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East End Art Scene


ART IN THE HAMPTONS, by Judy Rey Wasserman


Long Island’s East End, known as the Hamptons, has long served as a summer retreat for New York City’s elite, but the region possesses an even more impressive history as home to some of the greatest American artists. In recent years, art dealers and collectors have followed suit, bringing with them galleries, art fairs and high-profile events. 

tr-jmb.jpgAccording the Parrish Art Museum, over 600 artists have lived, worked or vacationed on the East End of Long Island since the 1870’s. When asked about local artists she’s befriended over the years, Janet Lehr–who opened Vered Gallery with Vered thirty years ago–recites a veritable who’s-who of modern and contemporary American artists who have lived and worked in the Hamptons, including Krasner, Flavin, DeKooning, Warhol, Rauschenberg, Avery, Porter, Chamberlain, Bleckner and Fischl.


“If you are going to be in the art world, then you have to be out [in the Hamptons] in the summertime. It’s where events, shows and networking are happening–the place to be seen,” says Christina Mossaides Strassfield, curator of the Guild Hall Museum, showing a retrospective of Larry Rivers‘ early works through October.


Although artists began flocking to the area in the mid-1800’s, the gallery scene emerged much more recently–most visibly heating up in the past decade. While speculation about a potential market downturn persists, the burgeoning Hamptons scene shows no signs of slowing down. 


At the Fireplace Project in East Hampton, Edsel Williams’ recent curators have included Whitney Museum Board Member Beth Rudin DeWoody, Whitney Biennial curator Klaus Kertess and Creative Time President Anne Pasternak. According to Williams, whose gallery shows James Nares and Joe Zucker alongside heavyweights Damien Hirst and Dana Schutz, “We’re [in the Hamptons] because people really have a genuine interest in contemporary art and artists in all levels of their careers.” Sag Harbor’s Grenning Gallery recently celebrated their tenth anniversary with Ten Years , a retrospective exhibition featuring paintings from artists represented over the past decade.


Over the past year, the Hamptons’ gallery presence has continued to expand both locally and regionally. Hamptons mainstay Glenn Horowitz capitalized on his homegrown success and expanded his art and design bookshop with partner John McWhinnie by opening a Manhattan branch, John McWhinnie @ Glenn Horowitz Bookseller . McWhinnie and Horowitz most recently founded a publishing imprint to issue works by Richard Prince, Terry Richardson and Matthew Barney . According to Jeremy Sanders, Director of the original Hamptons space, Long Island’s East End is an ideal location for motivated new talents on both the art-making and dealing sides, providing “a more open playing field for people to make a splash in the art world.”

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Posted on August 21, 2008 by Editor

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