DISPATCH - JULY 16, 2013 (8:30 p.m.)


The Art Barge revives art storytelling with the roundtable conversation series Artists Speak. Artists Speak began in 1983 with a focus on creating conversations on the arts. The rekindled series launches tomorrow (July 17) with art historian, museum curator and Fulbright grant recipient Peter Selz. The program begins at 6 p.m. with curator and art critic Janet Goleas as the conversation monitor. After Selz is interviewed by Goleas, attendees will have the opportunity to ask Selz questions followed by a reception with hors d'oeuvres and wine.

Future editions of Artists Speak will feature painter April Gornik (Aug 14) and sculptor Bryan Hunt (Sept 4). Admission is $20. The series takes place at the Victor D’Amico Institute of Art, also known as The Art Barge. Goleas is an independent curator and art critic. A steady stream of her arts writing can be found on her blog Blinnk (blinnk.blogspot.com), which Goleas founded several years ago to encourage connection on the East End arts scene.


Selz brings years of experience as an art historian and curator to the table on Wednesday night. Selz served as Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) from 1958 to 1965.

While in this position, he was influential in bringing exhibitions to MoMA including the infamous 1960 Jean Tinguely “Homage to New York,” a sculpture that destroyed itself in the sculpture garden of the Museum. Additional noteworthy exhibitions include “New Images of Man,” “Mark Rothko,” “The Work of Jean Dubuffet,” “Max Beckmann” and “Alberto Giacometti.”

Immediately following MoMA, Selz became the Founding Director of The Berkeley Art Museum. His curatorial innovations include “California Funk Art” and “Directions in Kinetic Sculpture.”

He later used his experiences in the art world to educate others at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was an Art Historian of German Expressionism and Professor of Art History from 1965-1988, according to www.dictionaryofarthistorians.org. In addition, Selz’s life in the art world is the subject of the biography Peter Selz: Sketches of a Life in Art by Paul J. Karlstrom.

"It's so great to have Peter Selz join us - he's a keystone in the evolution of American art,” Goleas said.  “Peter's exhibitions at MoMA are legendary and at UC Berkeley Art Museum, he helped to define and redefine California art.”

Selz’s roots with The Art Barge extend back to the 60s with a MoMA beginning. Selz worked with Victor D’Amico, MoMA’s first Director of Education and The Art Barge founder. Selz’s experiences in the Hamptons art scene run deep.

“He spent time on the East End in the ‘60s with Mark Rothko and forged close ties with artists from the New York School as well as Dubuffet, Giacometti and Max Beckmann,” Goleas said.

Tickets to Artists Speak are $20 per person. Due to limited seating, advance purchase is recommended and can be purchased by calling 631-267-3172 or online at www.theartbarge.com.

D’Amico created The Art Barge in 1960 by anchoring a WWI Navy ship in Napeague Harbor, NY. Ever since, the vessel has been used as the location for summer educational art classes for people of all ages.

The initial Artists Speak series ran from 1983 to 1989. Artists were invited to engage through a one-on-one conversation with a moderator. Participants included Christo, Alfonso Ossorio, Chuck Close, Miriam Shapiro, James Rosenquist, Dan Flavin, Audrey Flack, Jack Youngerman and others.

The Art Barge is located at 110 Napeague Meadow Road, Amagansett, NY 11930.

BASIC FACTS: Artists Speak at The Art Barge launches on Wednesday (July 17) at 6 p.m. with museum curator and art historian Peter Selz. Tickets are $20 per person and available online at www.theartbarge.com or by phone at 631-267-3172. The Art Barge (also known as the Victor D’Amico Institute of Art) is located at 110 Napeague Meadow Rd, Amagansett, NY 11930. www.theartbarge.com.

HAMPTONS INSIDER: Peter Selz’s daughter, Gabrielle Selz, is based in Southampton, NY. Gabrielle Selz is an art critic, storyteller and an award-winning writer. Her first book, UnStill Life: A Memoir of Art and Love in the Age of Abstraction, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton & Company in 2014. Gabrielle Selz is also a core contributor to HamptonsArtHub.com.

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  1. Dad ROCKED the Art Barge last night. Thank you Janet Goleas, Christopher Kohan, and all who helped and came to listen and participate.

  2. Where can we hear or see the Peter Selz event? I am formerly a New Yorker and Bay area resident, and now live in La Jolla, CA. Would love to reminisce, as I studied art at the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture (where Audrey Flack was also a student) and at Brooklyn College (CUNY) where my instructors were Mark Rothko, Ad Rinehardt and Jimmy Ernst. Those were the days, my friend, when the world focus of art shifted from Paris to New York!

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