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Tied in “Nots”
Claire Watson is restless. The sculptor becomes intrigued with material, creates a body of work, and then moves on. So far, the Water Mill artist has used leather gloves, paint brushes, elegant smoking pipes and kitchen utensils. Her artwork suggests the figure but reaches for more.
Domestic history, word play, duty vs. pleasure, implications from imagery and fragments of half-forgotten memories are infused in her abstracted figurative forms. Watson’s work startles and then draws you in with wonder.
Her latest series uses length of thick rope that arises with snake charmer magic or floats with the grace of underwater mammoths. “Nots” features tabletop sculptures and suspended artworks that seem to capture, in mid-motion, a dance by mythical creatures. The shadow each one casts is an integral part of the art. Contradictions in the figures are important. Drawings that depict partial portraits of sculptures project prominent shadows occupying center stage.
“Nots” explores the “raveling and unraveling of metaphysical knots,” according to the Anthony Giordano Gallery where the work was exhibited in June and July. “It is through the process of sculpture and drawing that Watson finds poetry in the materials that she uses.”
Watson describes her latest works this way: “Knots in rope are puzzles to wrangle: like mathematical equations their solutions lie in patterns that can be difficult to grasp. ‘Nots’ refers to the visual riddle that ends in a pun, the tangle that language can become, and the object that is identified with its shadow.”
Through the manipulated rope and its patterns, puzzles and implied humanity, the artwork conjures the experience of language tangled and the uneasy conclusion of deciphered conundrums.
“Nots: Sculpture and Drawing” was presented in a solo exhibition at the Anthony Giordano Gallery at Dowling College in Oakdale from June 5 to July 17, 2011. Watson is exhibiting at the Patchogue Arts Biennial to be presented from Oct 24 to Nov 13 at Briarcliff College in Patchogue.
Watson’s work has been exhibited at Art Sites in Riverhead and Moi-Meme Gallery Space in NYC. Her international credits include Germany and Austria. National credits include Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, California, Vermont and more. Watson’s a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, a sculpture fellowship from the New York Foundation of the Arts, an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy and other awards.
Her work can be viewed at http://clairewatson.net
Artists Remember Sept 11
Galleries, museums and artists are remembering Sept 11 in exhibitions that span this weekend with most continuing to remain on view. Art on view is a varied as the reactions and contemplations since the terrorist attacks. Here’s a sample of some exhibitions taking place.
The Heckscher Museum of Art – Huntington, NY
New York, New York pulls from the museum’s permanent collection to commemorate the 10th anniversary. The show “pays tribute to the fortitude of New York City and the courage of her people,” according to the museum. The show’s on view through Oct16. Some works can be viewed online.
Exhibiting artists include Berenice Abbott, Gordon Grant, N. Jay Jaffee, Edward Moran, John Sloan, Abraham Walkowitz, Guy Wiggins, Garry Winogrand and others.
The Heckscher Museum of Art, 2 Prime Ave, Huntington. 631.351.3006 heckscher.org
Guild Hall Museum – East Hampton, NY
Twin Towers Tragedy is a solo show by photographer John Jonas Gruen. The show takes place in the Boots Lamb Education Center in Guild Hall. There are 24 images in the exhibition. It remains on view through Oct 9.
Guild Hall, 158 Main St, East Hampton. 631-324-0806 GuildHall.org
Lyceum Gallery – Riverhead, NY
Remembering 9/11 is an invitational memorial exhibition presented by The Lyceum Gallery at the Suffolk County Community College. The show remains on view through Sept 28.
Exhibiting artists are Gina Gilmour, Seymour Levy, Roz Dimon, Joan Rogers, Steve Alpert, Elizabeth Malunowicz, Janet Culbertson, Dennis Snyder, Anna Jurinich and Beth Giles.
Lyceum Gallery, SCCC Eastern Campus, Montaukett Learning Resource Center, Riverhead. 631-548-2536.
Suffolk County Historical Society – Riverhead, NY
A group memorial exhibition opens on Sept 9 and will remain on view through Oct 1. The show “explores the history of the Twin Towers” through construction photographs plus a group show of “interpretive artworks,” according to the historical society.
Artists include Lance Corey, George D’Amato, Mare Dianora, Gary Jacquemin Leonardo Liguori, Kevin O’Connell, Mary Carlson and J. Lee Elsbree. The exhibition features an 8-foot steel sculpture of the Twin Towers made by Long Island sculptor David T. Haussler. Filmed oral histories gather in conjunction with the Riverhead Free Library are part of the exhibition.
