This fall, Guild Hall Museum presents a trio of major one-person shows which highlight the institution's mission of showcasing artists of the region. Each artist has lived or currently lives on the East End of Long Island, and every exhibition focuses on the variety of art that has been nurtured and flourished in The Hamptons.
Opening is Syd Solomon: Concealed and Revealed; Please Send To: Ray Johnson, Selections from the Permanent Collection and Sara Mejia Kriendler: In Back of Beyond. A preview for Guild Hall Members takes place on Saturday, October 20, 2018 from 5-7pm. To become a member, click here. The exhibition is on view from October 20, 2018 to December 16, 2018.
Admission to the exhibitions is free. A full slate of programming accompanies the shows including Talks, Tours, Lectures and a Film Screening to provide insight into the art on view. Programs are also free with reservations requested.
All Museum Programming supported in part by Crozier Fine Arts, Gerry Charitable Trust, Hess Philanthropic Fund, The Lorenzo and Mary Woodhouse Trust, The Melville Straus Family Endowment, The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, Vital Projects Fund, and public funds provided by Suffolk County. Free Museum Admission is generously funded by BNB Bank and Landscape Details.
Guild Hall is located 158 Main Street, East Hampton, NY 11937. www.guildhall.org.
Syd Solomon: Concealed and Revealed
Gallery Talk with Mike Solomon: Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 1pm
Lecture with Gail Levin, Ph.D.: Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 12pm
The late painter Syd Solomon once described himself as an “Abstract Impressionist” alluding to the fact that his work infused Impressionism into the processes, scale, and concepts of Abstract Expressionism. While his paintings have often been framed as an extension of Abstract Expressionism, a current cataloguing project of Solomon’s archives has revealed new information about the singular artist and his milieu.
The exhibition Concealed and Revealed, coming to Guild Hall in October 2018, is the first to examine Solomon’s work through the lens of his personal archive. For example, the artist worked as a camoufleur (a person who designs and implements military camouflage) during WWII, but just how expert Solomon was in this field, and more significantly, how this exceptional skill came to inform the development of his painting techniques is just now being understood. After returning from the Western Front at the end of the war with five Bronze Stars, Solomon joined a coterie of artists whose wartime experience undoubtedly transformed their art.
Night on Bastille Day (George Plimpton's) by Syd Solomon, 1978. Acrylic and aerosol enamel on canvas, 66 x 76 inches. Estate of Syd Solomon. Courtesy of Guild Hall and Berry Campbell.
Additionally, the archive uncovers that Solomon’s high school training in “technical arts” and lettering led to early work in advertising, creating signs and promotions for stores, ads for newspapers, magazines and brochures, and political campaigns. Like his close colleague James Brooks, the influence of typography becomes a significant factor in his latter brushwork, calligraphy, handwriting and other gestural aspects of his paintings.
These discoveries and more allow us to see Solomon’s achievements in a new and more accurate way, leading us to understand layers of his work not previously or totally appreciated. Concealed and Revealed is presented in partnership with the Estate of Syd Solomon and accompanied by a 96-page exhibition catalogue with essays by Michael Auping, George S. Bolge, Gail Levin, and the artist’s son Mike Solomon. The exhibition is organized by the Estate of Syd Solomon.
Mecox Medley by Syd Solomon, 1987. Acrylic and aerosol enamel on canvas. 60 x 48 inches. SOL 0116. © Syd Solomon Estate. Image Courtesy Guild Hall and Berry Campbell.
Please Send To: Ray Johnson, Selections from the Permanent Collection
Film Screening: How to Draw a Bunny: Sunday, November 25, 2018 at 4pm
Gallery Talk with Jess Frost: Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 12:30pm
Drawn from Guild Hall’s Permanent Collection, Please Send To: Ray Johnson will feature over 30 works by the famously reclusive artist, the majority of which are classified as Mail Art, a movement pioneered by Johnson in the 1950s.
