Brooke Shields Makes Curatorial Debut and More at Art Southampton
Brooke Shields made her curatorial debut with the New York Academy of Art.
Light rain was already falling as lines to get into ArtSouthampton’s VIP preview began to snake through Nova’s Ark Project—the sprawling sculpture garden in Bridgehampton where the bespoke tent was put up this year.
Inside, the fair was buzzing with energy in the opening hour. As usual, locals turned out en masse for the preview. The art on view reflected an adventurous mix of mostly new and contemporary work, with a healthy dose of historic blue chip works mixed in.
A show curated in part by Brooke Shields helped add a dash of celebrity cachet and drew curious onlookers to the booth. In her curatorial debut, Shields worked with New York Academy of Art president David Kratz on the institution’s booth. The chosen theme, “Call of the Wild,” presented about 30 paintings, prints and sculptures by alumni of the academy. All were for sale.
Shields and Kratz were both on hand in the booth and chatted enthusiastically with artnet News about how the collaborative curation effort took shape. While Shields joked that she was reluctant in her first outing as a curator and that Kratz basically “told” her she was on board, Kratz praised her “incredible eye” and said in his opinion, the show was a case of “1 + 1 =3”.
Shields was engaging, sharing stories about her past involvement in the art world—she talked about meeting Andy Warhol as a child—and said both she and her daughters have sat for portraits by Will Cotton. Nonetheless, she added, the experience of curating works for the show—albeit initially intimidating— marked a new and valuable experience.
Meanwhile, photographs made by Kevin O’Leary, of “Shark Tank” fame were displayed at East Hampton’s Gallery Valentine, with proceeds earmarked for the Perry J. Cohen Foundation, founded in memory of Perry Cohen, the son of art fair founder Nick Korniloff and his wife Pamela Cohen, who was lost at sea a year ago.
Miami gallerist Fredric Snitzer, a first time exhibitor who was showing work including pieces by gallery star Hernan Bas, told artnet News he was enthusiastic about having a captive Hamptons audience: “Collectors come here in the summer, and they’re bored,” he joked. He also noted numerous art events that make this a lively, must-see weekend, including the Parrish Art Museum gala on Saturday.
Added Snitzer: “In the old days, art fairs were where your brought what you couldn’t sell. Now you hold back the special things for fairs.”
Casterline Goodman Gallery, which operates spaces in Aspen and East Hampton, had an arresting selection of unique works by Ed Ruscha in which the artist used unusual materials like carrot juice or blueberries to stain and decorate works on paper.
Director Robert Casterline explained to artnet News that there is a healthy overlap of clients between the gallery’s two locations, and that it seeks to present works it believes in as solid secondary market investment material.
Another eye-catching booth, situated near the entrance of the fair, was that of London gallery Shine Artists, which included work by Italian born painter Matteo Massagrande, whose interior paintings of beautifully dilapidated interiors with the sea in the background reflect his travels between Northern Italy and Hungary, and depict both real and imagined scenarios.
London’s Skipwiths Gallery showed work by Hyojin Park, Kim Jae II, and Kwang Young Chun that reflected the three Korean artists’ training as sculptors. Gallery spokesperson Heejin No told artnet News the gallery was excited to show in the US for the first time—particularly given that this is summer in the Hamptons— and wanted to keep it simple, so limited the booth to three artists.
New international dealers like Skipwiths speak to the growing international profile of the seasonal Hamptons art scene. “There is a clear indication that the Hamptons is becoming less and less a regional market and is developing into a global destination in its own right as the quality of the galleries and fairs and local institutions consistently improves,” said Jeff Lincoln, who currently has a Pop Art show at his new gallery, Collective, located in a restored 19th-century power station in Southampton.
The Art Southampton slow “illustrates this upward trend as it opened tonight with both local and galleries from around the world exhibiting great quality work and consequently attracting quality collectors,” he added.
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