A talk on Sept 14 at 7pm will present 9-11 Air Traffic Control – A Firsthand Account by Paul Thumser, a former Air Traffic Control Supervisor.
Suffolk County Historical Society, 300 West Main Street, Riverhead. 631-727-2881 suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.org
Gallery on the Hill – Farmingville, NY
Tribute to 9-11…Ten Years After is an open call show where artists “reflect the emotions of 9-11.” A reception will be held on Sept 10 at 2-4pm. The opening includes a commemorative ceremony, music and poetry readings. The show remains on view through Sept 19. The show is sponsored by the Brookhaven Arts and Humanities Council.
Gallery on the Hill, Bald Hill, Farmingville. 631-732-3536. brookhavenarts.com
Studio East Gallery – Greenport, NY
Remember, Honor & Hope: Tenth Anniversary of September 11th. A group show reflecting America and families, survivors and responders of 9-11. Opening reception is Sept 10 from 6-9pm. The show remains on view through Oct 1.
Studio East Gallery, 120 Front St, Suite 9, Greenport. 631-477-2676 studioeastgallery.com
Crazy Monkey Gallery – Amagansett, NY
Lance Corey – 9/11 Reflections is on view in the Side Gallery through Sept25. Corey is a Middle East scholar and artist. An opening will be held Sept 10 from 5-7pm. The main gallery is a group show of gallery artists.
Crazy Monkey Gallery, 136 Main St, Amagansett. 631-267-3627 thecrazymonkeygallery.com
Brecknock Hall – Greenport, NY
Third Thursdays Art Talk Series – Remember, Honor and Hope led by gallery directors Terry Falquero of Studio East Gallery and Caroline Waloski of The Sirens Song Gallery. The talk will be held on Sept 15 at 6:30pm. The public is invited to pay tribute. The event features artwork, poems and recounts of the creative processes that followed the terrorist attacks. Sponsored by East End Arts.
Brecknock Hall, 1 Brecknock Rd, Greenport. Eastendarts.org
Art from a Box
There’s something inspiring about a box. At least, East End Hospice thought so. They decided to run with the concept and a Hamptons art tradition was born. The 11th annual Box Art Auction will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Ross School Center for Well-Being in East Hampton.
The event features over 75 “boxes” created by as many artists for the occasion. This year’s artists include April Gornik, Bill King, Connie Fox and Donald Lipski. Also contributing are Randall Rosenthal, Frank Wimberley, Daniel Pollera and Roy Nicholson.
Proceeds from the Box Art Auction benefits East End Hospice, who provides care for terminally ill patients and services for their families on the East End and in Brookhaven Town. Boxes can be viewed at eeh.org.
Part of the fun is discovering the shape the box art will take, said Benefit Chair Arlene Bujese. Artists are given a cigar or wine box to make their art. What happens from there is anyone’s guess.
Many artists use the box surfaces to make paintings. These can be found on the box top, exterior sides or tucked inside the box. Art is typically made in the artist’s identifying style. For instance, April Gornik’s box has a painting of an imagined landscape. Stephanie Brody-Lederman’s box features a narrative painting with words and images of nature and birds.
Other artists use the box as a starting point. Dennis Leri deconstructed his box to make a sculpture that implies a box. Bill King made “Willie’s Stogies”—a box that’s 100: organic that features twigs, said Bujese. Furniture designer Niko Yektai made his box into the “seat” of an abstract bench.
The Box Art Auction has its fair share of returning artists who have developed a signature box art style. For instance, Jennifer Cross makes a Mystery Box with a surprise inside each year, said Bujese. Linda Capello uses the same sprawling format to feature a different female figure, she said. Carol Hunt chooses a different medium to create art that flows from the box in folds, Bujese said. This year, Hunt’s box is an elaborate weaving.
“Some are elegant, some humorous and some just plain beautiful,” Bujese said.
The Box Art Auction includes a silent and live auction. Boxes can be bid upon online and by fax or phone until Sept. 9. The auction will be held Sept 10 at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $60. For information, visit eeh.org or call 631-288-8400.
About the Sea
Art that captures rolling waves, peaceful contemplation, glinting moments and discovering “treasures” on the shore are all part of the exhibition, About the Sea. The show inspired by the ocean is on view at South Street Galley in Greenport through Aug. 22.
The exhibition is a painterly show where sculpture and installation have their part to play.
A ceramic installation by Judy Motzkin channels the experience of walking on the beach and spying shells and water-worn objects. What may not be readily apparent is that each piece is ceramic and assembled in groups. The installation includes stacks of tumbled clay and thick rope installed in groupings in a corner of the gallery. Wall sculpture by Motzkin is part of the show.
