The Art Scene 10.13.11

Mary Abbott’s AbEx birdhouse
Mary Abbott’s AbEx birdhouse

 The Bird Is the Word
   The seventh annual Artists Birdhouse Auction to benefit the Coalition for Women’s Cancer at Southampton Hospital will be held on Saturday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at 4 North Main Gallery in Southampton.
    More than 60 artists have designed birdhouses to be auctioned to raise money for the coalition’s cancer-patient support programs. The honorary chairwomen this year are Renee Zellweger, Betsey Johnson, and Karyn Mannix. Some of the birdhouses will be auctioned silently, others will be in a live auction.
    Among the artists taking part are Mary Abbott, David Salle, Stephanie Brody Lederman, Eric Ernst, Preston Phillips, and even Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman.
    This year there will also be “bird themed” photographs and paintings for sale. Portions of the sales will benefit the coalition as well.
    Ms. Mannix started the birdhouse auction, which has become one of the major cancer fund-raising events on the East End, after she survived breast cancer. The mission of the coalition is to create and sustain a supportive network for women affected by breast and gynecologic cancers in the Towns of East Hampton, Southampton, and Shelter Island.
    Tickets to the event are $25. All birdhouses will be on view at www. Absentee bids may be placed by e-mailing or calling 329-2811.

“From the Yards”
    Harper’s Books on Newtown Lane in East Hampton will present “Peter Spaans: New York from the Yards,” an exhibit of black-and-white photographs shot in and around the city’s subway yards in the mid-1980s. This is the first time the photographs have been on view publicly, although they were published in a small edition in the Netherlands.
    The images, including abandoned buildings and graffiti-covered subway cars, capture New York in a state of decay and are said to generate an air of unease. Harper’s Books will offer several copies of the original edition and a new limited edition.
    The exhibit will open Saturday with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. with Mr. Spaans in attendance. It will close on Jan. 1.

Carpentier and Howell
    The Pamela Williams Gallery in Amagansett will open an exhibit of paintings by Ralph Carpentier and Elwood Howell on Saturday.
    The artists’ East End landscapes are similar in subject but different in style. Mr. Carpentier’s familiar views of fields, farms, bays, and back roads come from decades of exploration of those landscapes and an affinity with Dutch marine painters and the Hudson River School. With a focus on the light, Mr. Carptentier, who lives in Springs, chronicles a disappearing way of life.    
    The abstracted works by Mr. Howell convey a different mood and place. He uses transparent glazes and multiple planes to “leave a tonal field that makes up most of the canvas,” according to Ms. Williams. He then adds floating shapes, letters and numbers, drips and spatters, to erect a symbolic framework drawn up to the high horizon line with a sliver of landscape resting on top. This style allows him to be literal in some ways while portraying an idiosyncratic view of the world.
    The exhibit will be on view through Nov. 13.

Fabric Sale at LongHouse
    Jack Lenor Larsen will hold a fabric sale on Saturday at the LongHouse Reserve on Hand’s Creek Road in East Hampton from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hundreds of fabrics from all over the world will be available in the largest inventory ever donated to this event. Many large bolts are described as suitable for covering all types of furniture, while light-weight fabrics for curtains, duvet covers, and pillows will also be sold.
    Prices range from $20 to $40 a yard. According to a press release from LongHouse, the fabrics are usually  available only to the trade and typically sell for more than $100 a yard. All fabrics have been donated by Cowtan and Tout/ Larsen and will benefit the reserve’s public programs.
    For those who cannot make the sale, private appointments can be arranged through Wendy Van Deusen at LongHouse.

“On Loop” at Halsey McKay
    The Halsey McKay Gallery in East Hampton will show Arielle Falk’s video installation “On Loop” beginning Saturday with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m.
    According to the gallery, the installation is inspired by a childhood memory reinterpreted through the lens of Jacques Lacan’s concept of “objet petit a,” defined by Lacan as “any object that sets desire in motion.” Yet, it is also an object that can never be obtained.
    For Ms. Falk, it is the idea of chasing as an end in itself, as in a childhood game she recalled playing in which she chased a friend around a tree. The game to her is a “perfect metaphor for the fact that we, as humans, go through our lives searching for a chimerical something (objet petit a) and are forever wrapped up in endless loops of desire.”
     There are two videos in the installation. One recaptures the spirit of the chase game and the other shows the artist capturing the images for the first video, circling the tree over and over again.
    Ms. Falk was born in Washington, D.C., and now lives in Brooklyn. She has had a performance piece in Union Square in Manhattan and has shown her work internationally.

Odds & Ends
    Audrey Flack will play the banjo with the History of Art Band in Cooper Square in New York City on Tuesday, along with Watler Valta Us and others at 2 p.m. . . . Lynn Matsuoka will document a British actor during rehearsals for a sold-out London show in October. She is selling prints in support of this project at . . . Molly Weiss, who has organized a number of exhibits on the South Fork, has been named director of Gallery 151 in Chelsea. A new show of John Platt’s work will open there on Oct. 20. . . . Michelle Murphy Strada’s work is included in the “American Realism” show at Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, N.M. through Nov. 12. . . . Photographers East will meet Monday at 7 p.m. at the Bridgehampton National Bank community room in Bridgehampton with a group discussion of photography and uses of Photoshop. The public is welcome.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Art Scene for this week has been updated to include Halsey McKay's opening Saturday, Oct. 15. The event was originally announced in last week's Art Scene, due to an incorrect date provided on the initial press release.