Kenneth Walsh, Back in Montauk

"Jonathan" by Kenneth Walsh

It’s fitting that Montauk’s Woodbine Collection is holding an exhibition of paintings by Kenneth B. Walsh, because Montauk is where the artist lived in the 1960s and ’70s, and where he founded the Bonart Gallery. “Montauk in the Seventies,” which includes paintings like “Jonathan,” right, will open on Saturday with a 6 to 8 p.m. reception, consists of work he created between 1974 and 1977. The show will continue through June 25.

Years after Mr. Walsh’s death in 1980, Christopher Walsh, one of his five children and a senior writer for The Star, began a search for his father’s work that became a years-long project — “a labor of love,” the son said. The quest not only turned up long-lost artworks but also yielded reminiscences from many of his father’s friends and colleagues.

During his Montauk years, Kenneth Walsh developed a bold expressionist style. Many of his lines are curves that define not only the several features of a figure, but the boundaries between and interpretations of figures. 

One of his most important paintings is the mural-size “Montauk,” a brightly colored, Pop-like work filled with such local landmarks as the Montauk Lighthouse and the Carl Fisher office building; iconic signage for businesses including Gosman’s Dock, Uihlein’s Marina, and Duryea’s seafood market, and people enjoying the sun, surf, and the hamlet’s downtown.

"The Lobsterman" by Kenneth Walsh