Sculptures by Tiffany Sedaris are made from fractured glass icebergs. The shards are stacked and resemble jutting icebergs or delicate, glinting mountains. Three sculptures are positioned next to a picture window where sunlight and moonlight streams through the clear glass.
Mostly, the show is a painterly. There are oil paintings by Annie Wildey, Joyce Zavorskas, Amy Worth, and Alice Denison. Each demonstrates a different style of paintings. Zavorskas is showing a series of expressive oil studies of dune erosion. Worth uses a pallet knife to create thick, sweeping textures that mirror the way waves brush the ocean’s surface.
Denison applies her oil paint in thin, delicate layers to create compositions of floral forms embraced by the sea. Wildey’s paintings capture the aggressive side of the ocean featuring crashing waves glowing with light and implied emotion.
One undercurrent of About the Sea is that it’s partially a family affair. The show is curated by Boston-artist Kate Ledogar Grogan. She is a sister of gallery director Amy Worth. Their siblings, Alice Denison and Jim Ledogar, are part of the show. So is their mother, Joan Berglund.
Each is a professional artist in their own right with gallery representation other than the South Street Gallery, said Grogan. The show presented the chance for the far-flung family to exhibit in the same gallery. Worth agreed to exhibit some of her larger paintings after coaxing from her sister, Worth said.
Each family member makes art inspired by the sea, creating the perfect storm for a family show, said Grogan.
Grogan is exhibiting a series of small paintings made on small pieces of cardboard. The art was made while taking a cruise and mixes high and low art. Ledogar mixes machine and water channeling livelihoods relating to the sea. Berglund is a watercolorist who has two works in the show. She also created a whimsical series of aquatic life on driftwood which is part of the exhibition.
The show includes art by Joel Janowitz, a past Whitney Biennial exhibitor, Megan Barron, Anne Lilly and Daniel Maher.
About the Sea is on view through August 22 at South Street Gallery, 18 South Street, Greenport. The show is viewable online. www.thesouthstreetgallery.com (631) 477-0021
Second Art Fair Opens in Bridgehampton
Just when you thought it was all over…a new art fair opens bringing more art, more galleries and another art fair experience to the Hamptons.
artMRKT Hamptons opens with a benefit preview party on Thursday, July 14. The fair continues through July 17. artMRKT is being held on the Bridgehampton Historical Society’s grounds adjacent to Montauk Highway. This is the same grassy area ArtHamptons began its fair four years ago.
artMRKT Hamptons is presenting modern and contemporary art. Around 33 galleries from the United States are participating in the fair. Artists pull from the Long Island, national and international pools.
Many galleries are based in New York City’s various gallery districts. Having Hamptons galleries in the fair makes it possible to see, within walking distance, excerpts of exhibitions in East Hampton, Southampton, Shelter Island and Water Mill.
There may be a slight undercurrent of Brooklyn vibe to the fair: artMRKT founders Max Fishko and Jeffrey Wainhause are based in Brooklyn. Fishko is a third-generation Manhattan gallery family. Wainhause hails from the business world.
Fishko believes there are enough art lovers to fill two art fairs in Bridgehampton, he said. The Hamptons attracts New York City art fans (and others) who are relaxing instead of working, Fishko said. Down time may allow for art viewing that’s not as possible while juggling work and life, he said.
Exhibiting galleries include Black & White Gallery/Project Space in Brooklyn; 101 exhibit from Miami, FL; Museum Works Gallery from Chicago, IL and others. For a full line-up, see www.art-mrkt.com/hamptons.
Leila Heller Gallery from New York will have work inside the fair tents and on the grounds. They are presenting the site-specific artwork, “Billboard” by sculptor Alexis Laurent. He is based in San Francisco, CA.
“Billboard” appears like a “U-shaped wall” and stretches 15 feet long, 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide, according to Leila Heller Gallery. It was constructed with steel boxes housing more than 1,000 plants and has windows to allow gazing through the structure, according to the gallery.
artMRKT Hamptons is the second of a trio of art fairs debuting this year for artMRKT. A fair was held in San Francisco in May. Another will be held in Houston in October.
artMRKT Hamptons will be held from July 14 to 17 at the Bridgehampton Historical Society grounds. An opening night preview on July 14 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. benefits Southampton Hospital. A VIP Preview Party immediately follows from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets for the benefit are $100. Fair tickets are $15 per day or $25 for a three-day pass.
On Saturday, a Premium Rum Tasting with art fair walk-around will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The event is open to VIP pass holders in the VIP Lounge.
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