Marking the one-year anniversary of its Water Mill location, the Parrish Art Museum will have a weekend celebration for the community on Saturday and Sunday. Since last November, the museum has hosted 65,000 visitors and wants to encourage more through its temporary exhibitions, periodic reinstallations of the permanent collection, and regular concerts and special events.
To celebrate this year, seven new permanent collection gallery shows will augment the special juried exhibition “Artists Choose Artists,” covered in a related article. Gallery talks, live music, tours, and opportunities to meet the artists are planned throughout the weekend with a schedule available at parrishart.org.
The permanent collection reinstallations will take advantage of recent acquisitions and old favorites brought out in new contexts. Of particular note are three promised gifts to the museum from the estate of Robert Dash, who died in September. The earliest one was painted in 1965 while Dash lived for a time with Fairfield Porter and is of his house, according to Terrie Sultan, the Parrish’s director. Dash bought Madoo, the property in Sagaponack that has become a conservancy under his guidance, in 1967. The paintings are part of a themed exhibition “House and Studio” in which Dash and Porter are featured.
The other paintings, from the early 1970s, are also Porter-esque although executed in a more mature and recognizable style unique to Dash. One is of the poet James Schuyler, the other is a painting of a terrace decked out in teakwood furnishings.
The selections in the seven galleries were drawn from more than 2,800 works in the Parrish’s collection. The main entry gallery has been taken over by large-format contemporary works by Jennifer Bartlett, Ross Bleckner, Roy Lichtenstein, Stephen Antonakos, Louise Nevelson, Caio Fonseca, Dorothea Rockburne, and Donald Sultan. The only holdover from the previous installation is John Chamberlain’s massive “Tambourinefrappe” in painted and chrome-plated steel from 2010. The gallery’s theme is “Look and Look Again: Contemporary Observation.”
While not explicit, the age-old tension between preserving open space and developing land is inherent in “Changing Views: Expanding the Horizon,” a room devoted to landscapes that include the city and built environment. Work in this room is by Rackstraw Downes, Howard Kanovitz, John Marin, and John Sloan. It complements a selection of Fairfield Porter cityscapes.
Another themed grouping, “Poets and Painters” draws on the overlapping relationships between artists and writers on the East End, particularly in the mid-20th century. There are collaborative works by Dash and Schuyler, Michael Goldberg and Bill Berkson, Larry Rivers and John Ashbery. There will also be a number of artistic tributes to various poets.
In other rooms William Merritt Chase is contrasted with his contemporaries using works with his family as primary subjects. Esteban Vicente is also given space with his friends, colleagues, and students in a display that includes work by James Brooks, Chuck Close, Mercedes Matter, Robert Motherwell, and Dorothea Rockburne.
“Dennis Oppenheim: Splash Buildings” is the final installation and a tribute to the conceptual artist who died in 2011. The room presents a late series by Oppenheim that explores the sculptural possibilities of a drop of water splashing upwards. The idea is examined in preparatory drawings and the resulting work. The work displayed is a promised gift to the museum.