherwell’s 'Wedding' Portraits" by Pat Rogers. Published October 10, 2014.

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"Black Figuration on Blue" by Robert Motherwell, 1950. Oil on Masonite, 35 1/2 x 47 1/2 inches. Grand Rapids Museum. Museum Purchase: Kate P. Wolters Family in Memory of Richard Wolters, and Gift of the Dedalus Foundation. ©VAGA, NY.

"Black Figuration on Blue" by Robert Motherwell, 1950. Oil on Masonite, 35 1/2 x 47 1/2 inches. Grand Rapids Museum. Museum Purchase: Kate P. Wolters Family in Memory of Richard Wolters, and Gift of the Dedalus Foundation. ©VAGA, NY.

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5. "'BROKEN SURFACE ARTIFICIAL MATTER' with David Kennedy Cutler, Ethan Greenbaum, Mariah Robertson and Letha Wilson" at Halsey Mckay Gallery

Picked by Janet Goleas

Exhibited: October 25 to November 16, 2014

Why selected: "This was one of the smartest and most visually intoxicating exhibits I've seen in a long time. Each artist is working on the cusp of a crisp and literate interpretation of the photograph by molding, warping, twisting and excoriating imagery into new form. Breathtaking physicality. Beautiful show."

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"TOKEN" by David Kennedy Cutler,  2014. 
Inkjet, spray paint, and Permalac on, aluminum, inkjet on fabric, plexiglass, 
28 x 16 x 15 inches.

"TOKEN" by David Kennedy Cutler, 2014. 
Inkjet, spray paint, and Permalac on, aluminum, inkjet on fabric, plexiglass, 
28 x 16 x 15 inches.

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6. "Get Real: New American Painting" at RJD Gallery

Picked by Pat Rogers

Exhibited: September 13 to January 4, 2014.

Why selected: The exhibition featured star artists from RJD's stable representing some of the best and brightest in new contemporary American realism painters. An added bonus, the show functioned as a preview to a national survey taking place in Florida... providing a hint of what's happening in this genre in studios tucked across the country; no plane ride necessary.

RELATED: "ART REVIEW: The Magic of Realism at RJD Gallery" by Eric Ernst. Published April 13, 2014.

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"30" by Frank Oriti. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches.

"30" by Frank Oriti. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches.

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7. “Raymond Hendler: A Deeper Poetry” at Quogue Gallery

Picked by Pat Rogers

Exhibited: October 3 to November 23, 2014.

Why selected: Historic yet contemporary, the strong painterly aspects of Raymond Hendler's art struck me hard. So did a sense of gratitude that these paintings were now in the limelight after years of being in shadows. A great "find" and break out show for a new gallery to the Hamptons art scene. Having first learned of Hendler's work in an Eastport gallery run by his wife, Mary Rood, years ago made the show seem all the sweeter.

RELATED: "ART REVIEW: Sampling Art History – Raymond Hendler at Quogue Gallery" by James Croak. Published November 7, 2014.

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"Drawing (No. 18)" by Raymond Hendler, 1963. Magna on canvas, 58 x 80 inches.

"Drawing (No. 18)" by Raymond Hendler, 1963. Magna on canvas, 58 x 80 inches.

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8. "Storage Wars" at Eric Firestone Gallery

Picked by Pat Rogers

Exhibited: August 9 to September 7, 2014

Why selected: The Lower East Side alighted in East Hampton Village for a competitive exhibition that should have won awards for the brightest art and innovative presentation. One side of the gallery were artist picks by The Hole on the LES. The other were artists selected by Eric Firestone, whose gallery hosted the show. Each artwork was inset one side of a "crate" implying work that couldn't be fresher. Trying to decide if one gallery's artists trumped the other was part of the fun. Becoming acquainted with a slew of new contemporary artists (and seeing works by some favorites) were jewels in a show perfect for summer.

RELATED: "Three To See – Week of 08.22.14" by Pat Rogers. Published August 22, 2014.

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"Stable Disfunction" by Holton Rower, 2012. Acrylic on wood, 60 x 56.5 x 1.5 inches.

"Stable Disfunction" by Holton Rower, 2012. Acrylic on wood, 60 x 56.5 x 1.5 inches.

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9. “Genieve Figgis: Yes Captain” at Harper's Books 

Picked by James Croak

Exhibited: July 5 to August 6, 2014.

Why selected: "A steamy revisitation of neo-expressionism, chock full of merrymaking and naughtiness. It was great to see lush painting unvarnished by repressive theory."

RELATED: "ART REVIEW – Once More with Feeling: Neo-X Returns with Genieve Figgis" by James Croak. Published July 29, 2014.

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"Gentleman Caller" by Genieve Figgis, 2014. Oil on wood panel, 15 x 12 inches.

"Gentleman Caller" by Genieve Figgis, 2014. Oil on wood panel, 15 x 12 inches.

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10. "Somatic" at Ille Arts

Picked by Pat Rogers

Exhibited: August 2 to August 19, 2014.

Why selected: A diverse and textural show that partnered artists together like they were always meant to be. Architectural tabletop sculptures by Matthew Bliss were an amazing find. So were works by Bryan Hunt, Ilse Murdock and James Angell. Curated by George Negroponte with Industrial Abstraction in mind.

RELATED: "Last Chance: “Somatic” Presents Industrial Abstraction at Ille Arts" by Pat Rogers. Published August 15, 2014.

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"She knows the storms by name" by Matthew Bliss, 2014. Brass, copper, solder, oil paint, sanded window glass.

"She knows the storms by name" by Matthew Bliss, 2014. Brass, copper, solder, oil paint, sanded window glass.

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11. "Changing Views: Painting As Metaphor" Permanent Collection Exhibition at The Parrish Art Museum

Picked by Pat Rogers

Exhibited: November 8, 2013 to November 7, 2014

Why selected: One of the quietest show in 2014, it's one that continues to resonate. It's not every exhibition that can present hard edge urbanscapes by Rackshaw Downes with romantic alleyscapes by Fairfield Porter and get away with it. Even more impressive was the way artists, spanning history and geography, stretched the capacity of what a landscape can mean by choosing to present atmosphere over strict representation.

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"Hill, Main Street, Gloucester" by John Sloan (American, 1871–1951) , ca. 1916. Oil on canvas, 25¾ x 39⅞ inches. Parrish Art Museum, Littlejohn Collection, 1961.3.208.

"Hill, Main Street, Gloucester" by John Sloan (American, 1871–1951) , ca. 1916. Oil on canvas, 25¾ x 39⅞ inches. Parrish Art Museum, Littlejohn Collection, 1961.3.208.

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12. "Women Painting Women" at RJD Gallery

Picked by James Croak

Exhibited: October 11 to November 10, 2014

Why selected: "Good craft throughout and an interesting sub-culture appearing throughout the country. This curatorial idea launched by Diane Feissel, Alia El-Bermani, and Sadie Jernigan Valeri examines women in ways male painters over time have not."

RELATED: "ART REVIEW: Gurls on Girls at RJD Gallery" by James Croak. Published November 3, 2014.

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"Suspension" by Katie O'hagan. Oil on linen, 36 x 42 inches.

"Suspension" by Katie O'hagan. Oil on linen, 36 x 42 inches.

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Why let the Hamptons Art Hub staff have all the fun? Next up is the "Most Popular Stories in 2014", according to readers.

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