WATER MILL, NY.- The Parrish Art Museum
s new exhibition, Parrish Perspectives: New Works in Context, showcases more than 70 works from the more than 300 acquisitions added to the Museums collection since the opening of the Water Mill building in 2012. The exhibition, on view from March 12 through April 23, 2017, features paintings, sculpture, and works on paper dating from 1925 to 2016 by established collection artists as well artists new to the collection within the last four and a half years. On Friday, March 24, 6 pm, Alicia Longwell, the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator, Art and Education, will discuss the exhibitionsartists and themes in the program The Curators View.
Parrish Perspectives:New Works in Context reflects the curatorial decision-making involved in the process of building a collection, and demonstrates the Museums commitment to bringing together works that enhance the appreciation of art and the artists practice, said Longwell. It also reveals the generosity of the many donors who understand the value of making great art available to the community.
Parrish Perspectives is a series of concentrated exhibitions that offers the Museum opportunities to respond spontaneously and directly to unique ways of thinking about art, artists, and the creative process. The current iteration reveals the depth and breadth of new acquisitions to the Museum within the context of its ever-growing collection of more than 3,000 works dating from 1833 to today. New Works in Context is organized into four themes: Representing Abstraction, Humor and Irony, Horizon Lines, and Face to Face.
Representing Abstractionreveals the ways in which artists explore how the physical and philosophical universe is perceived. Several artists find the source of abstraction in nature, as in Sheila Ishams Cosmic Flight, 1987, where abstract forms reference the spiritual power of birds on the wing. In Untitled (Daffodil Series), 2002, Peter Dayton turns a stock image of a flower into a broadly graphic work through geometric repetition.Ati Maier begins with an abstract grid for More, 2004, adding layers of imagery that weave together like an organically growing puzzle. The use of photographs as an abstraction of the three-dimensional world is a starting point for paintings by Howard Kanovitz, Malcolm Morley, and Bob Knox, who creates what he calls non-fiction painting. Knoxs Jitterbug, 2007, is a nighttime scene of New York, abstracted by multiple passes through a Xerox machine until it becomes a romantic but virtually unrecognizable tribute to the city. As early practitioners of Abstract Expressionism, James Brooks, Friedel Dzubas, and Theodoros Stamos bring a geometry and lyricism to their work.
Humor and Irony conveys dry wit, absurdity, dark humor, and the dichotomy that can exist in a single work. Elie Nadelmans series of small plaster figurines, all female, combine the whimsy of a Kewpie doll with the grandeur of mythological goddesses. Untitled (Male Figure), 1974, by sculptor Bill King likewise evokes the ancient and the modern, demonstrating that satire and streamlining could coexist. Ry Rocklens visual puns become a non-verbal comedic performance in 10,000 Year Wait, 2005, where a chair (crafted of Styrofoam) is magically supported by wineglasses holding each leg. R.M. Fischers Strawberry Shortcake, 1982, is at once pure sculpture and decorative object: a futuristic lamp made from metal rods, brass knobs, and everyday objects like colanders and cooking pots. John Wesleys Panoply, 1971, takes a penetrating look at WWI through the graphic clarity of silkscreen prints and the wry humor of the images themselves, with titles such as Priscilla the Hun and Shoot Him, Cecil.
Face to Face reveals the artists interpretation of portraits, from Till Freiwalds realistic, monumentally-scaled watercolors of faces to Joe Zuckers use of meaningful personal icons such as a martini glass and a catto create character portraits in The Ravenswood Series, 1988. In Joe Figs portraits, fellow artists Dana Schutz and Michael Goldberg are likewise defined by the symbols that represent them: namely, the tools of their craft. Photographic portraits of children on the brink of adolescence by Tina Barney, Adam Bartos, and Lindsay Morris point out shared human experiences rather than differences. Drawings by Tim Gardner, Elizabeth Peyton, Paul P., and Lucy Winton take up teenage angst. In Untitled (Grade 10), 2004, Gardner explores the pictorail conventions of portrait-making, meticulously recreating his high school yearbook picture in pastel.
Horizon Lines entertains a subject that has long occupied the creative imagination of artists working in all media, whether as a quick study of the sea and the sky, a detailed imagining of the intersection of man and nature, or a long engagement with the notion of photographic documentation freezing a moment in time. James Brittons lyrical studies of water and sky from 1925 convey the immediacy of his rapidly sketched plein-air investigations. In Near Midnight, 2010, Jane Wilson concerns herself with what is above the horizon linethe air that is alive with possibilities resulting from capricious coastal weather patterns. Renate Aller has used a camera to explore the Atlantic Ocean from one vantage point over a number of years, recording the sameness and difference over time, as evidenced by the precise title of her work, Ocean | Desert # 60, Atlantic Ocean, November 2013, 2013 .