Although midsummer tends to be a quiet time for the urban art world, it’s when things heat up among the culturati in the Hamptons. With its long tradition of art and patronage, the popular Long Island escape has much more to offer than sandy beaches.
What: With SCOPE Hamptons called off, ArtHamptons holds down the fort this year on the South Fork, with 68 galleries selling everything from vintage photography to contemporary American art, priced from $3,000 to $3 million.
When: July 10 to 12
Where: The Bridgehampton Historical Society grounds
HIGHLIGHTS: Waterhouse & Dodd, of London, is crossing the Atlantic with a variety of fine art in tow, including photo collages by the contemporary French artist Jean-François Rauzier and a still life by the 19th-century American painter Severin Roesen. • New screen prints from Donald Sultan, such as Eight Whites, Oct 30 2008, will be available at the Nikola Rukaj Gallery booth. • The 85-year-old artist Jane Wilson, who has lived since the 1960s in a Watermill carriage house with her husband, the renowned writer and photographer John Jonas Gruen, will receive the fair’s lifetime-achievement award for painting. "I’m fixated on the atmosphere and the light at the shore," says Wilson. "It’s wonderful to be on the edge of a continent." • Wilson’s works will be available at the booth of New York’s DC Moore gallery. "There’s a leisurely pace out there," says DC Moore director Edward Deluca, who notes that Hamptons collectors tend to favor the gallery’s specialty: top-notch American art. • On the 9th, don’t miss the opening-night gala, where Earth Fireworks, a 1996 silkscreen by Jennifer Bartlett, will be auctioned, with proceeds going to Guild Hall, the East End’s renowned theater and museum.
The 16th Annual Watermill Center Benefit
What: It’s simply the biggest party the Hamptons has to offer.
When: July 25
HIGHLIGHTS: "If people cut out one or two benefits this summer, it’s not going to be us," says Jörn Weisbrodt, creative director of the Watermill Center, which was founded by the visual artist and director Robert Wilson in 1992 to foster innovation in the performing arts. "We always have a theme, and we invite young artists to create site-specific installations or performances." This year’s theme is "Inferno," and participants at the event, which is co-chaired by Marina Abramovic, Kim Cattrall and Jeff Koons, include such Taiwanese artists as Young-Hsien Chen and Chinen Jung Lin. • The dinner, for which Weisbrodt says table sales have been unusually strong, kicks off with an auction of contemporary artworks, among them pieces by William Kentridge and Elizabeth Peyton, conducted by Simon de Pury • If you can’t make the benefit, the center will be holding other events later in the season. The center’s annual open house, which gives visitors an opportunity to view the results of the summer workshop, is on August 15. And on August 29, Norah Jones, Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright will sing together for the first time in the Last Song of Summer concert.
"Out here, almost everyone has his own place," says Weisbrodt. But for those who can’t crash at a friend’s estate, he suggests this inn on East Hampton’s village green. Widely known as one of the best on the Island, this small luxury property has the traditional 19th-century exterior common to the area, but the interior reflects its owners’ Scandinavian heritage: vintage Svenskt Tenn upholstery abounds, and each of the 19 rooms has furniture from such Swedish designers as Jantze Brogård Asshoff.
207 Main Street
Rick Friedman, the director of ArtHamptons, calls this well-appointed inn the nicest in the Hamptons. Situated at the edge of Cooper’s Beach, the Tudor-style mansion is certainly one of the area’s largest hotels, with 90 rooms and five acres of manicured green lawn. In addition to its convenient location, there is an outdoor pool and all-weather tennis courts.
91 Hill Street
This simple, unfussy resort is located in Amagansett, less than 10 miles from Bridgehampton, and offers oceanfront rooms plus access to a private beach, rare among Hamptons lodgings.
28 Shore Road
BRIDGEHAMPTON CANDY KITCHEN
Popular for its no-frills menu, this retro diner is close to ArtHamptons. "Candy Kitchen is right across from the fair, and celebrities like to eat there," says Friedman. Favorites include comfort food like Greek salad with chicken, grilled-cheese sandwiches and, especially, homemade ice cream. Make sure to try the peach, which is a summer special.
2391 Main Street
Offering classic seafood dishes like bouillabaisse and paella, as well as such French staples as escargot, this bistro is a local favorite. Pierre’s has a lively weekend bar scene and hosts live jazz on Sundays.
2468 Main Street
"Bobby Van’s used to be the watering hole for Truman Capote and down the block from Larry Riverss studio. It’s right across the street from the Dan Flavin Institute," says an enthusiastic Friedman. As if its history and locale weren’t enough, this spot is known for prime steaks and potent cocktails like the Bobby Van’s cosmo, the Ultimate margarita and the Pear-perfect martini.
2393 Montauk Highway
Guild Hall, opened in 1931, primarily shows artists who have lived or worked on the eastern end of Long Island. "We exhibited Pollock and de Kooning when they were just starting out," says curator Christina Strassfield. Through July 26, the museum showcases work by Taryn Simon, who gives a lecture on her stark photographs of cultural oddities on July 11. Paintings by the Abstract Expressionist painter Grace Hartigan will also be on view, and on July 19, art historian Gail Levin will be giving a lecture on Hartigan’s work.
158 Main Street
Stony Brook University has taken over and meticulously preserved the house where Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner created many of the works that made them famous. Purchased by Pollock with a loan from Peggy Guggenheim in 1946, the late 19th-century fisherman’s house still contains many of the couple’s household items, from prints and jazz records to studio materials and painting implements. Visitors can change into felt slippers to walk on Pollock’s paint-laden studio floor.
830 Fireplace Road
THE DAN FLAVIN ART INSTITUTE
Run by Dia and launched in 1983 in a two-story 1908 firehouse, this monument to Flavin is the permanent home of nine of his famed fluorescent fixtures. The project was overseen by the artist himself, who worked with the architect Richard Gluckman on restoring the building.
CORWITH AVENUE AND MAIN STREET
THE PARRISH ART MUSEUM
Founded in 1898 by the prominent New York lawyer Samuel Longstreth Parrish to house his holdings of Italian Renaissance art and Greek and Roman sculpture, today the museum displays work by local artists, including the largest collection of Fairfield Porter in the country. Starting June 27, it will stage the first U.S. show devoted to the French photographer Jean-Luc Mylayne, which includes 23 large-scale images taken mostly in west Texas. On July 11, the Parrish will hold an ArtHamptons gala honoring Dorothy Lichtenstein.
25 Job’s Lane
"East Hampton is the hub of the galleries," says John Jonas Gruen. Among the most notable are the Drawing Room (16R Newtown Lane; 631-324-5016), exhibiting Flaubert-inspired panels by the painter Timothy Woodman; the Fireplace Project (851 Springs Fireplace Road; 631-324-4666), showing the contemporary photographer Anthony Goicolea; and Spanierman Gallery (68 Newtown Lane; 631-329-9530), with a series of Neil Williamss colorful geometric canvases.
Kinnaman & Ramaekers
Early-American antiques enthusiasts rave about this shop’s offerings, which range from turn-of-the-century weathervanes to classically constructed Windsor furniture.
2466 Main Street
Dienst & Dotter
Visitors can stop into this store, opened in 2005 and specializing in Scandinavian antiques from the 17th to the mid-20th century, for both a 1780s chandelier and 1960s Danish modern chairs.
23 Bridge Street
"When in the Hamptons for... ArtHamptons" originally appeared in the July/August issue of Art+Auction. For a complete list of articles from this issue available on ARTINFO, see Art+Auction's July/August 2009 Table of Contents.