The Art Scene - 05.19.11

New Gallery on Newtown
    Tomorrow the Halsey McKay Gallery will open its new space at 105 Newtown Lane with a show of paintings by Patrick Brennan titled “There Is an Ocean.”
    Hilary Schaffner and Ryan Wallace, both of whom have had curatorial experience in New York City, are running the gallery. Mr. Wallace is also a painter. The two met in art class 20 years ago and have remained friends and now will be business partners in this new venture.
    “It was a very organic process. We both have a strong connection out east, we grew up going out there.” The gallery’s name comes from their grandmothers’ maiden names. “My great-great-great-grandfather built a house in Southampton in the 1800s, but my family was centered in East Hampton in my life.”
    The gallery will be devoted to emerging artists that Ms. Schaffner has been following during her years in New York. In addition to Mr. Brennan’s paintings, the gallery will exhibit work by Joseph Hart and Ruby Sky Stiler, Chris Duncan, a group show organized by Rachel Uffner, and Glen Baldrige and Bryan Graf. The work will include installations, paintings, sculpture, and photography.
    They plan to be open from May to November.
    Mr. Brennan’s work is described by the gallery as “a series of charismatic pictures that operate just outside of the notion of painting’s convention and expectations.” A reception for his exhibit will be held on Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. The show will remain on view through June 8.

Marder’s “Big Show”
    The Silas Marder Gallery in Bridgehampton will open on Saturday with “The Big Show,” an exhibit of small works on canvas submitted by 50 artists. A reception will be held from 5 to 9 p.m.
    Each year, Mr. Marder invites a range of artists to submit three works on canvases that measure only 8 by 10 inches, with the only guideline being that the artists are to “reflect on where they are in their careers.” Mr. Marder said the exhibit manages to be cohesive through its “dialogue of texture and form.”
    The spontaneity of the endeavor paired with the variety of artists involved, makes for an interesting presentation. “It’s like a lively dinner party where the guests might have conflicting opinions, but they are all expressing themselves very politely at exactly the same volume.” He sees it as a communal experience as well, uniting international artists with those from here.
    “Local is important, but locals need exposure. No one should remain sheltered or underexposed. Exposure comes in different forms: Sometimes you go elsewhere; sometimes you invite others to you. ‘The Big Show’ helps me think about here — what it means to live here, be here, choose to remain here. My job is to connect that ‘here’ with a larger arts community. It’s like drawing concentric circles,” he said in a release.    
    This year, Billy Sullivan, Curt Hoppe, Jessica Benjamin, Michelle Suna, Christine Gray, Joe Fyfe, Audrey Lee, Kyung Jeon, David Geiser, Ellen Frank, Megan Berk, James Daga Albinson, and Stephanie Brody-Lederman are among the participants. The show will run through June 22.

“Mystical”at Kramoris
    The Romany Kramoris Gallery will present “Mystical,” a a show of paintings by Hadi Toron and Laura Rozenberg, beginning today. A reception will be held on Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.
    As an artist, Mr. Toron has been informed by his experience as a diplomat, spending time in New York, Sudan, and the Caribbean. He has been working on his mystical Sudanese series for 20 years. Ms. Rozenberg, a longtime East Hampton resident who was born in Argentina, has a new new series of mystical flower paintings to share. She found her inspiration for these paintings while attending a writer’s workshop in the gardens of Diana Bellessi’s estate in Buenos Aires. The paintings may be unfamiliar to viewers of her previous work, which tended to be in collage.
    A vocal music presentation by Bisan Toron will open and close the exhibit. Ms.Toron is an experimental world music singer whose style is influenced by a multitude of cultures steeped in universal Sufism. The exhibit will run through June 9.

Student Curators at Ross
    Hiroyuki Hamada and Drew Shif­lett’s work will be featured in an exhibit at the Ross School in East Hampton opening on Wednesday. The show was organized by a group of the school’s seventh graders under the direction of Sue Heatley, their art teacher.
    Mr. Hamada is known for his sculptures in painted wood, foam, and plaster, which, while abstract, reference both organic and technologically advanced man-made objects. Ms. Shiflett uses handmade papers, pencil, ink, watercolor, and conte crayon.
    The title of the show “Passion and Process,” references the intricate and time-consuming processes each artist uses to arrive at their final works. A catalog will accompany the show.
    The students will host a reception on Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m., which is open to the public.