DISPATCH – November 25, 2011 (Friday; 10:00 a.m.)
East Hampton, NY
Jeff Muhs has joined the select ranks of artists collected by Guild Hall Museum. The artist's abstract landscape, "The Measure of the Fish," is currently displayed in the museum's lobby so visitors can see the latest addition to Guild Hall's permanent collection.
Christina Mossaides Strassfield, museum director and chief curator for Guild Hall, has been following Muhs's art for awhile, she said. When Muhs offered to donate a painting to the collection, Strassfield was in favor of accepting "The Measure of the Fish" in particular.
"He's a very creative person," Strassfield said of Muhs. "We wanted to have his work included in our collection and we liked the representation of the work."
Muhs has demonstrated talent, a commitment to the arts and to his art making, said Strassfield. He also continues to push his art in new directions, she added.
Muhs's devotion to art is evidenced by his early focus on wood-carved sculpture, his move into painting and a recent series that elevates ordinary items to art by melding them with concrete, Strassfield said. Muhs also designs furniture, some of which has been exhibited internationally.
"The Measure of the Fish" is a solid example of signature painting style, Strassfield said. The abstract artwork reveals Muhs's painterly evocation of emotion emitting from the landscape.
"It's not enough that an artist wants to donate a piece to Guild Hall," Strassfield said. "The artwork should be something the artist is proud of. It's becoming part of the collection and it's going to be viewed for a very long time."
Artworks accepted into the collection must be approved by an acquisition committee, said Strassfield. Artists collected by Guild Hall must have ties to the local community in accordance with the museum's mission: to foster and support art and artists in the East Hampton area. The artist has to have a significant body of work and the art needs to show promise of standing up over time, Strassfield said.
"We have a real variety in our collection," Strassfield said.
Guild Hall holds themed exhibitions at the East Hampton museum to display works from its collection. Selections from the collection travels to museums, universities and other venues across the country.
Living artists in the museum's collection include Chuck Close, John Chamberlain, Donald Lipski, Donald Sultan, David Salle, April Gornik, William King, Stephanie Brody-Lederman, Ross Bleckner, Paton Miller, Philippe Cheng and others.
Historic artists include Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Max Ernst, Jimmy Ernst, Robert Gwathmey, Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, Childe Hassam, Conrad Marca-Reilli, Thomas Moran and others.
BASIC FACTS: Guild Hall is located at 158 Main, East Hampton. An exhibition highlighting Pop art selections from the permanent collection is currently on view through Jan 16, 2012. "The Measure of the Fish" also remains on view through Jan 16, 2012. www.guildhall.org.
Jeff Muhs: Muhs is a painter, sculptor and furniture designer based in Southampton. He is represented by the McNeill Art Group. www.jeffmuhsstudio.com.
© 2011 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub LLC.