The artist sent small, mixed-media works to a network of fellow artists through the post, instructing them to intervene in the original work or forward the materials to another person. Mail Art offered Johnson alternative modes of circulating ideas and gaining recognition, and one could argue that these subversive methods anticipated the digital dissemination of images through platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
The cryptic arrangements of notes, doodles, newspaper clippings and rubber stamped texts in these works offer great insights into the shifting social dynamics of this fertile period in American art. As viewers try to decode the visual information presented, they are drawn into Johnson’s complex observations about his immediate art orbit and society at large.
Despite regular exhibitions with Feigen Gallery and a 1970 show of his Mail Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the artist remained wary of the public eye. When he retreated to a suburb on Long Island, limiting his communications to the telephone and post, his work became increasingly populated by narratives surrounding the celebrities and members of the art scene he had vacated.
Untitled Mailing (to Alan Lindenfeld) by Ray Johnson, n.d. Mixed media, 10 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches , 18 x 20 1/2 inches framed. Inv# 98.07.10. Courtesy Guild Hall.
In January of 1995, Johnson ended his life by jumping off the Sag Harbor - North Haven Bridge in The Hamptons, a mysterious gesture that was true to his life’s work. This final performance was orchestrated to include a legacy in the form of thousands of works, carefully arranged in his otherwise empty home in Locust Valley in Nassau County on Long Island. In Johnson’s absence, his works became more readily available for public consumption, and historians began to recognize these works as early examples of Pop art and Conceptual art.
This extensive and important cache of material entered Guild Hall’s Permanent Collection through the Tito Spiga Bequest, for whom one of the museum’s galleries is named. As with all of the museum’s holdings, the works reveal the rich culture and relationships to the region, and the museum’s commitment to preserving that history.
The exhibition is curated by Jess Frost, Associate Curator/Registrar of the Permanent Collection. The exhibition is sponsored, in part, by The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. Additional support from the Gerry Charitable Trust, Robert Lehman Foundation, and The Helen and Claus Hoie Charitable Trust.
Untitled Mailing (Ted, I enjoyed trying to"pick you up") by Ray Johnson, n.d. Mixed media in 3 parts, Variable Inv# 98.07.35 DETAIL. Courtesy of Guild Hall.
Sara Mejia Kriendler: In Back of Beyond
Sara Mejia Kriendler’s solo exhibition in the Spiga Gallery was awarded in 2016 when she received the Top Honors Prize in Guild Hall Museum’s 78th Annual Artist Members Exhibition. Kriendler’s work was chosen out of 424 artists by the guest awards judge Jia Jia Fei, Director of Digital at the Jewish Museum in New York City.
Kriendler’s exhbition In Back of Beyond at Guild Hall features all new works that are variations on her current body of work that were exhibited for the first time at the Museo de Arte de Pereira (The Museum of Fine Arts of Pereira) this past Spring. This body of work investigates her maternal Colombian roots inspired by pre-Columbian gold, the history of the Spanish conquest of the new world, and the legend of the El Dorado.
The exhibition is curated by Casey Dalene, Registrar/Curatorial Assistant/Lewis B. Cullman Associate for Museum Education. It is sponsored, in part, by the Guippy Nantista Fund and Helen Hoie Fund.
Inner Visions - Visiones by Sara Mejia Kriendler, 2018. Terracotta, gold leaf, styrofoam, Dimensions vary. Courtesy of the artist and Guild Hall.
Guild Hall, one of the first multidisciplinary centers in the country to combine a museum, theater, and education space under one roof, was established in 1931 as a gathering place for community where an appreciation for the arts would serve to encourage greater civic participation. For nearly nine decades, Guild Hall has embraced this open-minded vision and provided a welcoming environment for the public to engage with art exhibitions, performances, and educational offerings. Art and artists have long been the engine of Guild Hall’s activities and the institution continues to find innovative ways to support creativity in everyone.
Guild Hall is located at 158 Main Street, East Hampton, NY 11937. www.guildhall.org.
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